Cover Image: The Oceans Between Us: Gripping and emotional novel of separation after World War 2

The Oceans Between Us: Gripping and emotional novel of separation after World War 2

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Member Reviews

I loved the characters in this novel. I also appreciated that it approached the aftermath of World War II from a fresh perspective. I hope this book gets the attention it deserves. Gill Thompson is an author I will be following.
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This is the story of Molly and her young son Jack who sadly got separated in the Blitz when a bomb landed close to their home.

Molly’s husband had already been killed in the war and mother and son were everything to each other. Unlike other parents, Molly had decided not to send Jack away to the country like the other evacuee children. After losing her husband at sea she wanted to keep her son close by, despite the dangers from the bombing.

The bomb struck close to their home, leaving Molly without any memory except an unexplainable feeling that she had lost something. Jack was at school so he was unhurt but told that his mother had died in the bombing blitz. He was sent to an orphanage, then later to Australia with a promise of a ‘land full of sunshine’ where they would live on huge farms, drive tractors and learn to ride horses.

Would the promises be fulfilled and would Molly ever recover enough to remember her beloved son?

This is such a heart-wrenching debut novel from Gill Thompson. A story based on actual events which will have you glued to the pages of this harrowing story. I was unable to put the book down until I knew if poor Molly would ever be reunited with her son, despite them being on opposite sides of the World. An outstanding debut.
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In the chaos of the 2nd World War bombings a young boy (whose father had already been killed during the war) is taken into care when he is found wandering near the ruins of his bombed home. A few years later, having been told his mother is dead (though he has not really accepted this) he is sent to Australia on the SS Asturia under a post war scheme to resettle orphaned children. Once in Australia he finds that far from having a better lifestyle in fact his life becomes worse as he is sent to a boys home where cruelty and hard conditions prevailed. Luckily for him he is adopted by a childless couple and makes something of his life, even though his adoptive parents are far from ideal.
Meanwhile in England his mother, having spent many years in hospital suffering from memory loss finally realises she has a son and starts looking for him.  
There is a twist when the pair are finally reunited after many years apart and for me this was perhaps the most heart wrenching moment in the book. The book's idea is a good one but for me it fell a little short. There wasn't quite enough emphasis on how badly the children were treated and how many of them had families in England who just couldn't care for their children at that time, so shouldn't have been sent.
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This book was. A good one that tells the story of thousands of children sent to Australia after World War Two and the harrowing issues they faced. 
It was a good addition to this genre. 
Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for letting me review this book
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I received this book "The Oceans Between Us" from NetGalley and all opinions expressed are my own. An amazing historical fiction story. I had no idea that these things had happened during the war. What a heartbreaking story and I really felt the sadness for Jack and his mom. You felt like you were right there with the characters in the book. Definitely an interesting read that I looked forward to each day. Not sure I really like the title though.
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Jack is five and living with his mum Molly in Croydon during the Blitz. His dad was killed at Dunkirk but they’re doing their best to cope. One day, a bomb lands at the back of their house and explodes as his mum is running from the house. Molly loses her memory, she knows she’s lost something, but what? She can’t even remember her real name and over the next few years remains in hospital being cared for. While she’s in hospital, Jack is taken to live at an orphanage. No one can trace his mother and she is believed to have been killed when the bomb exploded. Jack misses his mum and refuses to believe she’s dead. He’s offered a new life in sunny Australia, tempted by stories of having horses and oranges and, after a little trepidation, he agrees to go. But life with the Catholic brothers in Boys Town, Bindoon is nothing like they’ve been led to believe.

The story spans several decades. As Jack finds a way to cope with what life throws at him, he keeps believing that his mother will one day find him. Molly’s life back in England is also difficult and as she begins to remember her past she desperately tries to find a way to contact her son.

This is a heart-breaking, well researched story. It’s hard to imagine how horrific it must have been for the children and their families to cope with being separated from each other by such an enormous distance and also the callous way decisions were made about their lives. Jack and Molly’s aren’t the only sad stories in this beautifully written book.  I look forward to reading more by this author.

My thanks to Headline and Netgalley for my free arc copy in exchange for an honest review.
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When Molly is caught up in an air raid in WW2 she is injured and her home destroyed, she is found wandering the streets some way away with no memory of who she is and where she came from.   Meanwhile Molly's young son Jack comes home from school and finds the house and his mother gone, assuming he is an orphan he is put in a children's home and then sent to Australia with a lot of other orphans for a "better life"!  As Molly's memory eventually starts to return will she be able to find Jack?

