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A Town Like Alice
A Town Like Alice
Author: Nevil Shute
A novel told partly in flashbacks about a girl's search for the Australian she met in Malaya during World War II. "A harrowing, exciting, and in the end very satisfying war romance. 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, wh...  more »
ISBN-13: 9780345353740
ISBN-10: 0345353749
Publication Date: 10/12/1987
Pages: 279
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.

4.1 stars, based on 53 ratings
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover, Audio Cassette, Audio CD
Members Wishing: 0
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reviewed A Town Like Alice on + 21 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
The first half of this book was gripping - as based in part on an actual event that occurred in Sumatra in WWII, where Dutch female prisoners were marched all around the island for 2-1/2 years. The second half of the book - which primarily takes place in Austrailia - I think would make an excellent discussion for book clubs. I felt it had the perpective of colonial English. I found out later that the author actually was born and breed in England, and didn't move to Austrialia until well into his adult years, so that may not be far off the mark. The perspective of racial relations between the Aussies and Aboriginals was very interesting too. This book was written in the 1950s, and uses some racial slang common at the time - a little difficult to read now, but I guess it's an honest reflection of the time. I do admit it's nice to see a literary example of a strong, independent woman, though I don't always agree with her motivations and methods! This was definetely a book that made me think! I'd recommend it.
reviewed A Town Like Alice on + 275 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
This book was written in 1950, so I had some trepidation in reading it, especially in the beginning when women had decidedly different treatment than men in financial affairs and dealings. Much to my pleasant surprise, this book turned out to be a book celebrating women and their strength, courage and ingenuity! I could hardly put down this saga of a young woman who was marched around an Indonesian island during WWII and then returned to England and forged an amazing life for herself. The suspense built by sending telegrams and letters that took a week to arrive just added to the drama of the novel. In today's world of phones, e-mail and FaceBook, the story would definitely not have been as exciting. A wonderful book, I heartily recommend it.
reviewed A Town Like Alice on + 27 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
The story is about a young Englishwoman, a Japanese prisoner of war, who is helped by an Australian soldier, also a prisoner of war, at the cost of his life. I really liked it. The main part of the book is her story: from her return to England and her life afterward.
reviewed A Town Like Alice on + 50 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
This will probably be in my top 5 for the year. What a wonderful book; I have enjoyed every page and did not want it to end. Hard to believe it was written so long ago but happy it is still around to be enjoyed and treasured. Jean Paget is a true heroine.
reviewed A Town Like Alice on + 65 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I really enjoyed this book. It's the story of a young English woman who is captured by the Japanese at the start of WWII. No one quite knows what to do with them, so they're marched around Malaysia, dying off in droves in the process.

The second half of the novel is the story of her life after the war, and her journey to Australia and the life she builds there. The look at post-WWII Australia is fascinating.
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reviewed A Town Like Alice on + 66 more book reviews
This was a wonderful story full of historical adventure set during and after World War II that stretched over England, Malaya (now Malaysia) and Australia. I loved the tone of the book, the pace, and the strong female protagonist as well as her love interest. I especially liked how the story was crafted from the point of view of an English solicitor administering an estate who interjects his opinions along the way and grows just as fond of his client as the reader does. The history lessons regarding the Japanese occupation of Malaya and its impact on the British living there and life in the Australian outback only enhanced my enjoyment of this novel.
reviewed A Town Like Alice on + 13 more book reviews
I really enjoyed the book; best book I've read for a while. Quite interesting story line, little history thrown in, with a very likeable main character. Enjoyed the clean story line, intriguing character who used her brains to accomplish much. Thoroughly enjoyed!! Learned a little about life in a very different place!
reviewed A Town Like Alice on + 12 more book reviews
Great story, keeps the pages turning. I stayed up half the night reading it. Great strong women characters, fun romantic line, plus a bit of history and exotic locales. Recommended.