Customer Reviews for

A Town Like Alice

Average Rating 4.5
( 53 )
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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 29, 2002

    The Influence of Setting

    Nevil Shute's novel "A Town Like Alice" concerns the life of a woman, Jean Paget, who survives World War II as a prisoner of the Japanese. The death march that Jean endures changes her life forever as she matures into a woman of leadership and a caretaker of all. Due to this change of lifestyle, Jean becomes selfless as she invests her inheritance and time into returning a favor to the few Malayans that helped her. She also invests the rest of her money and time into building a lonely town into one of a friendly size. Truly, the influence of one person can change lives of many; in "A Town Like Alice" Jean uses her money to make others lives more convenient and meaningful. This truth is portrayed through the setting of the novel. <P> Through setting, we are able to see peoples' way of life evolve. For example, the Malayan women who help Jean during the hard times of the war travel a dangerous journey to retrieve fresh water from the springs each morning. As a favor, Jean feels adding wells to their every day life, will be a helpful contribution. As a result, she has "Suleiman travel up and down the coast of Malaya building and repairing wells"(110). These wells were integrated into the Malayan setting to emphasize how grateful the Malayan women were and how greatly it eased their lives. As an effect, their chores were accomplished efficiently and without extra hassle. In addition, when Jean moved to Wilstown, she discovers that "there's no shop where you can buy fruits and vegetables and there's no dress shop"(137). Jean changes this aspect of the town by first adding a workshop for women to work in. This increases the population of women living in the small town, and therefore, the population of men also increases. In order to feed this growth development, Jean adds an ice cream parlor, a cinema, a pool, a grocery store, and a dress shop. "This was quite a big place, with counters and dummies clothed in summer frocks"(274). Because of the new recreation and shops for men and women, more couples met and married in Wilstown, creating more residents. The fact of the matter is, all this change was established through Jean's influence on the setting. This aspect helped Shute create convenient, happy lives in a town that was starving for life.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 17, 2013

    Good read

    I enjoyed the book. It had slow moments. At the end I was skipping around. But all in all, it was pretty good.

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    Posted April 2, 2013

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    Posted April 2, 2013

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    Posted March 28, 2011

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    Posted July 6, 2011

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    Posted November 28, 2011

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