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July book club - The Other Side of the World

(66 Posts)
Grannyjacq1 Fri 01-Jul-16 13:50:07

My copy of the July bookclub novel has just landed on my door mat - thank you! Can't wait to start reading it (will have to put 'Wolf Hall' on hold for a week or two - which won't be too difficult). I am particularly interested in Stephanie Bishop's novel as my sister moved to Australia over 30 years ago.

Happygran65 Fri 01-Jul-16 14:23:14

I have just received The Other Side of the World. Thank you, I am looking forward to reading it.

chelseababy Fri 01-Jul-16 15:53:31

Thank you Gransnet for my copy which arrived this morning and was much appreciated amidst the junk mail! I'm half way through a Camilla Lackberg and looking forward to starting The Other Side of the World soon.

Waveney Fri 01-Jul-16 16:34:51

Just got my copy - thank you! I am looking forward to reading it.

eGJ Fri 01-Jul-16 16:42:33

Lots like a great read (I've read a few chapters already) Thank you GransNet; will post a review later flowers

Penygirl Fri 01-Jul-16 17:15:54

Lucky me, came home from work to find I'd won a copy. Thank you Gransnet. About to start reading it now.

numberplease Fri 01-Jul-16 17:31:51

Thank you for my copy also, it arrived late morning this morning. I`m reading something at the moment, but will start The Other Side of the World after this book is finished.

halfgran Fri 01-Jul-16 17:47:21

Arrived home to find my copy, thank you, looking forward to reading it.

gma Sat 02-Jul-16 08:47:58

Very pleased to receive copy of The Other Side of The World yesterday morning. Thanks again gransnet for this great offer! Much appreciated!! Will let you know what I think of it.

cazthebookworm Sat 02-Jul-16 20:25:50

Thank you very much for my copy of The Other Side of The World, which I received yesterday. I have read the reviews and it sounds as though it will be a good read, I will post my thoughts as soon as I have read it.

Greenfinch Sat 02-Jul-16 21:26:05

Thanks for my copy.I am particularly interested as I went to Australia with my family in 1949 under the£10 scheme. Fortunately my mother wouldn't go until she had enough money to come back home if she didn't like it. We lived with my aunt who had married an Australian during the War until my parents were able to buy their own home in Sydney. For various reasons. my mother disliked the lifespan under and we returned to England two years later I remember her telling me how many of her English friends were envious of her as there was general unhappiness amongst those who had made the long six week journey by boat with us whose expectations had not been met.

Greenfinch Sat 02-Jul-16 21:26:42

should read lifestyle down under.

CariGransnet (GNHQ) Mon 04-Jul-16 14:04:24

The other lucky winners of this month's book (details HERE) - whose copies should be arriving on door mats any time now - please don't forget to add questions and comments for Stephanie Bishop to this thread before the end of the month.

gillyknits Fri 08-Jul-16 15:30:49

I have just finished 'The Other Side of The World' whilst on holiday.
I enjoyed the beautifully descriptive prose but found it difficult to empathise with the characters.
Spoiler alert ( maybe)
Charlotte is such an absent mother that I feel that she must have had post natal depression. That, plus the fact that she is completely unprepared for the changes that having children will make upon her life, causes her to be very cruel and uncaring at times.

Henry is almost an absent minded professor. So caught up in his work that he cannot see how much Charlotte is hurting. He is a lost soul with no sense of belonging anywhere. even India. When people are racially prejudiced against him he hasn't even identified with being black because he has always identified with being British.He made me cross!
Sadly this was not my kind of book. A bit slow and ponderous for me,but I could appreciate how beautifully written it was.

numberplease Fri 08-Jul-16 16:25:10

I finished the book the other day. Hate to say so, but it didn`t really do anything for me, apart from making me want to give them both a blooming good shake!

Waveney Fri 08-Jul-16 20:35:46

I found this a difficult book to read. I thought the descriptive passages were excellent and really atmospheric.However, I found it hard to relate to either of the main characters, though I hadn't thought about the possibility of post - natel depression.
I would be interested to know why the author chose to write in the present tense, which took me a while to get used to.
It was only after I had finished the book that I started to reflect on how our memories of places rarely reflect the present reality.

numberplease Fri 08-Jul-16 22:42:43

It did bring back some memories to me, it was about 5 years after the time of the book that we were contemplating emigrating with our 5 kids as £10 Poms, we`d been to meetings, filled in all the forms, everything but send them off, but we stayed here because my in-laws carried on about never seeing us again, in the end we gave in and didn`t go.

cazthebookworm Sat 09-Jul-16 10:25:20

I sadly did not enjoy the book, I found the descriptive passages too long and fanciful. I thought both characters were extremely selfish, and there was a complete lack of communication between the two of them. Nothing in the book really grabbed my attention, the only feeling I had was of irritation. Sorry I could not recommend it as a good read.

moxeyns Sat 09-Jul-16 17:26:54

Wow, I found this powerful. And powerfully depressing - it reminds me very much of that bleak writing from Doris Lessing, about being forced to abandon her daughter, from much the same pressures.
I adored the descriptions - I suspect all places that Stephanie has lived in; and the cultures were all instantly recognisable too.
Was Doris Lessing - also with the same colonial background - an inspiration?

chloe1984 Sat 09-Jul-16 17:37:13

I have just finished reading this book I didn't really enjoy it. I was expecting more of an understanding of life in Australia with a young family etc. I also struggled with some of the descriptive passages as I found them over long and a bit rambly in places. Unfortunately did not enjoy it as much as I thought I would.

wallers5 Sat 09-Jul-16 18:26:18

Powerful & evocative, I found this interesting. With incessant rain I would like to emigrate to Australia but perhaps not in that era. How difficult it was being left alone with 2 small children in a strange country. The husband trying to do his best for his family. quite difficult to empathise with the characters, particularly when she starts bullying her eldest. Good descriptions of both the UK & Australia.I had to read it to the end to see what happened.

matson Sat 09-Jul-16 18:47:03

This overly written and overly descriptive book just didn't flow properly to be enjoyable. Sadly I found it quite dull .

eGJ Mon 11-Jul-16 10:44:37

I am glad I persevered with this one as had to see it through. Not as enjoyable as stated in the blurb, but interest postscript on the Ten Pound Poms

mbody Mon 11-Jul-16 13:12:37

A slow book, which wasn't terribly interesting or appealing to me.

grannyactivist Mon 11-Jul-16 13:32:17

I'm part way through the book and finding it taps into some of my own memories. My favourite aunt and uncle moved to Australia in 1963 as ten pound poms and I eagerly awaited their letters home and their descriptions of life in permanent sunshine. I have also lived in Cambridge and lived abroad, but always with the intention of 'coming home'. Charlotte's postpartum depression is obvious to us now, but most usually went untreated back then.
Just now I have a dear friend who is grappling with an unplanned pregnancy and like Charlotte she is finding it hard to 'remember who she was' before her children came along.
However, I cannnot find myself warming to Charlotte as I adore my own children and when they were small they were the centre of my universe by choice; I find I can't get into Charlotte's head.

I shall write more when I've finished the book.