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Publisher's Summary

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. 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...
©1989 The Trustees of the Estate of the Late Nevil Shute Norway
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Customer Reviews

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By Mary on 03-27-11

Wonderful story, beautifully told

The story was amazing and engrossing from start to finish (well, not quite from the start; the very beginning sounded boring, with what seemed at the time to be an unneccessarily detailed narrative about an old man hiring a solicitor to write his will, and I almost switched to another book on my iPod. But I stuck it out and was quickly pulled into the story). The characters are wonderful and the plot is fascinating. It never gets slow; I found myself sitting in my car to continue listening when I'd get to work, reluctant to leave the story. I love the narration. The reader was perfect for this book. This is one of the most memorable stories I've listened to in my many years as an Audible subscriber.

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43 of 43 people found this review helpful


By Nita L. on 07-20-09

Could not quit listening

This was my first audiobook (book-on-tape in those days); I asked Audible to provide it and was pleased to see it recently appear. Thanks, Audible!

On re-listening, it was even better than the first time. It is TERRIFIC. The story is spell-binding, somewhat historical and absolutely riveting. The narrator is simply superb. I can't imagine anyone from pre-teen age onward who would not be spellbound by the combination of narration plus superb writing plus story.

MOST highly recommended.

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58 of 59 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By Kindle Customer on 03-31-09

A Great Book Well Read

Despite this audiobook being produced decades ago Robin Bailey reads it so well that it is timeless. I can't wait to hear more of Nevil Shute titles.

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8 of 8 people found this review helpful


By Crime Fiction Groupie on 06-30-13

One of my favourite books - wonderful story

A favourite for years, lovely to see this one in the Audible library - an instant addition to the Wish List. Yes its very 'old fashioned', and 'terribly British' - emotions held in check. The story stands the test of time, and I hope it gets many new listeners.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By Paddington on 06-18-14

loved it

I read this when I was much younger in the 70's and I remembered the vague outline and that I loved it then. I listened to this now and it was even more meaningful with my greater knowledge of World War 2 in Malaya and Singapore and also my experience of the Australian outback .....its isolation, the difficulties, the salt of the earth people and its stark beauty. I was in Singapore while I was listening to part of this book and the heat and humidity in the high 30 deg C (when I wasn't in air-conditioning) brought home the reality of the suffering and perseverance those English women had while prisoners of war.
A beautifully written story. I couldn't put it down. Highly recommended.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful


By William Nauenburg on 06-06-17

Simply sublime

I read this many years ago as well as watching the movie and found the story and this performance beautiful.

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