Susan Coll

Book Review
The New York Times
‘The Other Side of the World’ by Stephanie Bishop

A photograph on the pamphlet extolling the benefits of emigration features women in red swimsuits, skidding on water skis across Sydney Harbor — a jarring contrast to the bleak circumstances of a British couple named Charlotte and Henry in their mold-afflicted, too-small house in Cambridge. It’s so cold outside that the cows have steam rising from their flanks, and Charlotte, suffering from a debilitating postpartum depression while caring for a 7-month-old, has just discovered that she is, again, pregnant.

Set in the mid-1960s and spanning three continents, Stephanie Bishop’s “The Other Side of the World” is an exquisite meditation on motherhood, marriage and the meaning of home. The novel, Bishop’s second, is a rich period piece that captures an era when “every man and his dog” seemed to be moving to Australia as the country sought to swell its population by offering assisted passage to Britons who were “healthy and of good character.”

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