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Lyrical, lush, unsettling and haunting, The Other Side of the World is a resonant exploration of immigration and isolation, parenthood and marriage. Set in the mid-1960s in a very white Australia, it tells the story of an Englishwoman, Charlotte, and her Anglo-Indian husband, Henry, who leave Cambridge for Perth hoping for a new start to his career and to their marriage. With precise yet flowing language, Stephanie Bishop deftly excavates the loneliness of emigration as Charlotte and Henry struggle to deal with the parochialism of their new home with its casual racism, its dry heat and its apparent absence of a cultural and intellectual life. As her marriage to Henry begins to founder, Charlotte pines nostalgically for the misty land she left behind.
The Other Side of the World compellingly reveals its characters’ disappointments, heartaches and sorrows, as well as vividly and poetically depicting the worlds around them. A striking portrait of a marriage in trouble, of flawed but deeply human people, of the vicissitudes and sorrows of exile, and of the force — and failings — of love, The Other Side of the World is elegiac, poignant, compassionate and moving.