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Pacific by Judy Nunn
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Pacific

by Judy Nunn

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Showing 5 of 5
When this book arrived I was very excited to see that it was written by Judy Nunn. I grew up watching both Neighbours and Home and Away and Judy Nunn’s portrayal of Ailsa Stewart in the latter makes her feel like part of the furniture of my tv youth. I didn’t know before receiving this book that she was also an author so I couldn’t wait to get reading.

I did find it a little hard to get into Pacific. It opens with a prologue that takes place during the Dunkirk evacuation and then with the start of Book One jumps to the present day and shifts its focus to actress Samantha Lindsay. Within a chapter it then jumps back in her timeline, providing some background to her story. After shifting back into the present day for Samantha the reader is once more transported back to the pre-war years introducing yet more characters including Jane who was to become a key character in the novel. I found all of this jumping around in two different timelines quite difficult to get on with, the moves weren’t seamless and I felt that just as I started to settle into the book it changed again.

Thankfully when Book Two starts (in addition to a prologue and epilogue the novel is divided into three books) everything starts to settle down. The pre-war and war time plots turn out to be part of the same story focussing on Jane’s story set in the New Hebrides and Samantha’s story remains in the present day. Both plots then move along well, though at times the move between plots feels quite annoying – I found particularly with Jane’s story I wanted to keep reading about it and then I was pulled back to Sam’s story. I became glad as the book progressed and more time was spent on Jane’s story than Sam’s.

As the blurb suggests the parallels between Jane’s story and the film Sam is starring in mean that the two plots do end up being tied together to a certain extent by the end of the book. I did spend a lot of time wishing that Nunn had chosen to tell Jane’s story only, for a long time it didn’t feel that Sam’s story added anything to the book. By the end I could understand why Sam’s story was there, it was used well by Nunn. I still feel however that I would have preferred it if the book had been solely about Jane and her life in the New Hebrides – this was a far more interesting story and could have been expanded to stand alone in my opinion.

I adored the character of Jane, the way she developed over the course of the book from a relatively gentle and mild girl into a strong and confidant woman was wonderful. She’s painted as a clearly loved character and I had no difficulties in believing this of her. The characters she was surrounded by were also brilliant to read, including some delightfully written children. I found myself falling for Wolf Baker, he was certainly a character I’d have loved to read more about.

The characters in Sam’s side of the story were perhaps a little less loveable though this may be just because I didn’t enjoy that part of the book quite so much. I think they were all well created characters, and they were all very believable. I just didn’t take to them quite so much.

Whilst I had some issues with the book, once I got into it I did really enjoy reading it. I would certainly be willing to read more by Judy Nunn because when this book was good it was downright brilliant. ( )
  juniperjungle | Apr 16, 2013 |
When this book arrived I was very excited to see that it was written by Judy Nunn. I grew up watching both Neighbours and Home and Away and Judy Nunn’s portrayal of Ailsa Stewart in the latter makes her feel like part of the furniture of my tv youth. I didn’t know before receiving this book that she was also an author so I couldn’t wait to get reading.

I did find it a little hard to get into Pacific. It opens with a prologue that takes place during the Dunkirk evacuation and then with the start of Book One jumps to the present day and shifts its focus to actress Samantha Lindsay. Within a chapter it then jumps back in her timeline, providing some background to her story. After shifting back into the present day for Samantha the reader is once more transported back to the pre-war years introducing yet more characters including Jane who was to become a key character in the novel. I found all of this jumping around in two different timelines quite difficult to get on with, the moves weren’t seamless and I felt that just as I started to settle into the book it changed again.

Thankfully when Book Two starts (in addition to a prologue and epilogue the novel is divided into three books) everything starts to settle down. The pre-war and war time plots turn out to be part of the same story focussing on Jane’s story set in the New Hebrides and Samantha’s story remains in the present day. Both plots then move along well, though at times the move between plots feels quite annoying – I found particularly with Jane’s story I wanted to keep reading about it and then I was pulled back to Sam’s story. I became glad as the book progressed and more time was spent on Jane’s story than Sam’s.

