A Town Like Alice Study Guide

Chapter 6

1.  What excuse does Jean tell the Australian people for her trip to the Outback?

2.  How would you have felt when walking into Willstown and seeing it the way Jean first sees it?

3.  What are some advantages to living in Willstown?

4.  What are two disadvantages to Willstown?

5.  Why are their so few girls in Willstown?

6.  Offer one reason how Jean's life before coming to Australia prepares her for life in Willstown.

7.  How does Jean find out that Joe Harman is the manager of a cattle station near Willstown?

8.  Who is Rose Sawyer, and how does Jean meet her?

9.  When Jean arrives at the station where Joe Harman is supposedly staying, what does she find out?

10.  What is the economic state of Darwin, and how is that mirrored in Willstown?

11.  In light of the fact that Jean is in Australia looking for Joe, what could  her making shoes symbolize?

Chapter 7

1.  What type of atmosphere sets up for the first meeting between Jean and Joe after the war?

2.  Who does Jean hire to help her in the shoe manufacturing business?

3.  Where do Joe and Jean go for their get-away weekend?  Why do they go on vacation?

4.  What does Jean do to remind Joe of their time in Malay?

5.  What is Jean and Joe's only problem when they decide to get married?

6.  Describe Jean's first attempt at making shoes.

7.  Why would a shoe shop in Willstown help the girls in Willstown?

8.  How would you describe Jean's relationship to Noel?

9.  Why do you think Jean will not return to England?

10.  What parts of the typical shoe are missing from the first shoes that Jean  makes?

11.  What type of place do Joe and Jean choose for a honeymoon?

Chapter 8

1.  What is the second business that Jean decides to start?

2.  What does Jean say she will have to tip off Sergeant Haines about?

3.  Why does Joe worry about Jean's wealth?

4.  How often does Jean write Strachen, and why is this important to the novel?

5.  Explain the significance of Jean's skates in Strachen's closet.

6.  In regards to managing businesses, how are Joe and Jean alike?

7.  Who is Aggie, and what is her role in the novel?

8.  Why does Jean hesitate to get married immediately?  Do you agree with this decision?  Explain.

9.  Discuss Strachen's reaction to news of Jean's impending marriage.

10.  Does Strachen see Jean more as a daughter, a client, or as a potential wife?  Explain.

Chapter 9

1.  Why does Jean have to go to the hospital ?

2.  Who sends Aggie to Willstown?  Why?

3.  Why does Jean feel the need to re-arrange the kitchen?

4.  Explain the humor in the crisis of Mr. Don Curtis.

5.  What is ironic about Joe and Jean having a meeting with Tim Whelan while surrounded by coffins?

6.  What is a typical Outback breakfast?

7.  Why are so many people sent out to help Curtis and Harman?

8.  From where does jean get the alligator skins that enable her to make shoes?

9.  Why does Joe steal cattle?  Explain his reasoning.

Chapter 10

1.  Why is it unsafe for Joe to cut down a tree for the plane to land?

2.  Why does the reader feel little sympathy for Don Curtis?

3.  What will most likely be the next addition that Jean will make to Willstown?

4.  How is the rescue of Don Curtis a crucial step for Jean?

5.  How much more time do you predict it will take Willstown to develop into a "town like Alice"?

6.  How many miles is Jean's ride?

7.  Jean promises Joe that she will NOT do something for Joe promising NOT to do something else.  Explain.

8.  What was Bourneville's purpose in riding beside the utility?

9.  Why does Jean tell Joe to "say it" when he breaks a part of the utility and is laying underneath it to fix the problem.

10.  Why does Jean decide to add booths to the ice cream parlor?


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