Today I have a review of The Oceans Between Us by Gill Thompson. Thank you to Anne Cater for having me on the blog tour. I received a copy of the book from the publisher but I was under no obligation to review the book and all thoughts are my own.
I really wanted to love The Oceans Between Us by Gill Thompson. The story of orphans from England being sent to Australia during the second world war is something that I think many people don’t know about and probably even less know the awful way those children were treated once they stepped off the boat.
The story has different chapters told by a few characters. The main two are Molly and Jack, mother and son who get separated and don’t know whether the other is alive. When Jack is taken to Australia it seems likely that neither of them will find out what happened to the other which feels awfully sad.
Jack has a horrible time in Australia, it isn’t nice reading and it’s even worse knowing that it is based on real events. But Jack is one of the lucky ones and he is adopted by a childless couple who give him a whole new life.
I liked that Molly and Jack, although separated by many miles, had some events in common, they were still linked in some way despite being many miles apart.
I’m not going to give away the ending, it probably isn’t what you’re thinking it is though.
However, I felt that the book was far too long. Although it was never boring as such it did drag on and could easily have been condensed and shortened without losing any important parts of the story. I found myself checking just how much longer the book had, thinking that surely it must finish soon, but it didn’t. I find it such a shame when a good book becomes something that drags on and so ruins the story. It is well written and has many great characters, but it really didn’t need to be so long.
But if you are interested in the story of what happened to the orphans taken to Australia then this will be a great book for you to read and learn and understand. And it is something that we should all know about.
Inspired by heartrending real events, a mother fights to find her son and a child battles for survival in this riveting debut novel.
For readers of Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate, Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly, The Letter by Kathryn Hughes, and Remember Me by Lesley Pearse.
‘A warm-hearted tale of love, loss and indefatigable human spirit’ Kathryn Hughes
A woman is found wandering injured in London after an air raid. She remembers nothing of who she is. Only that she has lost something very precious.
As the little boy waits in the orphanage, he hopes his mother will return. But then he finds himself on board a ship bound for Australia, the promise of a golden life ahead, and wonders: how will she find him in a land across the oceans?
In Perth, a lonely wife takes in the orphaned child. But then she discovers the secret of his past. Should she keep quiet? Or tell the truth and risk losing the boy who has become her life?
This magnificent, moving novel, set in London and Australia, is testament to the strength of the human spirit and the enduring power of love.
About The Author:
Gill Thompson is an English lecturer who recently completed an MA in Creative Writing at Chichester University. The first three chapters of THE OCEANS BETWEEN US were longlisted for the Mslexia novel award. She lives with her family in West Sussex and teaches English to college students.