Read The Tides Between by Elizabeth Jane Corbett Online


In the year 1841, on the eve of her departure from London, Bridie's mother demands she forget her dead father and prepare for a sensible adult life in Port Phillip. Desperate to save her childhood, fifteen-year-old Bridie is determined to smuggle a notebook filled with her father's fairy tales to the far side of the world.When Rhys Bevan, a soft-voiced young storyteller anIn the year 1841, on the eve of her departure from London, Bridie's mother demands she forget her dead father and prepare for a sensible adult life in Port Phillip. Desperate to save her childhood, fifteen-year-old Bridie is determined to smuggle a notebook filled with her father's fairy tales to the far side of the world.When Rhys Bevan, a soft-voiced young storyteller and fellow traveller realises Bridie is hiding something, a magical friendship is born. But Rhys has his own secrets and the words written in Bridie’s notebook carry a dark double meaning.As they inch towards their destination, Rhys's past returns to haunt him. Bridie grapples with the implications of her dad’s final message. The pair take refuge in fairy tales, little expecting the trouble it will cause....

Title : The Tides Between
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781925652222
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 300 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Tides Between Reviews

  • Whispering Stories
    2019-04-19 13:35

    Book Reviewed by Nia on www.whisperingstories.comThis book is one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever read.The immediate appeal to me was that it revolved around Welsh folklore and even had snippets of Welsh in it (best yet, totally correct Welsh and not the usual Google Translate booboos), but it’s so much more than that.It’s set in the steerage of an emigrant ship headed from London to Australia, poorer people from the UK are heading out for what they hope will be a better life with more opportunities, they all have different reasons for the journey but they all share the same hopes for freedom from poverty.Cramped in the steerage compartment without relief from the conditions, they suffer from all the afflictions you’d expect – claustrophobia, seasickness and typhus. The dynamics between the different people below decks are very real, they do snap at each other but they try their best to get along.The story is told from the perspective of Bridie, a teenage girl who has lost her father and is unhappy that her mother is remarried and now pregnant. She’s moody and stubborn but when she meets a Welsh couple on board the ship, they help her see the world through different eyes through the sharing of folktales and general sensible-ness.This book is a tearjerker, so much so that I regretted reading it in work but couldn’t put it down… thankfully nobody caught me having a little sniffle to myself.Corbett has written her story and characters beautifully, she’s done her homework about the period in time and the cultures involved so it feels to real – my favourite part is that she manages to show the place that fairytales have in our lives, even when we’re meant to be ‘grown up’.

