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Have you read The Other Side of the World by Stephanie Bishop? Post feedback by 27 September for a chance to win £100 Love2Shop voucher!

(30 Posts)
SorchaMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 25-Jul-16 16:38:45

When Henry uproots his family from chilly Cambridge to sunny Perth, he and his wife Charlotte try to start afresh. But it becomes clear that even on the other side of the world, some things never change. Charlotte is left wondering if there is anywhere she belongs, and how far she'll go to find her way home…

This month we're thrilled to introduce you to Stephanie Bishop, named as one of the Sydney Morning Herald's Best Young Novelists. Her new novel was an Australian bestseller, winner of the ABIA Award for Literary Fiction Book of the Year and has been described by critics as both 'breathtaking', and 'deeply moving'. Perfect for fans of Revolutionary Road.

To celebrate the UK paperback release of The Other Side of the World, we're giving away 50 copies to Mumsnetters who want to read and share their thoughts about it on this discussion. Go to the giveaway page to find out more about the book and apply for a free copy.

You don't have to win a free copy to take part in the discussion. Anyone who has read The Other Side of the World can post their feedback here. If you miss out on a free one, you can buy a paperback. All who post feedback before 27 September will be entered into a prize draw to win a £100 Love2shop voucher.

This giveaway is sponsored by Tinder Press

MrFMercury Mon 25-Jul-16 16:40:57

Looks interesting smile

Sofie88 Wed 27-Jul-16 23:10:15

Sounds good.

contrary13 Fri 29-Jul-16 12:41:55

Ha! I just mucked up the application form for the giveaway by entering a mangled form of my username... blush I was trying to convince my son that his disgustingly smelly trainers do not need to live in the middle of the front room's floor, at the time, though. Multi-tasking. I am apparently not good at it!

The book looks interesting, though. I have a great-aunt whose husband whisked them all off to Australia during the '50s - with small children in tow. She's only been able to afford "to come home" as she calls it since her husband died 5 years ago... and she's in her late 80s now. Missed her mum and dad's funerals, her sibling's weddings, their children and grandchildren (and great-grandchildren) being born... her sibling's funerals. She's only been "home" twice, and it's all very strange as we're assembled to spend time with her, but she's a stranger to all of us, really. It's very sad, because she's genuinely lovely - but she's lived a completely different life to the rest of us.

Stupidly, it was only just now as I was reading the synopsis of this book, that I stopped and thought about how she won't have been the only one. Wives whose husbands fancied an adventure... and dragged them and their children along for the ride, during decades when women didn't feel, so much, that they could say "no"... sad

riverwell Mon 05-Sep-16 12:30:13

I really enjoyed this book as from the start I felt transported in to the story through the vivid descriptions and the structure of how it is written. I also think that the reasoning behind the move from the UK is something that many people can relate to which makes it an enticing read.

MrFMercury Mon 05-Sep-16 22:42:39

Sadly I felt exactly the opposite. I really wanted to love it but I just didn't feel like I was engaging with or really bothered about any of the characters. I admired the style of writing, it felt very descriptive and certainly painted vivid pictures but it felt like there was a lack of dialogue and maybe that's why I struggled.

FernieB Tue 06-Sep-16 10:07:54

I also struggled. I so wanted to enjoy this book, but there's just so much description (albeit beautifully done) that I felt I was wading through it to try to find a plot. I'm afraid I abandoned it after a few chapters. It's a personal thing - I don't enjoy lots of descriptive text which is why I've never made it beyond chapter 3 of a Dickens novel and I also don't enjoy poetry!

If you enjoy passages of descriptive prose though, this is one for you. In the few chapters I read there were many pages of well written descriptions.

bernie77 Tue 06-Sep-16 13:29:55

I was very disappointed by this book. I found it hard to read as the thing is written almost exclusively in the present tense, maybe it's a personal problem but I can't cope as it seems so unnatural. But as I was given the copy by Mumsnet to review I plodded on, but found it so very depressing. I know we should all be aware of Post Natal Depression and how devastating it can be, but surely there could have been some glimmer of hope. I found that the most distressing part, everything was just so negative and there wasn't even any light at the end of the tunnel, with the protagonist not seeming to learn from her past and leaving her family shattered, yet without gaining anything herself either. Sorry to be like this, but it's the worst book I've read in a long time.

ahigney Thu 08-Sep-16 13:04:00

Really enjoying this.As a mother in damp,wet,cold,boring Cambridge the monotony of looking after a child here is all mine!I see the likeness of Maggie O'Farell and Rachel Cusk,but not as a negative.Very compelling read,quite sad but oh how real!!Would Recommend!!!

CopperPan Fri 09-Sep-16 10:15:24

It took me a while to get through this book, as others have said the narrative style can be hard to engage with and I felt I needed to be in a certain mood to enjoy it. I found it hard to connect with the characters and it was very gloomy, although all very evocatively described.

foxessocks Sat 10-Sep-16 10:25:04

I found this really tough going , the lack of dialogue meant it didn't flow that much for me and as much as I tried I just didn't get into it. In the end I couldn't even mange to finish it because I just couldn't get into it.

