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Review: The Far Country by Nevil Shute

I’ve read A Town Like Alice by this author twice. I always intended to read more of his work. I found this on sale for Kindle in 2021 and bought it. It was just the “right” moment to read it–I had no idea I’d read it the same week I’d read another book set in Australia! My brain works in mysterious ways.

Note: Do I call this historical fiction? A historical contemporary? It was written close to the time it was set, but today it is historical. Conundrum.

The Story

Here is a land where a man can live a proper and sane life…. (p. 327)

Jennifer lives a ho-hum life in suburban London around the time the Korean War kicked off. She is typist in a boring government job, living a boring life in a boarding house. Her brothers have died in the war. Her father, a doctor, is struggling in the new National Health Service in his practice in a city in the midlands. Her mother’s health is suffering with the lack of coal for heat–she is an asthmatic. Her grandmother is dying of pride and malnutrition, though it is cleverly hidden from the family. Her niece in Australia sends her food parcels, but believing all is well, sends mostly candied fruits with which to bake fruit cakes. When the niece gets an inkling all is not well she sends a check to the old lady. On her deathbed she signs it over to Jenny to go and see the relative in Australia–whom the old lady believes is a struggling farmer’s wife. Jenny reads the letter and knows, thanks to the price of wool, the relative is doing very well. She decides to go to Australia.

There, in very short order, she makes a life for herself–falling in love with a “New Australian”–a formerly displaced person, a Czech doctor. She loves the life in Australia, but will she stay?

My Thoughts

I loved every word of this story! Nevil Shute tells a story so well. I couldn’t stop reading! This is a big deal since my print reading has been so little since COVID. I devoured this book. I found Jenny and Carl’s story so believable–so wonderful! This is the kind of story I love.

My Verdict

4.0

Aussie-Author-Reading-Challenge-2022

Learn more about he 2022 Aussie Author Reading Challenge at the blog, Book Lover Book Reviews

9 thoughts on “Review: The Far Country by Nevil Shute

  1. Oh, this does sound like a good one! I’ve only read Alice, too, as far as I know. I wouldn’t call this a historical novel if it was written almost at the time of the events in it (like I wouldn’t call Jane Austen historical) but I’m not sure what I would call it: good point!

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  2. I will be ordering this from my library. I’ve read A Town Like Alice several times (after seeing it on TV a really long time ago). I’ve also read On the Beach, which I liked as well. Thank you.

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  3. I read On the Beach so many years ago. I think I’d like to try another one of Shute’s books after reading your review.

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