  • Isobel Blackthorn
    2019-04-09 15:43

    Told from three viewpoints, Elizabeth Jane Corbett’s debut novel is a fearless yet endearing exploration of the day-to-day existence of a small cast of characters, each with their troubles, who are incarcerated along with numerous families in the steerage deck of a ship bound for Australia. The Tides Between is an ironic tale in some ways, for the duration of a voyage that spans half the globe, the epic journey that unfolds is one situated at the hearth of human existence.Corbett writes with a deft pen. The author is unafraid to expose the reality of life for working class migrants making the treacherous voyage to Australia. In true literary fashion, the narrative presses forward through the unfolding realisations of its characters, the backstory interwoven in fragments.The Tides Between opens with fifteen-year old Bridie clutching a notebook of fairy stories she was forbidden to keep as she boards a ship bound for Port Phillip. What unfolds is in part a coming of age story, as Bridie learns to handle the grief she feels at the loss of her father, and accept the benevolent affections of her stepfather, Alf. Yet The Tides Between is less a story of one girl’s entry into adulthood and more a meditation on trauma and its consequences, and on identity and the power of myth.These themes are strikingly played out through Rhys, a young Welshman and miner’s son crippled by claustrophobia.  His wife, Sian, is pregnant, as is Bridie’s mother. Will either woman manage to safely birth her child before the ship pulls in at its destination? Will Rhys transcend his anguish? Will Bridie shake off her adolescent ill humour? Can Alf, a man strangled by his sense of duty and obedience, find the courage to confront the ship’s surgeon?Corbett carries her plot forward with intricate attention to emotional detail. The heaving waters of the various oceans traversed a powerful metaphor for those heaving in the hearts of protagonists Bridie, Rhys and Alf.Corbett’s writing is visual, metaphoric and intelligent.“The night air fell like a chill shawl on her shoulders. Turning back towards the hatchway, she heard an eerie drawn out sound from beyond the deckhouse. She halted, nerves feathering her spine.”It is in this fashion that dramatic tension is maintained, the reader treated page after page to Corbett’s elegant prose.The theme of fairy tales is prominent, but these are not the stories of children’s books. They are powerful myths rich with significance. Bridie strives to make sense of the world and relationships through the lens of fairy tales, questioning, comparing, speculating. Corbett juxtaposes Bridie’s musings with the reality of her situation, conveyed through the harsh, albeit sensible worlds of her mother.    Meanwhile, Rhys grapples with his own demons. The only time he can cope with being in steerage is when he is on stage, telling Welsh fairy tales to a captive audience. Through the friendship that grows between Bridie and Rhys, Corbett explores the healing power of fairy tales, a release as much for the teller as the listener.In one respect, The Tides Between is a vivid portrayal of life in steerage. The reader is there with the stench and the lice and the privy buckets. Just as she is unflinching when it comes to portraying the physical hardships onboard, Corbett casts a microscopic eye over the complexities of grief and shame, taboos and social rejection.Despite its heartrending moments, The Tides Between is ultimately a story of redemption, transformation and hope.“She had begun to treasure their moments together, like bright beads, slipping through her fingers and puddling at the bottom of memory’s purse.”The Tides Between pulls the reader in two directions, the desire to continue turning the pages at odds with an equally a strong wish to pause and reflect on its various intricacies, its depth. The only difficulty faced in reviewing a book of this quality is putting it down long enough to scribe reflections. A work I would describe as literary historical fiction, The Tides Between, is a captivating and immersive read.

  • Jennifer (JC-S)
    2019-04-09 18:29

    ‘This was real life, not one of her dad’s fairy tales.’In 1841, fifteen-year-old Bridie Stewart, her pregnant mother Mary and stepfather Alf Bustle are part of a group of emigrants leaving England for Port Phillip in Australia aboard the Lady Sophia. It’s a new start for Alf and Mary, but Bridie is still mourning her dead father. Mary wants Bridie to forget her father, to cast aside childhood and to prepare for adult life in Port Phillip. Bridie, against her mother’s wishes, has hidden in her baggage a gift from her father, a notebook filled with his fairy tales. Rhys Bevan and his pregnant wife Siân are also travelling to Port Phillip. Rhys realises that Bridie is trying to hide something, and helps her. Thus, begins a friendship between Bridie and Rhys, a refuge for each of them from other concerns, a friendship enriched by story-telling.As the Lady Sophia travels slowly towards Port Phillip, Bridie makes her own journey into adulthood, into awareness that life is more complicated than she thought. Rhys is crippled at times by claustrophobia, afraid for Siân and for the future. Alf tries to do the right thing for his family, even though his efforts are not always appreciated. ‘But, sometimes, a thing is worth doing, if it means a lot to another person.’Ms Corbett brings her characters to life amidst the difficulties imposed by the close confines of travel in steerage. There are interesting backstories to learn, there are Welsh fairy tales to consider, and there is tragedy. I enjoyed the fairy tales, was reminded of the difficulties faced by emigrants to Australia in the nineteenth century, and was moved by circumstances and tragedy. While Bridie is the central character, it was the stories of Rhys and Siân that particularly held my attention. And of Alf, a fundamentally decent human being, trying to do his best.I finished the novel wondering what the future held for the passengers once they arrived in Australia. I’d certainly like to read a sequel! Note: My thanks to Ms Corbett for providing me with a free copy of this book for review purposes.Jennifer Cameron-Smith

  • Amy
    2019-03-31 17:27

    The Tides Between is the fabulous debut by Elizabeth Jane Corbett. I enjoyed getting to know Bridie throughout the book. I found the storyline to be quite unique, weaving magical tales with the beauty of learning how to redeem oneself. I was captivated from the start until the very end. I had no problem finishing it in just a few hours.I most definitely will be looking forward to more by Elizabeth Jane Corbett in the future. 5 stars.I received this book from the author. This review is 100% my own honest opinion.

  • Nia Ireland
    2019-04-20 11:39

    Reviewed for Whispering Stories - LOVED IT! Beautifully written and exceptional characters.

