Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Bit In Between” as Want to Read:
The Bit In Between
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Bit In Between

3.21  ·  Rating details ·  96 ratings  ·  30 reviews
There are seven billion people in the world. This is the story of two of them.

After an unfortunate incident in an airport lounge involving an immovable customs officer, a full jar of sun-dried tomatoes, quite a lot of vomit, and the capricious hand of fate, Oliver meets Alison. In spite of this less than romantic start, Oliver falls in love with her.


Kindle Edition, 272 pages
Published August 1st 2015 by Macmillan Australia
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Bit In Between, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Bit In Between

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.21  · 
Rating details
 ·  96 ratings  ·  30 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Bit In Between
This book has an attention-grabbing opening sequence, which made me laugh and repelled me in equal parts. Certainly, it got me engaged with the story from the get-go.

Basically the book charts the love affair of Alison and Oliver, two 20-something Australians who have been travelling overseas and have had their hearts broken by earlier loves gone wrong. They end up travelling to Honiara, in the Solomon Islands, because Oliver, a budding author, wants to set his next book there. Although they fall
Jeann (Happy Indulgence)
This review appears on Happy Indulgence. I'm also running an Australian only giveaway until 28 August 2015. Enter here!

The Bit In Between is a fun, vibrant book about two artistic beings – a poet and writer, who meet on a plane, and decide to travel to the Solomon Islands for writing inspiration. The writing was really easy to get into, and it felt like a really light island comedy romance, with eccentric characters, the island life style and a meaningful story.

The novel is light hearted with
Jul 14, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: drama, australian, adult
This book was easy to read. I really liked Varley's writing style. I could sympathise to an extent with the character's lack of purpose & feeling that everyone else has life sorted (I still feel that way).

It would make a great switch the brain off book to read on holiday but here are the issues I had with it:

1) The three main male characters (Oliver, Rick & Ed) were all completely self involved wankers. Seriously, why is she having a dilemma over Ed? He might be good looking but every
I've received this novel through Netgalley, many thanks to Pan Macmillan Australia for the opportunity to read and review.

This novel was wonderfully refreshing, quirky, albeit, at times a bit slow.

The first chapter is fantastic and it stars off beautifully:
"This is how it starts. A young man sits alone in an airport lounge. The seat beside him is empty. Someone sits down. This is how it starts and every time it starts like this. In every universe. In every dimension. In every possible version
Jul 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
The Bit In Between was an engaging, sweet, funny, story of love and finding yourself.
It is a story of Alison and Oliver, who have one of the most memorable first meetings ever and who go on to have an intense love. Alison and Oliver were a wonderful couple that were easy to fall in love with.

Alison was a bit of a free spirit with no direction in life. Oliver is trying to write his second book and decides to do it in the Solomon Islands. This was a perfect setting for a book and it was painted so
Aug 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
I was particularly keen to read this book as I spent some time in the Solomon Islands in 2002. I was the Australian-based project manager for a health project and travelled there 4-5 times over the course of the year.

I found myself constantly transported back to the (ocean-side and hillside) houses I visited when there and the busy streets I walked as Varley creates a strong sense of place.

I enjoyed the story arc as Alison settled into life in the Solomons and Oliver struggled with his novel…
Aug 14, 2015 added it
Shelves: dnf
An Advance Reading Copy was provided by Pan Macmillan Australia in exchange for an honest review.

DNF-ed at page 133.

I did try. Really, really hard. This is only the third physical ARC I've ever received in my life and I appreciate the publisher's generosity so much.

But I can't read it any further. I never thought I'd DNF-ed this because the first chapter was so well done. Unfortunately, following that it reads like a non-fiction book delivered with unfunny and disjointed narration.
Sep 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A subtle tale of a developing relationship between two expats in their mid-twenties set in the Solomon Islands. The characterisation is truly special, and the writing is cleverly humorous. Brilliant storytelling.
Aug 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing

I REALLY liked this book actually.

It was like this massive breath of fresh air. Theromance isn'ttoo heavy but very realistic. The characters are fantastically independent, their aspirations and willingness to help others is admirable and the writing itself is unique.

After that creepy David Tennantgif, you should have definitely accepted the fact that you will like this book.

This romance starts off hilariously in an airport and involves a girl vomiting on a guy, some ugly t-shirts and somewhere
Oct 24, 2017 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 25, 2018 rated it liked it
It was OK, I hated the beginning but it got better towards the end. The random character POV paragraphs were nice. I wasn't rooting for the love story though.
It starts well but doesn’t quite deliver.
Jun 03, 2018 rated it liked it
An interesting story about finding out who you are. Not sure if I really liked the ending but it was an easy read.
Bruce Gargoyle
I received a copy of this title from the publisher for review.

Ten Second Synopsis:
Alison and Ollie strike out together on a precarious relationship after a chance meeting. Both will find out that life relies on decision rather than destiny.

Now I know that I have a blanket policy of disliking romance books on sight – it comes from having a heart of stone, you see – but I do like to give an affirmative response when asked to review new release contemporary Australian books. This is mostly because
Sam Still Reading
Aug 08, 2015 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: fans of books that are a little quirky
Recommended to Sam Still Reading by: from the publisher - thank you!
The Bit In Between by Claire Varley asks the question, what happens after the initial flush of giddy romance and lust is over in a relationship? How can you get to the happily ever after? Will your relationship even make it that far? In need of a good dose of reality in my next read, I picked this book up not really knowing what to expect – was it going to be serious and reflective? But after seeing how Oliver and Alison meet (she throws up on him in an airport after downing an entire jar of ...more
Terry Barca
Sep 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
4 and a half STARS........Published by Pan Macmillan. 263 pages.

