In 1841, fifteen-year-old Bridie Stewart and her family leave their grim, hand-to-mouth existence in Covent Garden and travel to a prosperous new life in Port Phillip. Bridie’s mother and stepfather expect Bridie to grow up during the long months at sea, forget her dead father, and prepare for a sensible marriage in colonial Australia. Bridie doesn’t want to grow up, or ever forget her dad. She’s determined to smuggle a notebook filled with his fairytales 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 Bridie doesn’t realise the Welshman’s life also holds secrets. Or that the message written on the flyleaf of her notebook holds a dark, double meaning.
As they traverse the world’s oceans, Rhys’s past returns to haunt him and Bridie grapples with the implications of her dad’s final message. The pair take refuge in fairytales, little expecting the trouble it will cause. Or that Rhys’s ancient tales will challenge every certainty Bridie has ever known.
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 elizabethjanecorbett.com. 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.
The Tides Between will be available in October 2017.