  • Megan
    2019-04-09 14:29

    “The Tides Between” by Elizabeth Jane Corbett is a multi-layered coming of age novel. I was interested in reviewing this book when I read the description and saw that fairy tales are involved. Obviously, from my blog name, I am a lover of fairy tales. This isn’t your typical fairy tale, but a very realistic story that incorporates fairy tales in a fascinating way. Ms. Corbett tells the story of Bridie, who along with her mother and step father, is on an immigrant vessel travelling from London to Australia in 1841. “The Tides Between” does a great job of showing the reality of what life is like on the ship and the harsh conditions the passengers have to deal with. It is so realistic; I often found some parts hard to read. This realism is a good contrast to Bridie’s fairy tales. There are a lot of hard topics and tough situations in this story. Bridie and her new friend Rhys use fairy tales and imagination to help each other through the voyage. This really goes along with the quote I have as the header on my blog by G.K. Chesterton: “Fairy tales are more than true; not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.” I also love this quote from “The Tides Between”: “Fairy tales aren’t nonsense…they help us understand our lives.” This is why the world needs stories, fairy tales and legends and Ms. Corbett conveys that truth so well through her own story!There are so many great themes woven into the fabric of Ms. Corbett’s story. Bridie learns about people–how they are complex and that everyone has their own burdens to carry and problems to face. But we can also help one another and don’t have to face hardship alone. Ms. Corbett does an amazing job of depicting grief and the way one processes it. Lastly, Ms. Corbett shows that sometimes as we get older, the hardships of life crowd in and we lose ourselves, our innate sense of wonder and the magic of life. Often stories can help us to find ourselves and the wonder of life again. By reading about the courage of others, we can find the strength within ourselves to face the battles and hardships that life throws at us. Content: I give this book a PG-13 rating and would only recommend it to adults. This is a very realistic story. There are a lot of minor swear words. The Lord’s name is taken in vain. There is alcohol and alcoholics. There is a character with PTSD. There is physical abuse. There is talk about a woman’s menstrual cycle. There is talk about magic and curses. There is an affair. There is mention of sex, things related to sex and one brief sex scene (without a lot of detail). There is talk of a father forcing himself on his daughter. Rating: I give this book 4 stars.Genre: Historical FictionI want to thank Elizabeth Jane Corbett, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours and Odyssey Books for the complimentary copy of this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I express in this review are my own. This is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s CFR 16, Part 255.

  • Stephanie
    2019-03-27 13:13

    Things are changing quickly for 15 year old Bridie. Her beloved father has died, her mother quickly remarried their border, Alf Bustle and is pregnant. Now, Alf has decided to move the family from their London home halfway across the world for more opportunities in Australia. Bridie’s mother and Alf are hoping that the voyage and leaving London will help Bridie forget her father, move on and grow up. However Bridie Refuses to give up the memory of her father, especially his stories which is why Bridie defies her mother and brings his storybook along. The voyage on the Lady Sophia is dangerous, lengthy and difficult for all the passengers, particularly the pregnant ones. Bridie quickly makes friends with a Welsh couple, Rhys and Sian. Rhys seems to have a secret or two himself and is also a storyteller. Sian has a mystery about her and is about as far along as Bridie’s mother. The ship’s surgeon wants a clean and uneventful journey, but as the voyage is prolonged it seems that a story is just what everyone on board needs. Bridie’s journey is one of self-discovery, growth and sadness. Something that struck me between the changing narratives of Bridie and Rhys was the many reasons that people leave the place that they have always called home, whether it is new opportunity, new identity, or a new beginning, they are willing to look for these things in a place that they have never known. With the exception of the very beginning and very end, the entire story takes place on a ship. For a ship in 1841, I was amazed at the process taken to keep things clean and free of disease, though it didn't always work, as well as the monotony of life on a ship. I found Bridie's character very easy to relate to, I loved that she held onto the stories of her father and loved him unconditionally, despite her mother's wishes. I especially felt for her when she came into womanhood among the cramped, public conditions onboard the Lady Sophia. I enjoyed watching her evolve through her friendship with Rhys and Sian and their own stories. I got caught up myself in the Welsh stories and the unique way they were told through Rhys and Sian, I could imagine their vivacious performances. Through their stories, the storytellers offer healing and acceptance to themselves and others. What touched me most of all was how everyone onboard seemed deeply touched by secrets and sadness while continuing on with their lives, and the impact of a single story. This book was provided for free in return for an honest review.