I enjoyed this book. I enjoyed it very much indeed.

But before we get into why, let me warn you that there will be a few spoilers and a lot of adjectives.

Before this book was released, I was asked if I would like to write a review. I'm a writer and I have a long established blog that occasionally writes reviews. Then, they promptly forgot about me, but to their credit, when I pointed this out they sent me an actual book to read and
Cthulhu Youth
Oct 04, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: reviewed
A pompous and joyless Stranger Than Fiction.
Cass Moriarty
Jul 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
The Bit In Between, debut novel for Australian author Claire Varley, appears at first to be a romantic comedy. And on one level this is true - it is a romance, and it is very witty and at times terribly funny. But there is more to this novel than lightweight entertainment. Oliver is a one-time published author who is struggling to write his second novel when he meets Alison in an airport waiting lounge. Both are fleeing failed relationships. Both are unprepared for the instant attraction they ...more
Genevieve Gannon
Sep 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
It’s hard not to love a romance that begins with the heroine vomiting sun-dried tomatoes all over the hero after eating a whole jar in defiance of rigid airport security. The scene sets the tone for this unexpected, modern love story – of sorts – which was a gorgeous read.

Debut author Claire Varley introduces us to two people who are intelligent, complex, feisty, funny and very real. The Melbourne writer has a talent for building characters that feel rounded and rich. She has an ear for
Donna Usher
Aug 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The Kuala Lumpur International Airport lounge.
Two seats.
Two people.
This is how the story begins. This is how the story ends.
And The Bit In Between?
For that, Claire Varley transports us to the Solomon Islands as we follow the lives of Ali and Oliver.
Oliver is a writer, wracked with insecurities and feelings of inadequacy. Ali doesn’t know who she is or what she wants. But together they are right.
Right, that is, until Oliver’s story weaves them into its fabric. What started as a shadow of a plot
Aug 12, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The debut novel from Australian author Claire Varley, The Bit In Between was plucked out of the slush pile. And it’s clear to see why.

Opening in an airport lounge, the first scene of the book is brilliantly written. Captivating, comical and clever, it draws you in and before you know it you’re hooked. You just have to know what happens next.

The Bit In Between explores just that – the bit in between the initial fireworks of attraction and the happily ever after. The bit where relationships are
Carol -  Reading Writing and Riesling
3 1/2 stars

My View:

A contemporary love story that explores all the relationships in the narrative rather than focusing on just those of the protagonists - Alison and Oliver; everyone that comes within their orbit has a unique story, even the minor characters – the taxi driver, the house cleaner, an aunt, members of the band, the passer-by…I loved these little vignettes of life, where we are privy to the personal events that have shaped people rather than just seeing the faces/the facade usually
Oct 26, 2015 rated it liked it
Going into this book with no expectations, this was an enjoyable and easy holiday read. A love story of sorts about "the bit in between" the beginning and the ending of a relationship. Asking the question: Can we really stop the inevitable?
I enjoyed the snippets of back-story for the very minor characters, giving the idea that regardless of how little we may know someone, they also have a significant story to tell which has shaped them into who they are today.
Jan 02, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 1-do-not-read
Characters are all unpleasant or spoken about as if white-arses are superior. Unrealistic portrayal of where I grew up and at times frankly insulting. Solomon Islands is a beautiful country filled with many beautiful, strong people. There are problems as with any country but the beauty outweighs the problems. Since the author apparently spent 2 years there I am sad she only appears to have met the expat numptys and not the far more interesting characters to be found around the country.
Alex Hellyer
May 20, 2016 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Gail Wood
Oct 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Loved this, great read, couldn't put it down.
Absolutely loveeeed this book and Claire Varley's writing style!!
Tara T
Jan 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was great; I think I really needed this. I think it got me out of a MASSIVE reading slump, and it was good, so yea. :)
Jan 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I know the author and I was so worried that I wasn't going to like the book that I didn't read it for months. I'm glad I finally did, it was a lovely way to start the year.
Apr 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow. couldn't put it down. Loved the story. not your average love story and all about an author writing a book about falling in love. Enjoyed the setting in the Soloman Islands. A book about finding yourself in today's world.
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Bruny
  • Love And Other Battles
  • The Land Before Avocado
  • The Hollow Bones
  • In the Deep End (Art & Coll, # 2)
  • The Anti-Cool Girl
  • The All Souls Trilogy Boxed Set
  • He'll Be OK: Growing Gorgeous Boys Into Good Men 10th Anniversary
  • A Month of Sundays
  • Dragon's Oath (House of Night Novellas, #1)
  • Bridge Burning and Other Hobbies
  • This is Not a Test (This is Not a Test, #1)
  • The Hunt (Dark Touch, #2)
  • Who Do You Love
  • The Beekeeper's Secret
  • Fake: A startling true story of love in a world of liars, cheats, narcissists, fantasists and phonies
  • Too Much Lip
  • Jumping Off Swings (Jumping Off Swings, #1)
See similar books…
Claire Varley grew up on the Bellarine Peninsula and lives in Melbourne. She has sold blueberries, worked in a haunted cinema, won an encouragement award for being terrible at telemarketing, taught English in rural China, and coordinated community development projects in remote Solomon Islands.

Her short stories and poems have appeared in Australian Love Stories ('A Greek Tragedy'), Australian Love