It is funny how I have missed out reading some authors for such a long time. For some reason, I hadn’t come across Nevil Shute, until recently. I had loved his ‘A Town like Alice’, so when I found another of his books, I just had to grab it.
Jennifer is living in Post-War London. Life is tough in the UK, with all the rationing and the difficulties of a war ravaged nation. Britain is struggling to even feed its people. Jennifer comes to into some money unexpectedly, from her grandmother, who urges her to use it to go and see Australia, where a niece of her grandmother’s lives. Unsure, initially, Jennifer decides to go for it.
She lands in Australia and finds it quite different from the bleak Britain that she left behind. After the hardships and the difficulties of Britain, Australia is the land of the plenty. Jane and Jack Dorman, Jennifer’s grandmother’s niece and her husband are prosperous sheep farmers. All their hard work has paid off and now are enjoying the luxuries that they can afford. They welcome Jennifer with love and enthusiasm and Jennifer falls in love with the wild Australian Countryside. She meets Carl, an immigrant qualified doctor from Czechoslovakia, who though qualified cannot practice as his qualification is not accepted in Australia. He is happy enough working with the timber company he works at, helping colleagues and other locals with first aid when they need it. A friendship springs between the two.
A sweet, endearing tale, set in a time which is beautifully captured by Shute’s words. I love the way the author describes things. His words bring to life, a difficult Britain and in stark contrast, Australia as the land of opportunities. The story recounts the dire situation Britain was, after the end of World War II. Life changed for the common man in so many ways that people started to move to other countries. Shute’s own feelings about the way the British government was handling the situation is evident in his writings. A book written in a different time, capturing the moods and emotions of that time beautifully. A simple story, but sometimes the simplest of stories can tug at your heartstrings.
A really sweet tale, narrated in Shute’s matter of fact manner, is a wonderful read. I thoroughly enjoyed it and would certainly recommend it. I would rate it a 4/5.
About the Author
Nevil Shute Norway was a popular British novelist and a successful aeronautical engineer. He used Nevil Shute as his pen name, and his full name in his engineering career, in order to protect his engineering career from any potential negative publicity in connection with his novels. He lived in Australia for the ten years before his death.