The Light Between Oceans – M L Stedman – Genre – Contemporary
Blurb: After four harrowing years on the Western Front, Tom Sherbourne returns to Australia and takes a job as the lighthouse keeper on Janus Rock, nearly half a day’s journey from the coast. To this isolated island, where the supply boat comes once a season and shore leaves are granted every other year at best, Tom brings a young, bold, and loving wife, Isabel. Years later, after two miscarriages and one stillbirth, the grieving Isabel hears a baby’s cries on the wind. A boat has washed up onshore carrying a dead man and a living baby.
Tom, whose records as a lighthouse keeper are meticulous and whose moral principles have withstood a horrific war, wants to report the man and infant immediately. But Isabel has taken the tiny baby to her breast. Against Tom’s judgment, they claim her as their own and name her Lucy. When she is two, Tom and Isabel return to the mainland and are reminded that there are other people in the world. Their choice has devastated one of them.
M. L. Stedman’s mesmerizing, beautifully written novel seduces us into accommodating Isabel’s decision to keep this “gift from God.” And we are swept into a story about extraordinarily compelling characters seeking to find their North Star in a world where there is no right answer, where justice for one person is another’s tragic loss.
The Light Between Oceans is exquisite and unforgettable, a deeply moving novel.
My Review: Firstly I would like to admit to being so shallow that I only read this because I saw the trailer for the film and anything with Michael Fassbender has got to be worth bumping up my TBR pile. Not my usual genre – I tend to like murders and thrillers but this is a beautifully written novel which is both emotional and thought provoking. The wonderful descriptive words virtually transported me to Janus and the Lighthouse. A thoroughly enjoyable book and now I am ready to see the film!
About the Author: M.L. Stedman was born and raised in Western Australia and now lives in London. The Light Between Oceans is her first novel.