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A Town Like Alice (Vintage International) Paperback – February 9, 2010
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“A ripping tale of budding romance and grace under pressure.” —The Times (London)
"A harrowing, exciting, and in the end very satisfying war romance." —Harper's
From the Inside Flap
A TOWN LIKE ALICE tells of a young woman who miraculously survived a Japanese "death march" in World War II, and of an Australian soldier, also a prisoner of war, who offered to help her--even at the cost of his life.... --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
When an old Scottish man dies, London solicitor Noel Strachan learns that his sole heir is a young woman named Jean Paget. Strachan acts as her trustee, dispensing money as needed under the will, but the old lawyer soon finds himself falling for the young lady. Before Strachan has done more than shown her London's culture, Paget is off to Malaya to repay the village where she stayed during WWII by digging a well. She convinces Strachan to release the money by telling the story (based on real life) of how she and other women were held prisoner by the Japanese, but eventually found refuge in a small village. Before they go there, they encounter a young Australian, Joe Harmon, who is crucified for stealing food for them. When Paget returns to Malaya, she learns that Harmon survived and returned to Australia. Meanwhile, Harmon has gone to England to seek her, having thought she was married when they met in Malaya. They eventually meet up in Australia (Strachan, out of his own love for Jean, has gently attempted to frustrate the meeting). Jean, determined to make her home in Harmon's home area, sets out to make the godforsaken town into "A Town Like Alice"--a modern town like Alice Springs.
It is a fascinating story. But overlooked in every review I read is the role of the old solicitor, Noel Strachan, who finds himself in love with Jean some decades too late, and is unable to serve as a rival to Joe Harmon. He soon surrenders his unexpressed (even to himself) love out of regard for Jean's interest. His unrequited love, lends a poignant note to the book.
There are no villains.Read more ›
Jean Paget is that young woman, and she is an extraordinary person, making her story very compelling reading.
The weaving of the threads of her life - her WWII experiences as a prisoner of the Japanese in Malaya; her fateful encounter with Australian Joe Harmon; the inheritance that allows her to leave the mundane working world; her interaction with solicitor Noel Strachan; and her search for her true destiny - is done in the most masterful way.
I cannot recommend this book highly enough. It is deeply satisfying reading. It is everything a novel should be.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a wonderful story! Just finished reading it (again) for the "many-ith" time. I have an old tattered copy, yellow with age and print too small to read. Read morePublished 4 days ago by BJ
This ebook is not the same as the hard copy. I bought the ebook because I read the book years ago and really liked it. Read morePublished 8 days ago by Texas Mom
I read this book in about two hours.....it wasn't even 150 pages long! I went to other reviewers of this book and found out that the Kindle version I got was abridged! Read morePublished 13 days ago by Love Those Redfish
It was a very typical over the top Nevil Shute novel. Loved the story,fell in love with the characters and his descriptions and care of story flow make you not want to put the book... Read morePublished 17 days ago by C Bibeau
Beautifully written prose flows throughout. Shute's characters are people you would recognize if you met them. Read morePublished 27 days ago by D. Loren
I wish Mr Shute were still with us and writing. Outstanding author!Published 1 month ago by John Royer
Captivating plot and understandable English even for a non-native speaker.Published 1 month ago by Alexandru Dumbrava