The Oceans Between Us by Gill Thompson

Love Never Dies

The Oceans Between Us by Gill Thompson is a heart breaking historical novel inspired by true events. The story surrounds a lost generation of children who were shipped from England to Australia at the end of World War II. “The kids they thought no one wanted.” Some were orphans, others were told they were orphans. The emotional impact on individuals and families was huge.

Families were quite literally torn apart in Australia too as Aboriginal children were taken from their families in the hope that the indigenous people would die out.

Racism was rife in England and Australia. Those who were invited over on the Windrush to help rebuild England after the war met hostility, prejudice and discrimination. Gill Thompson has portrayed a realistic account of the hatred faced by mixed race couples and their children from all quarters of society.

There are some truly harrowing scenes set within a boys Roman Catholic home in Australia – cruelty at best, sexual assault at worst, and everything in between. They were innocent victims without a voice.

At the heart of the novel there are the loves of mothers for their children, and vice versa. The maternal bond is strong. The need the children have for their mothers is heart breaking. The need the mothers have for their children breaks your heart too. I certainly shed some tears along the way.

The Oceans Between Us was a heart wrenching read. The severed love bonds were painful and tangible. This is a book about love that never dies.

JULIA WILSON

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