I really enjoyed it. It was sort of like a mixture of a war memoir, love story and a business manual. I liked the main characters (Jean and Joe)a lot and I was really keen for them to get together as they were quite an unlikely couple - an Australian cattleman and a 'can do' Englishwoman. It was great how instead of moving to another town because it had nothing for her to do she changed her own town to suit her and at the same time all the younger people who would otherwise have moved to the city.
I was also very interested to see how aboriginal people were portrayed in the book. They were called 'boongs' which I'm not sure was derogatory or not, after all Joe called Jean Mrs Boong when he first met her. Joe seemed to trust his aboriginal farmhands totally and they were treated respectfully but didn't seem to be on the same par as whites. However, it is a book that was written 60 years ago and it was probably showing a liberal attitude for the time towards minorities.
I definitely enjoyed it a lot and I think I'll need to see if I can track down the film. Thanks Barton for recommending it. Excellent choice.xxx
Yes, Waffles - so sorry I forgot about it!
OK - love this book, and always have - Nevil Shute writes so beautifully. I have read several of his other books. The most outstanding section in the book (and what upset Carolyn so much -many apologies to Carolyn and anyone else upset), was the section about the severe punishment of Joe by the Japanese officer for stealing his chickens. I have no doubt whatsover that severe punishments were handed out in the War by the Japanese (a work colleagues uncle suffered at their hands during the War, so much so that he wouldn't tell us the details).
The book is so evocative of the early 50's, and was written around then, I think. In a way, it makes me long for what I consider simpler times (although to people living through them, they probably weren't any more simple than they are today). I can picture so clearly in my mind the Australia of those times, as Shute so brilliantly describes things without being overly fussy over it (some authors, I find, go into so much detail that you end up wanting to strangle them and say "get on with the story"!).
Another favourite of mine (vaguely Science Fiction, but only very slightly, as it was written at the height of the Cold War when such scenarios were considered a distinct possibilty) is On The Beach, if anyone wants to read any more of his books.
What did everyone else think? Enjoy? hate?
Don't forget, ladies, we start discussing A Town Like Alice on 15th!
PS, is there anyone who would like to choose the next book for when we have all finished I Capture The Castle (EJ's choice), the discussion of which we scheduled for 15th Sept, I think? Unless everyone wants to go with Carolyn's choice
Fine with me, too, EJ. Have bought the Kindle version. Not yet started, though, as in the middle of another book at the moment.
What do people think about a separate book recommendation thread? Anything you are reading, or have read, or an old favourite. I would suggest a brief synopsis of the book to give people some idea of the contents.
Oops, crossed posts EJ!
Will check it out on Amazon now. Thanks for the recommendation. Do you want to set a date for discussion now, or leave it a bit?
As Carolyn said, Ej, name that book! I'm sitting here raring to go!
*** Just a quick warning re A Town Like Alice (I hadn't given it a thought I'm ashamed to say, until Carolyn mentioned it, possibly because I have read the book before a couple of times), there is a fairly short, rather traumatic bit near the middle of the book. Just skip those pages if you want. The event is mentioned very briefly later in the book, but in an abstract way. ***
Hello there folks! I couldn't find the book club page! Tried a few times, but now I have found it.
glad you liked Longbourne, those that did. I chose it because I thought it gave an interesting perspective on the book that we know and love, name
y the tough work that the servants have to do to make those elegant dinner parties happen. And then also the challenges that everyday people had to meet.
and yes I thought it was engaging and beautifully written.
Looking forward to reading Alice!
Also now I am stuck into the tennis.
and I thought my cancer had spread to my brain, ( was feeling sick and tired and headachy) but it hasn't!
Our new book is A Town Like Alice by Neville Shute chosen by Barton. You have until 15 August to read it. Anyone can join in. You don't need to register. Just join in the discussion on the 15th if you want. We aren't looking for an essay. Just let us know if you liked the book or not and a brief reason if you like.Happy reading. Best wishes xxx
Overall enjoyed it but it had to grow on me. I read Pride and Prejudice last a long time ago so was sort of wanting a copy by me to refer to as I wondered how many 'in jokes' I was missing. This made me feel a little uneasy if you like as I read it.
Wasn't keen on Sarah much to begin with but the characters all grew on me and I agree it was a clever intertwining of the stories. The ending seemed quite quick and convenient, (SPOILERS)...would she have found him that easily and what happened when they got back - the household was shrunk, so would they have had a job?
Mrs Hill was a sympathetically drawn character and i thought the author wrote her story well.
Now to go feast my eyes on the Colin Firth TV version!!
Enjoyed it very much. I hadn't expected to, but thought it really good. It was beautifully written. I cared about the characters.
I've spent the last few late afternoons sitting in the garden in the glorious sunsine reading Longbourne. Just perfect! Just finished it today and would recommend it to anyone. I loved it. I will certainly be reading more Jo Baker book. xxx
I started reading Longbourn the other day and am really loving it. It isn't something I would have though about for myself. Excellent choice Samantha.xxx
You aren't the only one, Carolyn. Lots of people prefer to stick withe "tree" books. Have to say, I wasn't that impressed with Ispector Chopra.
Aaargh - no editing - sorry for typing errors.
I do hope you enjoy A Town Like Alice.
OK, Samantha. Thanks for the date. May I suggest 1st August, then, for A Town Like Alice? Is a month enough time for everyone? It' a longer book than the Inspector Chopra one, but slightly shorter than Longbourn, I think.
Hello there - yes I suggested Longbourne, by Jo Baker, I down loaded on the kindle. it's a counter point to Pride and Prejudice.
can I suggest the 2nd July. Could do earlier, but it's easier for me to fit in around my Chemo cycles.