AlbertHerbertHawkins Sun 11-Sep-16 13:45:50

Thanks mumsnet for my copy. Before I found out that I had won a copy I downloaded a free sample to my kindle but didn't much enjoy the tone and amount of description of nature etc so would not have read the book except that I got my free copy. I am very glad that I did!
I liked the fact that the couple seemed genuinely happy and in love and felt that the unravelling of their marriage was very sensitively and truthfully done. I became quite hooked as the story went on. As an emigrant myself who moved abroad with very small children I recognised some of the themes of dislocation, loneliness and PND explored and again felt that these themes were dealt with in a way that rang very true.
I think the ending ws a little far fetched (bumping into each other by chance on the other side of the world etc) but overall loved the book and was glad that it was not given a saccharine happy ending (although that never really looked on the cards).
So overall a really enjoyable book which otherwise I would not have read. Thanks mumsnet 😊

LizO123 Fri 16-Sep-16 18:12:45

Thanks for my free copy! Sadly I didn't like this book, the writing style, with little dialogue, was irritating and I didn't like the selfish characters or the ambiguous ending. I did find the descriptions of the places quite evocative and I did manage to get through it though.... So it wasn't all bad!

lindarumsey Fri 16-Sep-16 18:33:19

The descriptions are vivid and help bring the scenes to life. The story and subject matter, PND, is sensitively told, though the book was slow going at times. Overall a good read.

juleslucas Fri 16-Sep-16 19:27:50

Haven't quite finished this book yet, so what I would say is that I am enjoying the descriptive style, bits of the book are a bit slow though but overall I would say a good read.

glenka Fri 16-Sep-16 20:42:24

Like many others have said it is hard to get into this book. It is a different book from what I usually read. I haven't finished it yet but I shall continue to read it.

LindseyandMatthew Fri 16-Sep-16 23:25:47

This is a funny one for me, I'm finding it really hard to get into but in plodding on.

kristinage Sat 17-Sep-16 00:58:20

Thank you so much for the book. Finding a bit hard to read, but still I keep reading it.

Mozarmstrong Sat 17-Sep-16 10:25:20

I too found it harder read. Really liked the description of their new life but somehow didn't get into it all Maybe just me because I enjoy varied books anytimr

Sunflower22 Mon 19-Sep-16 09:14:18

Thanks for the free copy. I was really curious about the book as it sounded so good, but unfortunately, it was not my style of book. I found it quite hard to read it and get into.

GardenWorm Tue 20-Sep-16 23:03:41

I found this book odd. I was bored at the start. It's written nicely but there's just no story as such, it follows someone's mundane (and somewhat sad life). I like books that take me away from the mundane reality of life, so that may have been more my issue than the book. After a hundred or so pages I found I was starting to care a bit more (but not in a can't put down way). Then I got really annoyed with the blunt and depressing end and how they got there. I felt it was a bit like the writer had run out of ideas so just decided 'this will do'. Also I didn't warm to Charlotte I just found her irritating and cruel even though I knew she was suffering from pnd. I wouldn't recommend it but thanks for giving me the chance to read it smile

EmLH Sat 24-Sep-16 11:04:34

I have just finished this book this morning and to be honest, only did so because I felt the pressure of the deadline to review it. I really disliked the overly descriptive writing style and felt so impatient with it in the end that I was skimming pages to try to find snippets of actual story line. I felt the plot idea was actually a very good one but so much more could have been made of the relationships and characters' feelings rather than describing the scenery and places in which the characters found themselves. There was no emotion and as such you feel very distanced as a reader. I kept hoping it was going to get grittier but it never did. I also found the ending a disappointment.

Thanks very much for the opportunity to review, but I won't be recommending this to anyone.

FeelingSmurfy Mon 26-Sep-16 22:34:18

I wasn't lucky enough to win but did pick a copy up because it sounded interesting. I found it quite hard work really, I tried hard to get in to it but ended up abandoning it about a third of the way through, I just couldn't get in to it and reading was becoming a chore sad

Sorry if the author is reading this, I think the idea was good but people have different writing styles and yours just wasn't a match for me

GERTA Tue 27-Sep-16 15:13:22

Not my kind of book or writing. Too descriptive, too gloomy. I thought I was reading one of Chales Dickens books. although the story was set up in the 50' 60' the style of writing could have been more contemporary.

annr Tue 27-Sep-16 17:59:17

I received a copy of this from mumsnet , but waited to post as I've been really busy and haven't finished the book yet.
The book is beautifully written, the descriptions of the landscape are so evocative you feel you could be there. The slow pace suits the storyline. There are several themes running through it, about home and belonging; the all consuming nature of motherhood; and relationships. I'm not sure there will be a happy ending, but definitely worth reading.

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