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The Other Side of the World: A Novel

Ratings:
256 pages4 hours

Summary

In the tradition of The Hours and Revolutionary Road, an “exquisite meditation on motherhood, marriage, and the meaning of home” (The New York Times Book Review), set in England, Australia, and India in the early 1960s.

The only thing harder than losing home is trying to find it again.

Cambridge, 1963. Charlotte is struggling. With motherhood, with the changes brought on by marriage and parenthood, with never having the time or energy to paint. Her husband, Henry, cannot face the thought of another English winter. A brochure slipped through the mailbox—Australia brings out the best in you—gives him an idea.

Charlotte is too worn out to resist, and before she knows it they are traveling to the other side of the world. But upon their arrival in Perth, the southern sun shines a harsh light on the couple and gradually reveals that their new life is not the answer either was hoping for. Charlotte barely recognizes herself in this place where she is no longer a promising young artist, but instead a lonely housewife venturing into the murky waters of infidelity. Henry, an Anglo-Indian, is slowly ostracized at the university where he teaches poetry. Subtle at first, the ostracism soon invades his entire sense of identity.

Trapped by nostalgia, Charlotte and Henry are both left wondering if there is any place in this world where they truly belong. Which of them will make the attempt to find out? Who will succeed?

“An exquisite and clear-eyed story of the ambiguities of love and creativity, motherhood and migration…It’s a thing of beauty and honesty, as big as the whole unmoored world, and as particular as a family’s moments and moods,” says Ashley Hay, author of The Railwayman’s Wife.

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