A very poignant story,  especially as based on a true one, the Australian child transportation scandal is highlighted and it can be hard reading at times but a compelling story that I couldn't put down.   A book that stays with you long after you have finished it.
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A delightful and heartwarming story about the child migrants sent to Australia during the second world war. My review is to follow as part of the blog tour for this title.
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Thanks to netgalley for an early copy in return for an honest review 
What a heart breaking story it  is captivating  from the first chapter lots of tissues  need I can highly recommend this book it deserves more  stars than I can give
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The Oceans Between Us is a story that alternates between mother and son. With the story being set in Australia and England also, you really couldn’t get much further distance between both.

This is a story that is really going to tug at the readers heart strings. What’s worse is that even though a work of fiction, it is based on real events. I just couldn’t imagine anything worse than the emotional journey that Jack and his mum Molly go through.

I had to really admire Jack. Being sent to an orphanage at such a young age and then to be sent off to the other side of the world for a promising new life. For someone so young that is such a big upheaval. One thing he never gives up hope for is his mum. I just wanted to wrap him up in my arms and I felt so much empathy for Kathleen who takes him in and gives him a home.

The story touches on so many issues that are sadly very much still around today like, racism and abuse. The author doesn’t go into any great detail though rather leaving it to the readers imagine of which I was grateful for.

The Oceans Between Us is a story that will touch every readers heart. Jack and Molly’s plight is something that I think will stay with me for a long time to come. The last part of the story I read through tears as I was so caught up in what was happening to the characters. Very much a bitter sweet read and is a brilliant showcase of the authors writing skills. An absolute must read.
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The Oceans Between Us is a heartbreaking and beautiful story.I really enjoyed the book, even though at times I found hard it to read due to the difficult issues being explored.  The book is well written and researched by the author. It is clear that the writer felt very passionate about the issue and wanted to highlight the injustice many British children suffered, being sent to Australia. I look forward to reading more from the author in the future.
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I don't even know where to begin.  Once I started reading this book, I could not put it down.  Some of it was hard to read because of the emotion and pictures the author paints so realistically.  I had heard about the Aborigines children being taken from the families and sent to the so called Christian group homes in Australia during and after WWII, but I had never heard of the English children being sent to Australia.  Many of these children were thought to be orphans and many were not.  Gill Thompson does an incredible job writing their story.  Thank you NetGalley for the privilege of previewing this book.
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There are many excellent, heartbreaking WWII stories involving lost children that it takes a unique story to break through and be worth truly getting behind. This is that book. Based on true events, we meet Jack, who is told that his mother died when a bomb destroys their London home. His mother Molly survives but initially has no memory of her son as she recuperates. With hopes of riding horses and playing with friends until he is reunited with his mother, who he doesn’t believe is dead, Jack is transported to Australia with other displaced children to a life far from what is promised. Molly also never stops searching for what she has lost.  What a powerful story. All the more impressive as this is a debut novel. 

My only concern is that there are several books with this same name and it shouldn't create any confusion. The subhead is long and might make it hard for people to find this book.

Thanks to NetGalley and Headline for an advance copy of this engaging book in exchange for an honest review.
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Based on the true story of British children sent out to Australia shortly after the end of WW2, this book highlights some of the dreadful experiences these children had. Promised a life of sunshine, horse riding and oranges growing on trees, the reality was completely different. Molly, a young widow, is at home and Jack, her young son, is at school when a bomb drops in their street. Molly suffers severe memory loss and is found wandering far from her home. No one can identify her and she is placed into an asylum. Jack is presumed orphaned and sent to a children’s home. At the end of the war he is sent for a new life in Australia, but the harsh truths of his new home are far from the promises made in England. Molly spends years searching for something she is certain she has lost, but she can’t identify what it is she is looking for. Jack’s fortunes change for the better when he is adopted by a prominent couple, but he is never able to forget his mother. 
Will Molly ever remember Jack? Can they ever be reunited? 
A brilliant and fascinating book, based on historical fact. A must read for anyone interested in this period of history.
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Brilliant book that keeps you captivated from the first chapter. 
I shall be looking out for this author in the future.
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This book is a not my usual type of read but I found it to be interesting although a bit unpleasant in some parts but overall a good solid read with excellent characters.

I can recommend this book if this is the genre which you enjoy.

Thank you to Netgalley and Headline Publishers for giving me the opportunity to read this book.
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The Oceans Between Us by Gill Thompson is a heartbreaking story about the children who were transported to Australia in their thousand after the Second World War. 
Molly's house is destroyed during the blitz and she is wounded and has lost her memory. Her young son Jack comes home from school and finds his mum and their house gone. He is sent to the country to a convent. Later Jack having been told that he is an orphan is transported on a ship full of children to Australia. When he arrives they are taken to a boys town where they are badly treated and forced to work long hours.
Years later Molly starts to regain her memory bit by bit and is now looking to be reunited with her son.
This story is shocking in the way that children were treated and the lack of support for the parents trying to find out what happened to their children.
I would like to thank NetGalley and Headline for my e- copy in exchange for an honest review.
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