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reader ´ A Town Like Alice ´ Nevil Shute

reader ´ A Town Like Alice ´ Nevil Shute Nevil Shute's most beloved novel a tale of love and war follows its enterprising heroine from the Malayan jungle during World War II to the rugged Australian outbackJean Paget a young Englishwoman living in Malaya is captured by the invading Japa My first read by this author and it definitely won't be my last Felt like this was two stories held together by the indefatiable Jean Paget she certainly is a wonderful well written character Loved out narrator Noel the older gentlemanly London soliciter who administers the estate left to Jean from an uncle she little remembers There are no gimmicks here just some good old fashioned story telling with the added bonus of one learning uite a bit about Malaya though the events here were actually perpetuated in Sumatra and about Australia and the ghost towns left empty after the gold Rush The author explains this and also that Jean's character was created to honor the very real woman who went through what Jean does after the Japanese invasion It is no wonder then that I felt this part of the book was written the bestueensland Australia and the stations at Wells town is the setting for the second half connected of course by Jean and a person she meets in Malaya He will be the reason she travels to Australia where she will make the most of her inheritance by improving the town she will soon call home I love her character she never gives up plans and changes thing not to her liking and at a time when not many women had the ways nor means to do these things I enjoyed this story immensely and loved the feelings ng I got while reading this story especially the second half where Jean really comes into her own Plenty of good stuff here and look forward to reading others by this author

text A Town Like Alice

read A Town Like Alice kindle Ò Paperback Ê reflectionslisburnltd ´ Nevil Shute's most beloved novel a tale of love and war follows its enterprising heroine from the Malayan jungle during World War II to the rugged Australian outbackJean Paget a young Englishwoman living in Malaya is captured by the inva Nese and forced on a brutal seven month death march with dozens of other women and children A few years after the war Jean is back in England the nightmare behind her However an unexpected inheritance inspires her to return to Malaya to give some I couldn't tell you why I have resisted reading A Town Like Alice for so many years But I did Perhaps it is for the best whatever time it is we chose to land a particular book in our handsWhen I began to read Shute's book I uickly fell into it Noel Strachan is perhaps one of the most charming narrators I've encountered Shute's use of the aging British Solicitor to unveil the story of Jean Paget drew me into the tale It was a simple enough matter Strachan was hired to write the will and administer the estate of Mr McFadden It is the type of case that routinely crosses a lawyer's desk The will was uite straight forward and uite traditional Upon McFadden's death his estate was to go to his sister as a life estate Upon her demise the estate was to devolve to her son Should he predecease McFadden the estate would go to our protagonist Jean PagetMcFadden was easily what we would term a chauvinist today Should Jean Paget be his heir his estate was to be held in trust for her until the age of thirty five McFadden didn't believe young women had a head for handling moneyHowever war has a way of causing the least favored beuests in wills to often be made In this case World War Two left McFadden's estate to his least favored heir It was up to Strachan to sort things out and carry out his client's last wishesOf course Jean Paget was never the woman McFadden believed his niece to be She survived a death march of non combatant women and children following the Japanese invasion of Malaya Her brother did not survive imprisonment in a prisoner of war campShute's portrayal of Jean and her fellow English women and their children is a tribute to the courage and endurance of those individuals who have come to be called the collateral damage of war The Japanese have no use for these women and children Nor do they want to waste precious resources on keeping them alive when there is the Imperial Army to feedInto this mix Shute throws in a plucky Australian Joe conscripted by the Japanese to drive trucks of material for them Of course Joe and Jean meet He admires this young woman whom he believes to be married On than one occasion Joe manages to smuggle food medicines and soaps to the wandering band of women and children However war rarely leaves possible lovers in a situation that allows a relationship to blossom Joe and Jean are separated under circumstances which this reviewer will not revealAs a bit of an aside I found Shute's depiction of Japanese troops and their behavior toward the British women and children one of the most sensitive and humane portrayals in literature and history Interestingly it is the line soldier who exhibits the greatest humanity to their charges It is the Imperial Officer who turns a blind eye to the plight of non combatants It would be tempting to say that A Town Like Alice is a sentimental romance and leave it at that However it goes beyond those limits in a depiction of courage and survival while acting selflessly and a life lived happily ever after I'm told that happens some times I wouldn't attempt to deny that degree of happiness to those that find it nor would I sneer at it because I hadn't necessarily found itI will admit at this juncture that I am unabashedly a romantic Nevil Shute wrote a story which enchanted me with its charm courage and passion that was truly unbridled only after a wedding ring was slipped onto a finger and a marriage meant to last a lifetime Old fashioned you sayToo right It's a right crook affair By all means be welcome to those sentiments if you have succumbed to the cynicism of our supposedly modern worldThere is nothing in this book to dislike unless you simply refuse to believe in the possibility of happy endings They do happen you knowOh there's a bit of Neal Strachan in me I am an aging lawyer as he w

Nevil Shute ´ A Town Like Alice doc

A Town Like AliceThing back to the villagers who saved her life Jean's travels leads her to a desolate Australian outpost called Willstown where she finds a challenge that will draw on all the resourcefulness and spirit that carried her through her war time ordea A Town Like Alice reminds me so much of my favorite book Mrs Mike Both catalog the difficulties and triumphs of living in remote areas Both are historical Both have a strong and engaging female protagonist who are in love with a man responsibly tied to a piece of land Neither are fluffy Harleuins but make that pit in the bottom of your stomach churn with romanceIn short I loved it A Town Like Alice follows Jean Paget a Scottish woman who was raised by her parents in Malay now known as Malaysia returns to work there as an adult and ultimately finds herself trapped there as a Prisoner of War when the Japanese invade the Island during World War IIHer captivity is accurately described as horrible with starvation and long marches from town to town killing many women and children But it also shows that uniue ability of women to nurture even in the most degrading situations When she meets Joe Harman an Australian ringger cowboy and fellow POW he tells Jean about his home and work near Alice Springs a bonza town in the heart of the Outback The two extremely lonely and isolated characters become friends Eventually when Joe steals five chickens to feed the sick and hungry women and children Jean is interrogated and punished until Joe confesses and is later crucified by a cruel Japanese leaderThe story's narration is directed by an elderly British attorney Noel Strachan who is put in charge of a trust Jean's uncle leaves her Even with the narration in his control most of the story is told through Jean sharing her memories to Noel Eventually I found Noel's involvement and third party perspective very satisfying mostly because it allowed the author to cover a greater amount of time without seeming overly jumpyThe book was written in 1950 and feels like it at times The attitudes of segregation and thoughtless caricatures of minorities creates feelings of discomfort and embarrassmentHowever it's not done with malice and the story isn't about racial barriers at all so I didn't find it offensive If anything it allows a glimpse into an unapologetic view that most white people probably had at the time which is actually an interesting glimpse on its ownI appreciated this book for its less freuently told story of female prisoners of war and for its celebration of the human spirit