"Book lovers never go to bed alone"
The story opens in Spring 1943 near a prisoner-of-war camp at Gawell, New South Wales, Australia. The encampment houses European, Korean and Japanese captives. Alice is a young woman living a dull life with her father-in-law on his farm while her new husband first fights, then is taken prisoner in Greece. When Giancarlo, an Italian POW and anarchist from Gawell's camp is assigned to work on their farm, Alice's view of the world and her self-knowledge are dramatically expanded.
What most challenges Alice and the town is the foreignness of the Japanese compound and its culture, entirely perplexing to the inmates' captors. Driven by a desperate need to validate the funerals already held for them in Japan, the prisoners vote to take part in an outbreak, and the bloodshed and chaos this precipitates shatter all who inhabit the region.
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