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A Town Like Alice

by Nevil Shute

Jean Paget is just twenty years old and working in Malaya when the Japanese invasion begins. When she is captured she joins a group of other European women and children whom the Japanese force to march for miles through the jungle – an experience that leads to the deaths of many. Due to her courageous spirit and ability to speak Malay, Jean takes on the role of leader of the sorry gaggle of prisoners and many end up owing their lives to her indomitable spirit.

While on the march, the group run into some Australian prisoners, one of whom, Joe Harman, helps them steal some food, and is horrifically punished by the Japanese as a result. After the war, Jean tracks Joe down in Australia and together they begin to dream of surmounting the past and transforming his one-horse outback town into a thriving community like Alice Springs…

#55 in  Australia’s Top 100 Favourite Homegrown Reads



About Nevil Shute

Nevil Shute was born on 17 January 1899 in Ealing, London. He published his first novel, Marazan, in 1926. During the Second World War he joined the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve where he worked on developing secret weapons. After the war he settled in Australia where he lived until his death on 12 January 1960. His celebrated novels include A Town Like Alice and On The Beach.

Other books by Nevil Shute



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