The Bit in Between
by Claire Varley
There are seven billion people in the world. This is the story of two of them.
After an unfortunate incident in an airport lounge involving an immovable customs officer, a full jar of sun-dried tomatoes, quite a lot of vomit, and the capricious hand of fate, Oliver meets Alison. In spite of this less than romantic start, Oliver falls in love with her.
Immediately. Inexplicably. Irrevocably.
With no other place to be, Alison follows Oliver to the Solomon Islands where he is planning to write his much-anticipated second novel. But as Oliver’s story begins to take shape, odd things start to happen and he senses there may be more hinging on his novel than the burden of expectation. As he gets deeper into the manuscript and Alison moves further away from him, Oliver finds himself clinging to a narrative that may not end with ‘happily ever after’.
I REALLY liked this book actually.
It was like this massive breath of fresh air. The romance isn’t too heavy but very realistic. The characters are fantastically independent, their aspirations and willingness to help others is admirable and the writing itself is unique.
After that creepy David Tennant gif, you should have definitely accepted the fact that you will like this book.
This romance starts off hilariously in an airport and involves a girl vomiting on a guy, some ugly t-shirts and somewhere along the way, YOU WILL FALL IN LOVE WITH THESE CHARACTERS. There’s something so special about them. Oliver is kind (a rare trait in today’s world), a writer and the sort of person who at first glance may seem average but has so much more lingering underneath. Alison is the sort of person who constantly thinks of others. Throughout this book, she is always helping someone, whether it’s a pregnant woman, a mother, a sister, just someone. I admired both these characters so much. I admired their silent determination to write a book, make a difference, achieve their aspirations. I think many readers will find themselves inspired by Oliver and Alison.
Their romance is equally inspiring. There’s a serious light-heartedness. That’s an oxymoron that doesn’t really make sense but what I’m trying to say is that its stable but it kind of isn’t at the same time. It’s a very healthy relationship but the only thing that stands in their way is their own individual determination to continue their own dreams. I think this should’ve frustrated me but it honestly didn’t. It only made me admire them more.
There isn’t really a distinct complication to this book like you get with most YA contemporary novels. Instead, you – the reader – are along for the ride, watching this relationship and the character’s lives unfold before you. Oliver’s writing blocks and Alison’s tight friendships with the people she helps and even her own and poetry journey will be a vibrant and entertaining story you will enjoy.
I don’t want to spoil you all but the ending just somehow feels very right. It left you with hope and allowed the characters to come alive in their own way.
Plus this book is set in the Solomon Islands. SOLOMON ISLANDS!!! Australian authors never fail to amaze me. We are a seriously talented bunch. The rest of the world (especially America) better watch out!
The Bit in Between is a seriously good book with its admirable characters and a plot line and setting that will just give you those good feelings. It’s a relatively short read that will capture you from the very beginning with vomit and ending with satisfaction.