Book review: The Other Side Of The World

CAMBRIDGE, 1963. Charlotte is struggling to reconnect with the woman she was before the birth of her children and has lost the energy to keep up her passion for painting. 

Stephanie Bishop

Tinder Press, €25.50; ebook, €11.99

Her husband Henry cannot bear the thought of another cold English winter and when a brochure for Australia drops through the letterbox offering a ‘better life’, his mind is made up.

Stephanie Bishop expertly expresses the themes of home, nostalgia and motherhood in this emotional novel. As well as coping with a form of postnatal depression, Charlotte never really feels settled in Perth and finds it difficult to form relationships with other adults, after years and years with only her daughters for company.

The novel is tenderly written, however, at points, I did find it difficult to sympathise fully with Charlotte, who seemed self-absorbed and painfully impatient with her children. Nevertheless, the dramatic ending will certainly stay with me for a long while.


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