  • Elizabeth
    2019-04-14 14:40

    The Tides Between is an immersive, well-crafted and beautifully written story with great characterisation and vivid prose. I felt every surging wave and creak aboard the Lady Sophia, the vessel on which almost all of the novel takes place. The journey from England to Australia is difficult, conditions are cramped, and morale is low.Enter Rhys, a dreamer and storyteller, well-versed in the fairy tales of his homeland of Wales. He brings with him stories of witches, magic lakes, bards, dragons and cursed births. However, these ancient stories offer much more than mere escapism: the characters within the tales act as foils for the free settlers, bringing them face to face with their traumatic pasts.“It’s not the stories that are at fault. Or that we were foolish to believe. Only that we must learn to see with different eyes.” The fairy tales entwined throughout the story mirror and reflect the struggles of the main characters, especially Bridie and Rhys, who grapple with long-held secrets. In the case of fifteen-year-old Bridie, who is mourning the loss of her father and refusing to accept her new step-dad, the struggle is a particularly painful one. The use of story to help her make sense of the world was one of my favourite parts of the novel. The Tides Between is a deeply layered and skilfully told novel – a fantastic debut.

  • Jenny Q
    2019-03-28 11:28

    Author Q&A + Giveaway @ Let Them Read Books!

  • Marnee Pappin
    2019-04-20 11:29

    I loved the way the author wrote this story it was very well done but there wasn't much that kept my interest outside of seeing if it improved. I do hope there is a number two just cause the ending wasn't something I'd see has a full end and hope to see the characters mature more and also see if a secret in it does come out into the open

  • Mairead Hearne (
    2019-04-10 14:21

    My Rating ~ 3.5 *‘She fancied herself part of a timeless chain without beginning or end, linked only by the silver strong words of its tellers’The Tides Between is a YA novel by Elizabeth Jane Corbett set in the 1841, a time when emigration was the only choice for many.Bridie Stewart is fifteen-years of age. As she boards the ship that takes herself and her family to Australia, Bridie can only think of her father, who has passed away and the fact that she is leaving him behind. She clings to a book that was once his, full of all the memories that she cherishes and holds dear to her heart.The Tides Between is Bridie’s story…..The Tides Between is a coming of age novel set in a time of change and upheaval. Young Bridie Stewart is to set sail to Port Philip in Australia from London. Now eighteen months after the death of her beloved father, Bridie’s mother has married Alf Bustle. Bridie does not like Alf. He is nothing like her father, who was a creator of words and stories, a man who believed in the magic of fairy-tales and passed this vivid imagination unto Bridie. Her mother has no time for any of this nonsense and blames Bridie’s father for the life they lived before his untimely death. He was a romantic, a dreamer, a performer but he was not a monied man. Life for Bridie’s mother was hard but now she is looking forward to a new start, a new adventure on the other side of the world.Bridie is a teenager and like any young girl of this age she is hormonal and quick to anger. It is quite clear that Bridie want’s no part in this journey and it is also quite clear that she is very angry with her mother for moving on so fast. In Bridie’s mind her mother now hates her father and Bridie finds it very hard to move beyond this. Her behaviour could be looked upon at times as quite sullen and spoilt, as she disagrees with everything happening around her. She clings to a leather-bound book that was left to her by her father and this is the only thing that makes her happy. Contained in this book is a collection of stories and words filled with magic and written by the fair hand of her father. It’s the only item on board the ship that Bridie holds dear..The depiction of the voyage is so vividly portrayed by the author that I was almost able to smell the salt from the ocean and the stench from the hold. The journey across the high seas on the Lady Sophia was a traumatic experience for many on board as sea-sickness, disease and confinement became the norm.For Bridie it was to be her transformation from teenager to young lady. Soon exposed to scenes of families been destroyed, as death visits the ship and with a less than helpful Doctor on board, Bridie bears witness to medical emergencies and sorrow that no girl her age should have to see.But for Bridie her one saviour is Rhys, a troubled young Welsh man who is making the journey with his young wife, Sian. For Rhys is also leaving the familiarity of the Welsh hills behind and starting a new journey, where he hopes to live a more peaceful existence away from the pressures and strains of life with his family of miners in Wales. Rhys, like Bridie, is a dreamer, and Bridie finds great comfort spending time in his company.The Tides Between contains the thoughts and actions of a fifteen-year-old girl whose life has been uprooted and who has been removed from everything she holds dear. She is angry with her mother, like many adolescent girls and, at times, can come across as quite selfish and mean spirited, especially toward Alf, her stepfather. It is her special relationship with Rhys, as he encourages her love of mysticism, that helps Bridie come to terms with her new life. In a way they help each other…..The Tides Between is a novel targeted at the young adult market. It is a very insightful, historical portrayal of life in steerage during those years of horrendous ocean crossings for many of the working class folk. At times bleak, at times sorrowful The Tides Between is also full of hope and new beginnings. It is a novel that could be very interesting, from an educational perspective, as part of the history curriculum in schools. It brings the sights and sounds, the hardships and realities of 19th century emigration into the 21st century.Expressive and charged with atmosphere, The Tides Between is a book I recommend to the younger generation. It’s the perfect reality-check for them to understand how lucky many of them now are…

