1. A Town Like Alice by Neville Shute
I loved this book. I have read it several times. It's an epic love story about an Aussie soldier and an English woman who meet when both are prisoners of the Japanese in Malaya after the fall of Singapore in WWII. It's about their struggles through the war and their journey home afterwards. There is also an excellent mini-series but read the book.
2. Harp in the South by Ruth Park
This is one of Australia's must read books (or 50 Top Australian novels) in case my opinion isn't valid enough. This is about a family growing up in the slums of Sydney between the first and second world wars. It paints a picture of poverty and hardship but it's ultimately a story about love and family. It certainly shows how much Australia has changed since that time. I love all Ruth Parks books and her autobiography is also fascinating.
3. Come in Spinner by Dymphna Cusak & Florence James
This is a book about the lives and loves of three women who work side by side in the beauty salon/hairdressers in Sydney's nicest hotel during WWII. It shows how war impacts these women all at different ages and stages in such different ways. This is quite a long book but it's worth the effort.
Obviously there are so many more amazing Australian books but I wanted to focus on books that have impacted me and that highlight how different life is now to Australia of a hundred or even sixty years ago.