A Town Like Alice

Topics: World War II, Malaya, Outback Pages: 3 (1027 words) Published: September 18, 2012
A Town Like Alice, By Nevil Shute

The story begins right before the start of world war two. The main character, Jean, is a secretary in a shoe factory. She was recently informed a large inheritance from her great uncle whom has recently passed away. Her trustee informs her that her uncle said in his will she was not to use the money until a certain age, which was still several years away. Strachan's firm wants him to help her control the money and advise her, while Jean on the other hand has a completely different mind set. Jeans main priority and goal is to help the Malayan village and build them a well.
The second part of the story is a flash back, in which Jean remembers her life changing experiences during the war. When Malaya was invaded, Jean had been working on her goal to build a well. As she was working the Japanese captured all the women and children in the area. She was taken captive with them.

Jean speaks fluent Malay and tries to take a leader ship role and help everyone get through this. The Japanese soldiers do not want to have the responsibility of watching over these prisoners so they are marched to the next town. On this long and treacherous march, many of the prisoners die due to physical exhaustion and labor. In there new location Jean meets a young Australian soldier named Sergeant Joe Harman. He, also a prisoner, drives a truck for the Japanese. The two prisoners soon become very good friends and try to help each other survive. He steals many different things to help, including medicine, food and water. Whenever they first meet, Jean is carrying a young toddler, whose mother has recently passed away. This leads Sergeant Joe to believe that Jean is married and this her child. Jean goes along with it since he is married and she does not want to stir up any trouble. Jean and Sergeant Joe are caught stealing and are thoroughly investigated by the Japanese prison guards. In order to save the rest of the...
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