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The Tides Between

4.34  ·  Rating details ·  71 ratings  ·  50 reviews
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 a
Paperback, 300 pages
Published October 20th 2017 by Odyssey Books
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Elizabeth Corbett Yes, in time. I'm writing an in between project at the moment. Then the sequel.

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Whispering Stories
Feb 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Book Reviewed by Nia on

This 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 op
Isobel Blackthorn
Sep 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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 d
Jennifer (JC-S)
‘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 ba
The author conveys in convincing detail the terrible conditions endured by those, like Bridie and her mother and stepfather, travelling in steerage: the heat below deck, the cramped accommodation, lack of privacy and risk of disease. Not to mention the terrible seasickness caused by the motion of the ship. There are particularly vivid descriptions of the terror experienced by the passengers as the ship rides out storms on the voyage, not least those in steerage where the order ‘batten down the h ...more
Nov 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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 ow
Nia Ireland
Jan 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Reviewed for Whispering Stories - LOVED IT! Beautifully written and exceptional characters.
Dec 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
“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
Dec 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
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
Kate Murdoch
Apr 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: aww2018
I enjoyed The Tides Between for many reasons. Warm, layered characters that you care about, lyrical and beautiful prose, and a wonderful depth of humanity. This coming of age story whose protagonist, Bridie Stewart, spends her journey to Port Phillip trying to understand her place in her family and the wider world. In the end, she realises that no situation is without complexity and that grief can cast a haze of misunderstanding. As the story progresses, there is an emotional groundswell that bu ...more
Helen Hollick
Oct 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book has received a Discovering Diamonds Review:
Helen Hollick
founder #DDRevs

"The plot of this expertly-written novel begins and then builds upon the matter of secrets and whether to trust or not. The Tides Between could be mistaken, at first, for a romance or a fantasy novel, but it is neither, it is a drama with supernatural elements added in for good measure."
Jenny Q
Dec 06, 2017 marked it as to-check-out
Author Q&A + Giveaway @ Let Them Read Books! ...more
Mairead Hearne (
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
Nov 30, 2017 rated it liked it
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
Sep 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What a storyteller Ms Corbett is! She has given us what appears to be a simple tale of a young girl setting out from England with her family for a new life in Australia, but it’s far more than that. This simple tale becomes a complex story of characters so beautifully drawn that one senses their growth and development.
The year is 1841. As she sets out with her family for Australia, fifteen-year-old Bridie is still mourning her father. Despite the efforts of Bridie’s mother, Mary, and her new ste
Theresa Smith
Jan 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: aww2018
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
Kate Littlejohn
Jan 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Cel Jel
Dec 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
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
Nov 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A compelling and emotional journey

The 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.
Jan 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Review on my blog. I really enjoyed this, a wonderful use of fairy tales and oral stories to
Tell the story of the characters.
Wendy Dunn
Sep 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Review to come.
Julianne Negri
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 emo ...more
Jan 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful coming-of-age story about the journey of Bridie, a young woman making the journey to a new land. At times heartbreaking, at others uplifting, this novel is written with lyricism and insight. Bridie's experiences on the crowded boat from England to Australia are mirrored by the stories she hears from Rhys, a young man with stars in his eyes and tales in his heart. Highly, highly recommended.
Kali Napier
May 20, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: aww2020
This tale is sad and tragic, in the loss of language and traditional stories, the hopes of those who try to keep them alive, and the cutting short of lives filled with such promise.
Nada Sobhi
“Painful, it is, when the words that once brought comfort seem to lose their voice. It’s not the stories that are at fault. Or that we are foolish to believe. Only that we must learn to see with different eyes. Sometimes it takes time and the answers aren’t always easy – that’s part of the magic. But we are never too old for fairy tales, Bridie Stewart, no matter what Alf or your Ma might say.”

The Tides Between by Elizabeth Jane Corbett is an emotional story about family, hardship, a journey
Maria Donovan
'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
Backstory Journal
Aug 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
At the crux of it, The Tides Between is a story about self discovery. The narrative follows young girl Bridie Stewart, who at fifteen-years-old, has suffered true hardship. Elizabeth Jane Corbett tells the tale of a sea voyage from London to Port Phillip in 1841, where the lives of people wishing to create new beginnings are brought together in the most difficult trek one could do in that time. Bridie is accompanied by her mother Mary and step-father Alf. The relationship of the family is tested ...more
Mawson Bear
"When the night is dark and the wind blows hard and shadows overwhelm you – there are always stories."

This beautiful story is about stories themselves: how our need and understanding of the stories we hear changes through the prism of our own experiences. It’s about how we make of our lives our own stories.

It’s about the hopes and dreams and foibles of utterly believable characters, Bridie, Sian, Rhys, Ma and Alf. And it’s about, I think, the tides tugging members of families, failed marriages,
Augustine  of Elsinore
For more reviews, guest blog posts, author interviews and giveaways check out my blog:

It has been a while since I last read a decent historical fiction novel embedded in the coming-of-age narrative. Corbett’s work fascinates the reader with its delicate approach to the immigration theme and its exquisite attention to detail both linguistically and structurally.

The author handles English with care—she creates such a vivid world, full of vibrant sounds and st
Dec 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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 wit
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When Elizabeth Jane Corbett isn’t writing, she works as a librarian, teaches Welsh at the Melbourne Welsh Church, writes articles for the Historical Novel Review and blogs at In 2009, her short-story, Beyond the Blackout Curtain, won the Bristol Short Story Prize. Another, Silent Night, was short listed for the Allan Marshall Short Story Award. Her historical coming-of-ag ...more

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