This was my first book by Nevil Shute but it won't be my last.
I especially liked the narrative being written from the elderly solicitor's perspective. Although in the last few chapters you could tell where the story was going, you wouldn't know how it got there until you finished.
I saw this title in a "top 100" list somewhere and thought I'd give it a run. I'm glad I did. Others have criticized the use of an intermediary in the story (the lawyer), and indeed the novel could have been written without him, it certainly doesn't detract from the story. It's just how the author chose to present it.
The novel is dated in it's perspective. If you are one of those who must layer modern thinking and conventions on top of works written years ago, you will likely be offended by some of the perspectives presented in this novel.
If you are mature enough to be able to realize that this story reflects how it was when written (and be glad you don't live in that period), then you should find this book very rewarding.
Absolutely loved this book. So may years after the fact I found that it was still written with sensitivity and finesse. Lovely! And the narration was perfect.
The 3 main characters were all favorites.
This was my first Neil Hunt and definitely will not be my last.
This is a wonderful book! I love that it describes and interesting part of history that I had never heard about. The narrator does a good job of differentiating the characters and bringing them to life. The characters are great. They are fully fleshed out and interesting, and I really cared about what happened to them, which to me is the mark of a good book.
Nevil Shute wrote this book based on a real situation that occurred during WW2 when the Japanese treated their prisoners of war, especially the women, despicably. They forced the women to walk from location to location with no support or supplies, counting on their dying of the ordeal, eliminating the "problem" for the Japanese.
Nevil Shute winds a complicated and emotional story around this event. What I especially enjoy in Shute's books is the vast pot of knowledge he obviously draws on to include interesting and little-known facts into his narrative. In this book, for example, he talks about a Japanese custom of allowing a dying prisoner to make one dying wish. If the wish cannot be fulfilled, as is the case in the book, the prisoner must be rescued and restored to health, if possible. (I hope this custom is true, but perhaps Shute made it up. If anybody knows for sure, one way or another, I'd love to hear.)
I plan to slowly make my way through all of Shute's books.
I read another book by Nevil Shute. While researching the author, I read many recommendations for this book. I can see why. An epic novel revolving around two amazing people that met though divine providence.
My friend told me what a great story this is. I first hesitated wondering if it was another war story. But that is only a small portion of the story. The young woman, Jean, lives through such an ordeal as a prisoner, but this shapes her for the next part of her life. This was such a great surprise!It is a mix of adventure, love and determination that culminates in New Zealand. The action is well paced and you want to find out how it ends. I would definitely add this to your listening list.