As the blurb suggests the parallels between Jane’s story and the film Sam is starring in mean that the two plots do end up being tied together to a certain extent by the end of the book. I did spend a lot of time wishing that Nunn had chosen to tell Jane’s story only, for a long time it didn’t feel that Sam’s story added anything to the book. By the end I could understand why Sam’s story was there, it was used well by Nunn. I still feel however that I would have preferred it if the book had been solely about Jane and her life in the New Hebrides – this was a far more interesting story and could have been expanded to stand alone in my opinion.

I adored the character of Jane, the way she developed over the course of the book from a relatively gentle and mild girl into a strong and confidant woman was wonderful. She’s painted as a clearly loved character and I had no difficulties in believing this of her. The characters she was surrounded by were also brilliant to read, including some delightfully written children. I found myself falling for Wolf Baker, he was certainly a character I’d have loved to read more about.

The characters in Sam’s side of the story were perhaps a little less loveable though this may be just because I didn’t enjoy that part of the book quite so much. I think they were all well created characters, and they were all very believable. I just didn’t take to them quite so much.

Whilst I had some issues with the book, once I got into it I did really enjoy reading it. I would certainly be willing to read more by Judy Nunn because when this book was good it was downright brilliant. ( )
  juniperjungle | Apr 16, 2013 |
Another delightful surprise from the library shelves! The initial attraction was to read a novel by Ailsa Stewart from Home and Away, but after a slow start, the story and setting eclipsed the novelty of the Aussie soap star author.

I absolutely loved the chapters with Jane 'Mamma Tack' Thackeray in the South Pacific during the Second World War, which were beautifully evocative and consistently engrossing. The modern day counterpart, with Aussie actress Sam recreating Jane's life for a film, was useful for explaining the history and independence of modern day Vanuatu, yet the kismet angle was stretched to the limit (and might have actually snapped in the final chapter). I loved learning about the island nation, from the tropical scenery to the pidgin language of Bislama, and I even grew to like Sam, but could have lived without her contribution to the story.

That said, all of the characters were interesting, if lacking in depth (white hats and black hats abound). An epic adventure that Colleen McCullough would approve of, the story begins with the dramatic rescue of a soldier at Dunkirk, then zips forward to modern day London and the arrival of teen soap star Sam Lindsay from Oz. Via a quirk of fate that didn't really work for me, Sam falls in love with a seaside guest house and finds herself drawn to the history of the previous occupier, a tragic young woman named Phoebe. I would have liked to follow Phoebe's story, but instead the narrative packs up and moves to the other side of the world, when Phoebe's friend Jane marries and moves to the South Pacific as a nurse and the wife of a missionary doctor.

Both Sam and Jane are personable young women, though with an unfortunate streak of the Mary Sue about them, who take charge of their lives and find romance with Mr Right. I had fears of the novel turning into just another formulaic 'family saga', but Judy Nunn's writing and attention to historical detail really lifts the story out of Cookson territory, I think.

A fascinating and rollicking good read, from Alf Stewart's wife (sorry, still can't get over that!) ( )
  AdonisGuilfoyle | Apr 1, 2013 |
NIL
  rustyoldboat | May 28, 2011 |
After fulfilling her dream of performing on the London stage, Australian actress Samantha Lindsay is thrilled when she scores her first Hollywood movie role. She's to play Sarah Blackston, a character loosely based on World War II heroine Mamma Tack, an English nurse who was invaluable to the US forces and native population of the New Hebrides during the conflict in the Pacific. It's the role of a lifetime. On location in Vanuatu, uncanny parallels between history and fiction emerge and Sam begins a quest for the truth. Just who was the real Mamma Tack? And what was the tragic secret that threatens to destroy people in the present day? The answers reveal not only secrets of the past but Sam's own destiny. A masterful interweaving of the lives of two passionate women and two worlds …
  McDonaldTait | Mar 29, 2007 |
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After fulfilling her dream of performing on the London stage, Australian actress Samantha Lindsay is thrilled when she scores her first Hollywood movie role. She's to play Sarah Blackston, a character loosely based on World War II heroine Mamma Tack, an English nurse who was invaluable to the US forces and native population of the New Hebrides during the conflict in the Pacific. It's the role of a lifetime.… (more)

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