TITLE: The Light Between Oceans
AUTHOR: M.L. Stedman
GENRE: Adult Contemporary Fiction
SYNOPSIS (from 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, 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.
REVIEW: 5 stars
OK, so let me start out by saying that I finished this book on my flight back to New Orleans from Seattle and was that crazy crying because of a book lady. I was pretty embarrassed, but I couldn’t do anything to help it – the tears just kept coming even after I read the last page. (Some happy and some sad tears) But either way, at least the story really pulled at my heart…if a book makes me cry, it is usually a winner!
Now for the actual review…
I have to say that I am completely in love with ‘The Light Between Oceans.’ I wasn’t quite sure if I was going to like it due to my recent fascination with YA, but the change in pace was welcomed…definitely a breath of fresh air in a world of vamps, dystopia, etc. Anyways, the synopsis basically gives you the first half of the book and then the last half is as suggested, a struggle between what is right and wrong when either decision will deeply hurt someone. The writing allowed me to really connect with the characters and I felt the turmoil that Tom and Isabel’s decisions created for everyone on Janus and on the mainland. I deeply understood Tom and felt a clear connection with his character – he was just a regular guy trying to do the right thing throughout the entire story. I felt myself rooting for him and hoping that things would work out in a positive way for his family. I had the most trouble with Isabel – maybe the fact that I am not a mother and have not lost a child is one reason why I didn’t get her. I just found it hard to believe that any woman would just take someone else’s child without knowing if the mother was still alive. I know that her decision was motivated by the fact that she had just lost her third child, but it is still hard for me to wrap my head around doing that to anyone regardless of your situation. Towards the end, I hated Isabel and I hated her decision when Hannah showed up at her doorstep, but she made up for it after reading Tom’s letter even though it cost her dearly. That was obviously when my crying began and just continued on and on. The very end was heart-wrenching and made me so happy at the same time…man, I couldn’t have asked for a better ending to a book. This is clearly a great read and I am so happy that I decided to pick it up at B&N!