  • Wayward Fancy
    2019-04-05 10:36

    A historical YA novel set in 1841 on a ship bound for Australia, The Tides Between is an accomplished coming of age story told lyrically, with plot intrigue and finely drawn characters. It is hard to believe it is the work of a first time novelist. The authorial voice is strong and assured, and the reader soon gives themselves over to the this transformation tale of a fifteen year old Bridie, on her journey: a geographical journey to colonial Australia, a personal journey to womanhood and an emotional journey to come to terms with the grief for her father.The book is set on the steerage of a ship on an ocean, one setting – and yet it is such an expansive story, as if this tight location has allowed Corbett to fully explore and interplay the power of mythology, music, imagination, storytelling and community have to sustain us. The imminent destination of the shores of Port Philip gives the story tension. As does some imminent births. Each character is so well realised and there is a sense that the author has such respect for each and every human. The historical detail is so seamless it is as if the author has inhaled the research and simply breathed it into the sentences. And those sentences? Sumptuous and lyrical. Corbett also weaves many other threads into this book and manages to deftly pull it all together. The soundtrack is a thread that stayed with me - the haunting interweaving of the song “All through the night” or” Ar Hyd y Nos” in Welsh - a song dear to Bridie, to her father and to the troubled Rhys, who plays it hauntingly on his fiddle. And I must admit, the song has special significance to me too. This had the effect, for me, of catching the heart strings and resonating at important times. You will need tissues.The result is a finely detailed and rich world. There are the wonderful Welsh tales told by Sian and Rhys throughout the journey that parallel their own dark secrets. There is the plot and tale of Bridie’s family, her pregnant mother and her stepfather. Importantly, it is Bridie, coming to terms with her father’s death and puberty. The other layer is the story of the community that grows on the ship. There are loves and losses; births and deaths. Central to the book is the power of stories. Bridie is under pressure from her parents to leave Fairy Tales behind, something associated with her father and with her childhood. However the journey across the ocean proves to all the integral importance, need and power of stories. While the main focus is on Bridie, the ensemble cast of characters become so well known to the reader that it had me wondering if this book will have a sequel – the next part of the story hovers just off the page, a mirage in the distance, after they have disembarked on new shores.Between the Tides is the story of a journey, a beginning, an end, and a transformation for many of the people who are sailing through a seemingly endless ocean. Elizabeth Corbett has written a well-balanced novel with fine language, warmth of spirit and best of all, has spun us a wonderful tale while demonstrating just how important a fine story is for everyone.

