Friday, January 25, 2013

The Light Between Ocean's By M.L. Stedman

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.
The Light Between Oceans was one of my Goodreads Book Club Books and an upcoming read for my Library Book Club so I was very excited to read this novel.  I had to wait for quite a while to get a copy from the Library but I managed. 

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The Novel starts off in 1926, but really takes place in 1918.  So as a reader you get a very brief glimpse into the characters lives, which leaves the perfect amount of mystery.  But it also clues you in that something bad is going to happen in regards to the child.  Since I have young children I didn't really want to read on but I did and I am glad I did. 

You would never guess that this is M.L Stedman's debut novel with all the complex emotions and relationships she explores and writes about vividly. 
Tom is constantly struggling between what is right and wrong and his only weakness seems to be his wife Isabel.  I have a feeling that there are a number of men and women out there that have this same issue.  After all isn't the one you love supposed to be your biggest strength and weakness?

The French Cover, isn't it gorgeous!
The book also explores the consequences of what wanting something too much can do to a person.  What is can cause them to do that they might not otherwise do if they were in their right mind.  I consider myself lucky, I've never been in this situation but I could understand Isabel and Hannah's struggles with this. 
Sydney Australia 1922

My only criticism of the entire book is that the end is a bit abrupt, all of a sudden it is 6 months in the future.  There is no segment break or date header that would have made it not such a whiplash change in direction. 
The Light Between Oceans is one of those books that you know everyone is going to get hurt emotionally, but you just keep reading to see who will do the right thing and see who gets hurt the most or least.  It frequently reminded me of the Story of Solomon and M.L Steadman even mentions Abraham's Sacrifice of his son Isaiah.
Overall I give this book 4 stars and have had a wonderful time chatting about it with my Good Reads group and I can't wait to discuss it with my Library Book Club as well.
I'm sharing my review with Ricki Jill's ARt @ Home Literary Friday
Come join us, or check out the other good reads.


Ricki Jill Treleaven said...

This sounds so good! Is this February's selection at the library? I still want to join. And yes, that French cover is gorgeous!

Wow, I can only imagine the emotions involving a missing child, a motherless wife who's suffered tragedies of her own, and a loving husband with integrity.

Thanks for such a well-written post and for linking-up, Caroline!

I think I will definitely take Shelley to see Warm Bodies next week. I can't wait!


Art and Sand said...

I am always looking for books to read and this sounds like I should try it. Thanks