About The Book
The Other Side of the Ocean is a powerful historical novel about surviving the traumas of civil war and the struggles of refugees abroad.
Heartrending and hopeful, Beverley Bell’s historical novel The Other Side of the Ocean covers the horrors of the Sierra Leone Civil War as a refugee rebuilds his identity.
In Freetown, Sierra Leone, the boy Saah Kamandu is enjoying a secure and loving childhood in the care of his family. His days are filled with school, soccer, friends and family. His main concern is to succeed at school.
This changes dramatically when rebel soldiers invade his home and take him captive, along with his brother in law. He faces a horrifying reality of death and destruction beyond anything he ever imagined. He believes the rest of his family is dead.
The pair eventually escape the country, being forced to live as outcasts until they are accepted into a refugee camp. From there Saah migrates to Australia where he finds safety of a sort. He risks losing a sense of his own identity as he struggles to come to terms with his new world.
Beverley spent many years working as a counsellor and social worker before her recent retirement. She has always enjoyed writing, embarking on this her first novel with a sense of excitement and challenge. She loves a challenge. This book was inspired by stories told to her by refugees she has met during the course of her career and who have left a lasting impression of courage and resilience. Home for Beverley is the beautiful Fleurieu Peninsula in South Australia where she lives with her brother, three dogs, two cats and an assortment of chickens. She is an active member of her local church and enjoys reading, competing with her dogs and long walks on the beach, accompanied of course, by her beloved dogs.