  • Theresa Smith Writes
    2019-04-12 17:42

    The Tides Between is a novel in the tradition of a grand adventure, a true coming of age story that leaves the reader pining for more, yet deeply satisfied at the same time. The flowing narrative that combines fact with legends and fairy tales is at once engaging while the inclusion of words and verse in Welsh adds greatly to the atmosphere.This is a novel that allows complete immersion into the fictional world created. The research done in order to tell this story is clearly extensive, with no detail left unverified. There is so much knowledge woven into the narrative, the seamless imparting of facts evidence of Elizabeth’s great skill as a writer. I learnt so much about so many things while reading The Tides Between, yet I never once felt as though I was being weighed down with information.There is quite a cast of characters in The Tides Between and the story is told from three perspectives, each offering a unique take on the events unfolding. There are a few moments of great sadness towards the end of the novel, along with some interesting inferences that provide the reader with a lot to think over. I loved Bridie’s transformation throughout the journey from a surly teenager into a blossoming young woman. She’s a character I enjoyed immensely, along with Alf, her steadfast step-father and Rhys, the sensitive young Welshman with the weight of the world resting on his shoulders. The supporting cast were well balanced in terms of differing personalities and was easy to keep track of, considering the scope of this story.The Tides Between has wide appeal with universal themes and is a novel you could gift to anyone from 15 to 100. I am so looking forward to reading more from Elizabeth Jane Corbett who is completely in her element within the historical fiction genre. The Tides Between is a shining example of a novel that works; it ticks all of the right boxes and is sure to stand the test of time. I loved it and spent a little bit of time after finishing mourning its ending.Thanks is extended to the author for providing me with a copy of The Tides Between for review.

  • Kate Littlejohn
    2019-04-17 10:22

    I thoroughly enjoyed this great book, it was such an engrossing story. I felt I was traveling on the boat with them, I could hear the creaking of the boards and the ‘thwack’ of the sails in the wind. The characters were so well written they felt real to me. Corbett captured the essence of a young 15yo on the brink of womanhood beautifully. I loved seeing Bridie grow from an unsure, immature girl into a young woman who was open to forgive and learn. Alf was another favourite character, who, seen through the eyes of Bridie appeared harsh but I came to see him in a different light as the story unfolded. The story became increasingly gripping, and I can see now, that was because I had become so engaged with the characters. I enjoyed the interweaving of the fairy tales and Welsh folklore into the story as well, they gave a sense of the time.

  • Ashleigh
    2019-03-28 15:16

    Review on my blog. I really enjoyed this, a wonderful use of fairy tales and oral stories toTell the story of the characters.

  • Cel Jel
    2019-03-31 11:25

    This book tells the tale of a group of poorer passengers on board a ship to Australia. This may sound unlikely to keep up you reading, for the location is confined, but the author has woven a fascinating story. The main characters of the book are a grieving girl and a welsh couple who are trying to escape the bigotry of small villages.The welsh man is a story teller, and his wife is his assistant. The stories he tells in the book weave in well with the plot line. I really really enjoyed the read of this book and will pass it onto others.

  • Felicity
    2019-04-06 14:37

    A compelling and emotional journeyThe cramped journey to Australia is brought to vivid and claustrophobic life in this historical story. I can't wait to read more about Bridie and the others.

  • Carole Rae
    2019-04-14 10:21

    First of all...I love that cover. I was instantly drawn in to it. It is so beautiful! The story follows a few people on a journey to the new world to start new lives away from England. There is Bridie who's father just passed away and she is clinging to his memory and fairy-tales. There is Alf who just married Bridie's mom and is trying to show that all he wants is what is best for the family. Then there is Rhys who is traveling with his preggo wife and is trying to escape his past. Birdie needed a swift kick in the butt. Yes, yes, her father is passed away and her mom moved on really quickly. I get it, I do, but she was horrible. So horrible. Yes, the mom did seem to move on really quick, but the dad wasn't the best of people. Nice guy, but not good at supporting his family because he was too concerned drinking and the fairy-tales. But yes...I couldn't stand her. I liked the other characters though. They were fun to read about. I loved the fairy-tales that are told. It really added to the story honestly and it was really charming.This was really slow moving in a lot of spots, but I enjoyed the journey that all these characters took. There was a lot of growth and development on that tiny boat and it was interesting to see even Bridie even though she killed me .However, there were some parts that seemed to drag ooooonnnn and oooonnnnn. NOW! That ending was intense and sad, but full of hope all wrapped in one. So good. Made everything worth it. In the end, this was a good read about people learning and growing while on a journey to start a new life. I do hope there is a sequel...I am curious to see what happens to these characters next. I'll give this 3 stars.

