Book Review: The Tides Between by Elizabeth Jane Corbett

The Tides Between…


In 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.


The Tides Between copy


My Thoughts:

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.

The Tides Between is published by Odyssey Books.



The Author:

untitled (65 of 66)-Edit-2 (1)When Elizabeth Jane Corbett isn’t writing, she works as a librarian, teaches Welsh at the Melbourne Celtic Club, writes reviews and articles for the Historical Novel Society 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. An early draft of her debut novel, The Tides Between, was shortlisted for a HarperCollins Varuna manuscript development award. Elizabeth lives with her husband, Andrew, in a renovated timber cottage in Melbourne’s inner-north. She likes red shoes, dark chocolate, commuter cycling, and reading quirky, character driven novels set once-upon-a-time in lands far, far away.


To find out more about Elizabeth and to read about the writing of The Tides Between, check out my interview with Elizabeth:

Behind the Pen with Elizabeth Jane Corbett 

8 thoughts on “Book Review: The Tides Between by Elizabeth Jane Corbett

  1. I’m reading this now and it is interesting to see Corbett’s skill in weaving her research into fiction. Thanks, too, for the spotlight on her work on the AWW blog last year, Theresa. It means more now that I have had a taste of her story.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve interviewed Elizabeth twice now, always fascinating, and it was definitely interesting to see all of the research woven into the story. It’s such an easy novel to read and appreciate but it contains so much. She’s certainly a skilled writer.


  2. Pingback: My Reading Life: #aww2018 Challenge Checkpoint 1 | Theresa Smith Writes

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