Shame and the Captives, Paperback Book
3 out of 5 (1 rating)


On the edge of a small Australian town, far from the battlefields of the Second World War, a camp holds thousands of Japanese, Italian and Korean prisoners of war.

The locals are unsure how to treat the 'enemy', though Alice Herman, whose young husband is himself a prisoner in Europe, becomes drawn to the Italian soldier sent to work on her father-in-law's farm.

The camp commander and his deputy, each concealing a troubled private life, are disunited. And both fatally misread their Japanese captives, who burn with shame at being taken alive.

The stage is set for a clash of cultures that has explosive, far-reaching consequences.


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This book is a fictionalised and relocated account of the Cowra Breakout of 1944 where Japanese prisoners of war staged an escape from their internment camp (In rural Australia) and many lives were lost. An interesting story but a bit meandering with some pointless side stories. Not one of Keneally's best.

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