Wednesday, August 31, 2016

The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman | Review

I took part in the Simon & Schuster Canada read-a-long for this book and was happy to have participated. If you want to see what it was all about check it out here, but be warned there will be spoilers if you read through the discussion.

The movie releases September 2nd and I cannot wait to see it after having read this book. It's an emotional roller coaster of a story.

The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman
Publisher: Scribner
Published: July 31, 2012
Pages: 343
Received: owned a copy
Find Online: Goodreads

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.

WARNING! Possible Spoilers!

I had been meaning to get to this book for sometime, as it was on my TBR shelf a long time. Once I was contacted by Simon & Schuster Canada to be a part of a read-a-long I knew I had the perfect time to get to it. 

I adored this story. Being a new mother myself, it pulled at my heartstrings a lot more and was quite the emotionally charged story for me. From the beginning where Isabel and Tom find the tiny baby shipwrecked on Janus to meeting Hannah who is grieving her missing child. Wow, I was torn in so many directions as a mother. I was working out all points of view as a mom and yet I knew what the right thing to do was, but understood how hard it must have been.

I enjoyed the way that Tom and Isabel's relationship built and how they were a good match for being alone on a lighthouse island. It would have been extremely isolating, so it makes sense that they had each others backs and supported each others decisions. If not, they would not have lasted as a couple. Sadly, some decisions that are made start to tear them apart. Tom always has Izzy's best interest at heart, but her loyalty comes into question later in the story. She seems blinded by love for her child.

So much drama happens in this story and most of it is heart wrenching. How do you decide what is "right" in this situation? I know morally what makes sense to be right, but what about what is right for the well being of a child? It must have been hard to come to terms with what happens.

It's truly a story about love, family, sacrifice and forgiveness. 

If you get the chance to read this book, DO IT. If not, then try catching the movie as I am sure it will be amazing. You can watch the trailer below.

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.

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