  • Stacie
    2019-04-17 10:31

    Oh my goodness, Friends, this book. Some books take you on wonderful journeys. Some books introduce you to characters that become a permanent part of your memory. But others become so ingrained on your heart that you feel adrift when you turn the last page.Welcome to The Tides Between.Elizabeth Jane Corbett’s debut novel is absolutely captivating; an impressive feat for a debut. The Tides Between covers the story of fifteen-year old Bridie, who is immigrating from London to Australia in 1841 with her mother and step-father. Her father has recently passed away, and though her mother wishes otherwise, Bridie refuses to forget the hero that she so mourns for. Hidden away in her bag is a notebook, full of fairytales that her father wrote; stories that help Bridie to feel that her father is still with her.On the ship to Australia, Bridie meets a memorable cast of characters, all of whom become an integral part of the book, Bridie’s life, and the readers’ world. (Here’s looking at you, Rhys.) Elizabeth Jane Corbett is not afraid to tell a realistic story, and does not shy away from describing the unsavory setting of a cramped immigrant vessel. From the smells, to illnesses, to lice, to the desperate emotional needs of real people, crammed into tiny quarters together with no room to breathe. More than a coming of age story for Bridie, it’s a story of redemption. A story of hope. A story of grief and healing. And even a call to remember that magic is not just for fairytales.

  • Sue Hampton
    2019-04-09 11:29

    This is a passionate novel. For me it was a grower, and that's the kind of book I savour most. Bridie is a vivid central character, created from within and in greater depth and detail than Rhys and Alf, who are also followed from time to time in close third person. As the book begins the passion is Bridie's, and its intensity doesn't drop. But she's not its only source. The author's love of story and magic permeates the narrative and draws us in, overcoming this reader's resistance. These are not my favourite kind of story and I wondered around a third of my way in how long I could stay aboard ship without longing to throw myself overboard and off-page! The appalling conditions are created so powerfully that it's a claustrophobic sensory experience- BUT as I read on, jumping ship became an emotional impossibility, and as I realised the pages were running out I longed for more. So the ending, which sets the author's intention of providing a sequel, left me resolving to return to Bridie, who has only just recognised her feelings for Rhys. All the characters live, and some surprise us as Bridie learns that her own versions of events may not carry the whole truth. The storyline is dramatic without overkill or linguistic excess, and the pace brisk in spite of the stories - which are not just dropped in but sometimes resonate and ripple, offering insights that help Bridie make sense of difficult feelings. I would be proud of this debut and am glad I discovered it.

  • Rosie Amber
    2019-03-27 13:25

    The Tides Between is a young adult historical fiction novel. Set in 1841 it is about Bridie and her family who are emigrating to Australia from London. The story takes place on The Lady Sophia, a ship bound for Port Phillip near Melbourne. Fifteen year old Bridie, her pregnant mother and her step-father travel in steerage (low cost travel for the poor), where they meet others looking forward to a new life down under.Bridie’s father died less than a year ago; her family believe Australia will offer new opportunities for employment and a better life than the one they lived in London. But Bridie is frightened and sad about how easily they can leave the memories of their old life behind. Others on the boat are also hoping to escape the past; Welsh couple Rhys and Sian have their own secrets. Natural storytellers, they offer Bridie friendship and understand the stories her father once shared.I enjoyed the mix of life on an emigrant ship and the Welsh myths told by Rhys and Sian; the stories also struck the hearts of many of their fellow travellers. As the boat neared its destination, the tension grew. Would Australia provide the new life they all dreamed of?

  • Bookmarked
    2019-03-30 17:18

    The story - 'The Tides Between' - is led mainly from the point of view of a young teenage girl, Bridie Stewart. Set in 1841, the story follows Bridie as she and her family set to emigrate to Port Philip. This means that most of the story takes place aboard the ship, the Lady Sophia, amongst all its passengers heading for the new world.The character Bridie is someone who another young teen, like myself, can easily empathise with and relate to. In an attempt to juggle the demands of the oncoming responsibilities that come with transforming from child to an adult, Bridie finds herself hiding in her Father's book of Welsh fairytales. The plot is engaging as you can explore different characters' perceptions and back stories.The writing is descriptive and well reflects the time period. I felt transported in time and place. The use of Welsh fairytales helps further contribute to the overall colourful writing.I would definitely consider reading another book from this author. 4.5*Review written by Haley Evans (14)

