The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman
Published July 31, 2012 by Scribner
Genres Historical Fiction
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 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 whore 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 judgement, 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.
I really enjoyed this book; I enjoyed getting to know Tom and Isabel throughout the book, along with many other characters. This book is told mainly from Tom and Isabel’s perspectives, but it also switches to several other character’s such as Bluey, Ralph and Isabel’s parents throughout the book. It is surprisingly easy to follow the change of perspective in each chapter, although there are no names or titles on each chapter. This book is split into 3 parts beginning in the 1920’s mostly on Janus Rock and then several years later on the mainland and then later in the 1950’s. I also really enjoyed the story being set in Australia and the way the characters talk. Tom calls Lucy “littlie” and I absolutely loved that. The vivid descriptions of what life is like on Janus Rock were really beautiful and I could picture the whole island easily. The writing is beautiful throughout the whole book. Not only did I enjoy the author’s writing but I really loved the story. I admit it was very sad during certain parts and I did spend a good portion of the book trying to figure out how the book was going to end. The author does a good job painting the perfect “grey” picture that makes readers questions their morals about certain situations. The story is not black and white and neither are the decisions the characters are forced to make. Overall, I really enjoyed this book; the writing is great, the story and characters are well developed and I loved the location and time period where this story was set. Happy reading!