Review ~ A Town Like Alice by Nevil Shute
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This historical novel is an unassuming yet powerful book. The author manages to tell us a story of a girl without flowery or over impressive prose. It’s all simple yet effective and entertaining. I can say without a doubt that this story is profound and had me from the very first page. I couldn’t put it down.
This historical fiction that is so emotionally charged takes us on trials and tribulations through the UK, Malaya (during WWII), and Australia with the main character Jean. Jean is a product of her time, but she is also so much more. She’s naturally smart and resourceful, which serves her well for the things she will go through as a POW by the Japanese in the war in Malaya. I loved this character and her strength. She reminded me a bit of Claire from Outlander. The ability to adapt suits them well in their misfortunes. I was truly 100% interested and invested in her life.
Many times I was either tearing up or pushing down the lump in my throat. The whole story is told by Jean’s attorney and yet it is still so personal and intimate. I never felt a separation or distance from Jean or her life journey, as her story was told so beautifully by Noel.
I don’t really want to give the story away, but at the same time, I wish I could gush about all the most memorable parts. Just go and read Jean’s story.
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 outback.
Jean Paget, a young Englishwoman living in Malaya, is captured by the invading Japanese 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 something 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 ordeals.