“It’s no good going on living in the ashes of a dead happiness.”
Nevil Shute, A Town Like Alice

A Town Like Alice“ is a book written by author Nevile Shute and was published in 1950. In said masterpiece, war and love represent the core of the plot.  A love couple that got separated because of the war with the Japanese meets again in a Japanese war prisoner camp. Here the disastrous nature of war takes its toll on their relationship once more. But then they meet again, in a small town in the Australian outback. Here, the male protagonist wants to make use of his inherited wealth to transform the small town into a beautiful place worth living in. He wants to create a city like Alice Springs.

The book doesn’t only focus on the terror of war. It is also about racism against the Aborigines in the British colonies in Australia. Often, the author’s social criticism is wrapped in an ironic and sarcastic coating. One particular incident that represents this well is the death of a white mistress because the only words she knew in the language of her servants were related to dispraising and punishing her indigenous subordinates. The protagonist however is genuinely interested in the indigenous citizens of the town, learning their language. Upon communicating with them, both parties can draw life changing and crucial benefits from the interaction.