  • Nerida
    2019-04-09 18:13

    I read The Tides Between because the author is a former colleague and I was excited that she'd written her first novel. I loved The Tides Between because it is a beautiful and nourishing tale. Although in many ways it's a simple story, set almost entirely on the emigrant vessel carrying many apprehensive and hopeful travellers, at the same time it draws out the complexities of life. The honest, relatable characters plunged my heart into the story and the authentic, raw details of life in steerage immersed me in their world. And then there are the fairy tales! Comfortably woven into the narrative, they reminded me of our need for stories to help us understand, grow and heal. I wished I could have heard the words and music and singing myself. The Tides Between was not always an easy story to read, given the physically and emotionally difficult situations described, but the theme that stories speak powerfully to our hearts and minds is a buoyant one even on stormy seas. I thoroughly enjoyed journeying with Bridie as she grew into a richer understanding of what it is to be human.

  • Shelley Nolan
    2019-04-09 10:18

    This was such a beautiful and poignant story, with Welsh tales seamlessly woven in. I really connected with Bridie as she sought to hold on to her Dad's memory in the face of her Ma's anger and what she saw as her new stepfather's attempts to replace him. She bonds with a Welsh storyteller, Rhys, and the two of them use stories to ward off their fears during the arduous and traumatic journey to Australia in an 1800's migrant vessel. I am looking forward to reading what happens next for Bridie and Rhys.

  • Maria Donovan
    2019-04-04 18:20

    'The Tides Between' takes place almost entirely on board a sailing ship bound for Australia, carrying emigrants from 'the old countries' to the colonies. It's set just in the period after transportation as a punishment has ended, so there's no great certainty that all will be well when the passengers arrive, but none of them have much to keep them 'home' except perhaps for young Bridie Stewart, who doesn't want to leave the memory of her father behind. One of the great attractions for me in this novel is that it is interested in the lives of people who travelled in steerage. Sailing with them, in those cramped quarters, often feeling outraged at their treatment, particularly by the high-handed Doctor, I couldn't fail to sympathise with the characters, Bridie, Rhys and Sian, Bridie's mother and new stepfather, Alf, and Annie, a kind girl outwardly scarred by smallpox, who travels with them under Alf's protection as part of his family group. I loved reading about daily life on board, from how the sleeping accommodation was divided (keeping the single men and the single girls as far apart as possible and the family groups in the middle), to how you undress for bed when there's no privacy. This was a difficult, sweaty, stifling and dangerous voyage. All the details of the passengers' discomfort and privations are shared as well as their joys. As romantic as a long sea-voyage can seem, I felt lucky to be reading about it and not living in those times! All that is said about life on board, fascinating as it is, feels natural to the telling of the story. In historical novels the details of setting and daily life can sometimes seem embroidered on to the fabric of the narrative. In 'The Tides Between', Elizabeth Jane Corbett knows how to wear her research lightly, so that it feels almost like reading fiction set in a known time and place. There's an ebb and flow in the relations between the characters that makes the arrangement of the words in the title ('The Tides Between' and not 'Between the Tides') particularly apt. Young Bridie is the one I felt closest to, perhaps because she has the most to discover and the most changes to experience during the course of the long voyage. In the weeks and months at sea, the characters find themselves in peril from the elements and from illnesses, as well as the troubles everyone took with them on board. The third-person narration also brings us close to the inner struggles that motivate Alf, Bridie's step-father, trying to be the responsible well-regarded servant of the powers that be, and Rhys, who, with his wife Sian, brings the gift of storytelling, almost of magic, with all its inherent dangers. Rhys and Sian are bound to a love of words that Bridie shares, having inherited the same from her father. She is irrevocably drawn to the Welsh couple and the power of their story.Perhaps the biggest obstacle for Bridie is her refusal to accept her step-father as a replacement for her beloved dad. Alf, in turn, does not really understand how much her dad's stories mean to Bridie. She's also at odds with her mother, who seems distant, angry and uncompromising. There is much that needs to be resolved in the course of the voyage and it is hard at the start to know how any of this will be achieved! That is part of the pleasure of reading on. The novel ends soon after the arrival of the ship, with a kind of resolution of the story so far, but with a hint of a new mystery to solve, and a promise that much more can be known about the characters - some of whom seem destined to meet again - and the troubles they have yet to face.