The Light Between Oceans

The years-long New York Times bestseller and major motion picture from Spielberg’s Dreamworks is “irresistible…seductive…with a high concept plot that keeps you riveted from the first page” (O, The Oprah Magazine).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

The years-long New York Times bestseller and major motion picture from Spielberg’s Dreamworks is “irresistible…seductive…with a high concept plot that keeps you riveted from the first page” (O, The Oprah Magazine).

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, 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, who keeps meticulous records and whose moral principles have withstood a horrific war, wants to report the man and infant immediately. But Isabel insists the baby is a “gift from God,” and 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.Amazon Best Books of the Month, August 2012: Tom Sherbourne is a lighthouse keeper on Janus Rock, a tiny island a half day’s boat journey from the coast of Western Australia. When a baby washes up in a rowboat, he and his young wife Isabel decide to raise the child as their own. The baby seems like a gift from God, and the couple’s reasoning for keeping her seduces the reader into entering the waters of treacherous morality even as Tom–whose moral code withstood the horrors of World War I–begins to waver. M. L. Stedman’s vivid characters and gorgeous descriptions of the solitude of Janus Rock and of the unpredictable Australian frontier create a perfect backdrop for the tale of longing, loss, and the overwhelming love for a child that is The Light Between Oceans. –Malissa Kent

Comments

Paul A. Lannan says:

This was a wonderful read. It took sometime to get the context … This was a wonderful read. It took sometime to get the context out of which the story developed, but once that happened it was terrific. The setting for this book is set in the early 19th century which is the backdrop. The setting is in Australia in a very poor section. The main character works in a light house. When visiting a town near his work he meets his future wife Isabel. They move to the lighthouse. Over time she is so depressed because of her miscarriages. Looking out the window from the light house they notice a boat crashing into the beach. Inside was a dead man and a baby. The dilemma is, given here miscarriages, do they find the family or do they keep the baby seriously. The rest of the book is an effort to settle this conflict with great sadness about how things will be revolved. A good read, especially if people have difficulty of creating a family.

Becky says:

Overall very good. The descriptions and scene setting were phenomenal Overall very good. The descriptions and scene setting were phenomenal, and I think I’ve learned more about lighthouses than I ever cared to know, but oh well. While I loved the characters and development of Tom (husband, assumed father) and Hannah (actual mother), Isabel’s (wife, assumed mother) character rubbed me the wrong way, particularly towards the end. I don’t want to spoil anything but her actions between the last third of the book and about 10 pages from the end irked me – she was very spiteful. And yes, I was ugly crying by the end.

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