A Town Like Alice

A Town Like Alice

eBook - 2010
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Since the end of her incredible struggle to survive the desperate hardships of Japanese-occupied Malaya, Jean Paget has lived a quietly anonymous life. But an unexpected inheritance and the desire to repay long remembered kindness sends her back across the world to the place which holds memories of both horror and great tenderness. And news of what seems like a miracle reawakens old longings and hopes for a love which had barely begun and has yet to be fulfilled.
Publisher: New York : Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 2010
ISBN: 9780307476975
0307476979

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MamaLovesBooks
Aug 08, 2016

This book came highly recommended to me, and while it was an interesting piece of historical fiction (favorite genre), it wasn't one of the best. I struggled through uneventful parts, put it down frequently, and was hoping for some dramatic or tragic ending only to be left at the end wishing for something more....

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DorisWaggoner
Oct 17, 2015

I've read this novel probably three times. Shute's an excellent teller of stories about WW II, and of Australia. I agree that there's some very offensive language (for today) that wasn't considered offensive in the time it was written (unless it was directed at you). That didn't actually strike me as I read. The story of the POWs in the Malayan jungle during WWII feels more real than may real POW stories I've read. The love story, and life in the Outback, are very different, but don't feel tacked on. Shute does a remarkable job of meshing all these stories.

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wyenotgo
Aug 28, 2015

One of Shute's very best stories, covering a vast time span, beginning in Southeast Asia during WW2 and re-uniting some of the characters many years later in Australia.

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chelery
Sep 19, 2014

I found the writing rather flat. The love story was predictable. The history of the women marching around "Malaya" and the portrayal of life in the Outback were the best parts.

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Sarah1984
Sep 05, 2014

19/7 - This was written in 1950, it uses language common to 1950. These facts have to be remembered when reading A Town like Alice, and reacting to said language. The characters use words like 'Abos', 'Nips', 'Boongs', and other offensive names for the indigenous people of Malaya and Australia, and the invading Japanese forces. This type of language makes me feel uncomfortable while reading the book, but at the same time I accept that this was simply the way people talked in those days. So, if I (or any other reader) wants to read books written before this decade, I have to be aware of the possibility that there is going to be some offensive - racist, sexist, misogynistic - language, and I can't yell and scream at the book because of it.

21/7 - Great book, just wish it had been a little longer, I didn't want it to end. While Willstown was fictional, there is a Burketown (also mentioned in the book, and could possibly be considered the inspiration for Willstown). Unfortunately, or fortunately depending on how you look at it, Burketown didn't prosper under the care of a Jean-like character and nearly 150 years after its establishment it's still languishing with a population of only 173. Their peak population occurred in 1911 at 265. They don't even have a public swimming pool, a dream of Jean's for Willstown.

j
JackieFC13
Jan 27, 2014

This book was amazing! My grandfather sent it to me as one of his "good friends". He was right, it is now one of mine that I will recommend to friends! It was a wonderful book. A story about courage, survival,adventure, love, and personal growth. Who wouldn't wanna read a book like that? I don't even know how to describe other than just pick it up and give it a shot. :)

allisonmaginot Oct 16, 2013

Absolutely loved this book. I've never read much about Australia, but through the author's vivid depictions of the outback the country came to life. Great story about a courageous young woman, a thoughtful older man, and a brave Aussie...all characters who teach about human sacrifice and kindness.

r
rgally
Dec 29, 2012

Just finished my 2nd reading of this wonderful story of love and hardship and endurance. Also love the made for TV version of it from the 80s with Bryan Brown and Helen Morse (?).

Highly recommended!

Shute was a very talented writer of tales of WW2 - worth looking for his other works

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phoemouse
Oct 02, 2012

This is a good book. The BBC made a series out of it that is wonderful.

o
Oc2seattle
Jul 10, 2012

A beautiful story of love, fortitude and the building up of an outback town.

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Hesna_Y
Jan 09, 2016

Hesna_Y thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

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Sarah1984
Sep 05, 2014

Sarah1984 thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

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