Book Reviews of A Town Like Alice

A Town Like Alice
A Town Like Alice
Author: Nevil Shute
ISBN-13: 9780345353740
ISBN-10: 0345353749
Publication Date: 10/12/1987
Pages: 279
Rating:
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 53

4.1 stars, based on 53 ratings
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

22 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed A Town Like Alice on + 21 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
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: 5
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: 4
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: 3
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: 3
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.
reviewed A Town Like Alice on + 3 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Very enthralling story and well worth reading, but be warned, there are some offensive terms used to refer to aboriginals (written in 1950).
reviewed A Town Like Alice on + 1109 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I was really drawn into this wonderful character study of a courageous and determined young Englishwoman who survives great hardship during WWII, and who goes on to transform lives. There isn't much action or excitement, just solid writing about people worth caring about.
reviewed A Town Like Alice on + 12 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I love this book. It a moving story of love, war and the efforts that two people will make to be together.
reviewed A Town Like Alice on + 102 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Both were prisoners of war when they met.
Then they went separate ways. Only to seek out each other...half a world apart.
He had been thought dead...and she had been thought married.
reviewed A Town Like Alice on + 29 more book reviews
A Great Read
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.
reviewed A Town Like Alice on + 893 more book reviews
When I find myself reading without documenting progress, I'm either traveling without a computer or so involved in the read that it doesn't matter. For this one it's both.
Jean Paget is caught up in a war, learns how strong she is and finds a most interesting man. Marching around Malaya. (This part of the novel was 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.) Finally, she and other women find a village where they survive war by caring for rice paddies. I so enjoyed this part of the novel.

She returns home to take up a rather mundane existence in a factory. When an attorney calls her she discovers an inheritance that makes her wealthy and her life changes dramatically. The attorney tells the story and becomes fascinated with this young woman, her story and her experiences. If he had been younger he would, he admits, have fallen in love with her. As it is, he is totally dedicated to helping her use her inheritance as she plans. Her uncle had said that if she inherited his money she would need approval for spending until she reached the age of 35. It's a wonderful novel based on the author's own experiences in Australia. Great read!
reviewed A Town Like Alice on + 13 more book reviews
This is one of the best books I've ever read. It has it all: action, adventure, history and romance. Plus I learned a little geography. To top it all off, it was based in part on a true story. Shute is a gifted storyteller who crafted a book that trascends multiple categories.
reviewed A Town Like Alice on + 299 more book reviews
This book is based on a true story of a young woman who miraculously survived a Japanese death march covering 1200 miles in WWII IN Malaysia (true store setting was in Sumatra), and an Australian soldier who helped the band of marching women and children, for which he paid A terrible price. Very interesting and well written war romance that holds your attention throughout. I learned a lot about the Malaysian people and culture, and about the Australian outback. The perspective of the racial relations between the white Australians and the Aboriginals at that time was of particular interest. Highly recommend it! Action, adventure, history and romance. What more could you ask?
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 + 24 more book reviews
This is one of my most favorite books in the world. It does consist of two quite different halves, but I may be in the minority of liking the second half even more than the first, not just for the romance (which is nice but doesn't take up a lot of space in the book) but more for the way in which the main character takes action to change her town. It's inspiring and enjoyable reading. Highly recommended.
reviewed A Town Like Alice on + 149 more book reviews
Nice light read, much like most other of Shute's books....many set in the period just after WW2. Ordinary people going about their own business...sometimes their lives are in complete upheaval and sometimes there is a nice happy ending.

I read most of his books sitting on buses, trains and planes....about 40 years ago. Then a few years back, I was staying in my family's empty house, all alone, waiting for "that" phone call in the night....I must have left some of Shute's books from way back...found a few and I do admit they were able to take me out of myself...."Alice" was one of the more memorable ones.
reviewed A Town Like Alice on + 2 more book reviews
I read A Town Like Alice in one day. I couldn't put the book down. I instantly fell in love with the characters. The book had me wondering if I had what it could take to survive a war as a woman. Since finishing this book I want to travel and learn a new language more than ever. I don't want to give away too much but this book sucked me in and didn't let me go until its conclusion which was very satisfying.
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 + 5 more book reviews
Thoroughly enjoyed this book.
reviewed A Town Like Alice on + 3 more book reviews
Wonderful book!
reviewed A Town Like Alice on + 198 more book reviews
This is one of my all time favorite books. It will make you fall in love with Australia.