If you have ever struggled through the unfamiliarity of new Motherhood with the loss of identity it creates, or have experienced the nightmare of post-natal depression; this book will resonate to the depth of your soul.
The Other Side of the World is set in the 1960's in the English country side, and tells the story of Charlotte, a new mother, who is struggling. She has lost her identity and feels like she doesn't know her position anymore.
A talented artist, who lives for the cold English weather, now finds that she is unable to pick up her paint brush.
Her husband Henry, doesn't understand. He just wants everything to go back to the way things were.
One day they receive a brochure, selling Australia as the 'place to bring the best out of you'.
Henry decides that this is the answer to their problems, and against Charlotte's resolve, they move to the other side of the world in a quest to fix their marriage.
But Australia isn't the answer they are looking for, and the struggle to find where they belong, proves to be a challenge.
The writing in this novel is phenomenal. Every single line is carefully crafted and poetic to read.
Stephanie Bishop creates such vivid imagery that evokes the wishfulness of wanting to experience each morning walk through the forest with Charlotte. To watch the sun rise on the top of the hill with her, the wind whipping at your face.
Her poignant description of Charlotte's depression, deftly describes the loss of herself as she becomes a mother.
'only when they are sleeping does she feel their consciousness detach from her own, her mind a free and drifting thing. In these moments the air about her seems full, radiant - time becomes untethered. There is no waiting, no urgency, no boredom. The wild swings between these states of being wear her down; this is what it is, she understands now, to care for a child'.
The novel also depicts the stark contrast between the cold, forest-filled English country-side, and the barren, harsh, sun-kissed land of Australia. Vividly exploring Charlotte's homesickness and nostalgia for her birth Country.
This book is beautifully written in perfect prose and is easy to see why it was the Literary Fiction Book of the Year for 2016.
The Other Side of the World is published by Hachette Australia and is available to purchase here.