Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman

The Light Between Oceans (original 2012; edition 2012)

by M.L. Stedman

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
2,9462641,951 (3.98)1 / 264
Title:The Light Between Oceans
Authors:M.L. Stedman
Info:Scribner (2012), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover
Collections:Your library
Tags:lighthouse; australia; baby; kidnapping; 1920s; soldier

Work details

The Light Between Oceans by M L Stedman (2012)

  1. 31
    Silas Marner by George Eliot (aliklein)
  2. 10
    Blackberry Winter by Sarah Jio (dara85)
    dara85: This takes place in the past (1930's), a child is taken and goes to live with another family, involves a crime
  3. 54
    The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards (aliklein)
  4. 00
    The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton (dara85)
  5. 00
    Latitudes of Melt by Joan Clark (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: A infant washes ashore on a remote island and is adopted by the locals, although the child's origins remain a mystery. Although Latitudes of Melt is set in Canada, not Australia, both character-driven historical novels are lush, detailed, and descriptive.… (more)
  6. 01
    Moloka'i by Alan Brennert (akblanchard)
    akblanchard: Both books have exotic, isolated settings and characters who experience great love as well as great loss.

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

English (271)  Dutch (1)  All languages (272)
Showing 1-5 of 271 (next | show all)
WOW! Could not stop reading... Great book for bookclubs. Cannot imagine what it would me like to live the way they did, so isolated. I've read several good books this summer, and this is one of the best. ( )
  amylynnd | Sep 18, 2015 |
I haven't had a 5 star book in a while, but this is the best read this year, by far. The premise: a couple, manning a remote lighthouse off the coast of Australia after WWI, finds themselves childless after a series of miscarriages. By chance, one stormy night a boat washes ashore, bearing a dead man and a live baby. The rest of the book describes what happens next, and I cannot possibly write anything that would do the narrative justice. The story is splendid, hitting every possible emotional mark: the euphoria of having a child at last, after war and so much devastation; the guilt of knowing the baby isn't rightly theirs, the knowledge that so much love comes at the expense, possibly, of another. I was a puddle of tears at the conclusion, in truth, the last few chapters. Wrenching , beautiful, inevitable and perfect. That's all I can say! ( )
  karenchase | Aug 20, 2015 |
Set in Australia after World War I, this is the story of Tom Sherbourne, a young man who experienced the horrors of the Western Front for four years. Because of all the pain and hurt he had witnessed, he resolves never to hurt anyone again. He returns to his native Australia and takes a job as the Lighthouse Keeper on an island miles from the shore where he is the island's sole inhabitant. The supply boat comes four times a year and he only returns to the mainland every 2-3 years. He gets married on one of those visits and returns to the island with his wife. Saying much more about the book would be a spoiler, but the plot involves decision making which has a major impact on the lives of the couple and on others. Tom's resolve never to cause hurt to others is supremely challenged. All of the main characters are quite likeable and as the reader, I felt as though I experienced Tom's pain as he tried to resolve an unsolvable conflict. Beautiful language and writing made this book a pleasure to read. Highly recommended. ( )
  TheresaCIncinnati | Aug 17, 2015 |
On rereading this book, I would give it six stars if I could. This was our book club selection this month and it was universally liked or better yet, loved. Knowing the outcome before reading the book did not make it any less emotional in the reading, but it did give me the opportunity to appreciate the writing even more than I did on the first reading. The cover that I chose for this posting is the Australian edition. I like the Lighthouse cover better, but in this version, there is a subtitle to the book: THIS IS THE STORY OF RIGHT AND WRONG, AND HOW SOMETIMES THEY LOOK THE SAME. Well said. The story involves tragic loss, so it may not be for everyone, but it is a wonderful book. ( )
  TheresaCIncinnati | Aug 17, 2015 |
I haven't cried at the end of a book since "The Notebook" by Nicholas Sparks in the 1990's. In "The Light Between Oceans," a lighthouse keeper and his wife are the sole inhabitants of an island off the Australian coast. One day, a crying infant washes ashore in a rowboat and the story proceeds from there. Part mystery, part romance and full of symbolism, the characters and their dilemma will stay with you for months afterwards. ( )
  Terri_Frank | Aug 1, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 271 (next | show all)
Light" is a story you want to finish, despite some predictability problems. I cared about Tom and Isabel, and cheered for them even as they betrayed each other. And I was charmed by the supporting cast of characters (Bluey and Ralph in particular).

Stedman's grasp of the dialect of the region's inhabitants and dialogue fitting for the era are admirable. Her writing is sound, if sometimes uninspiring, but every so often she throws out a gorgeous line that you have to stop and read twice to appreciate, like this one: "A goblin thought jumps onto her shoulder: what's the point of tomorrow?" Or, "The rain is falling more heavily, and in the distance, thunder grumbles at being left behind by the lightning." Nice.

First-time novelist Stedman did what all good writers should do: She got her readers emotionally invested in her story.

As if you needed it, here's more proof that this novel is worth your time: The film rights have already been picked up.

The miraculous arrival of a child in the life of a barren couple delivers profound love but also the seeds of destruction.......A polished, cleverly constructed and very precisely calculated first novel
As time passes, the harder the decision becomes to undo and the more towering is its impact. This is the story of its terrible consequences.

But it is also a description of the extraordinary, sustaining power of a marriage to bind two people together in love, through the most emotionally harrowing circumstances.

Light Between Oceans' is tough to shake off....And to the author's credit, Light's resolution is neither sensationalistic nor overly tidy. Everyone in this book has to make tough choices, including the little girl. By letting neither her readers nor her characters off the hook easily, Stedman creates a bond that makes her book tough to shake off.

You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
In memory of my parents
First words
On the day of the miracle, Isabel was kneeling at the cliff's edge, tending the small, newly made driftwood cross.
There are still more days to travel in this life. And he knows that the man who makes the journey has been shaped by every day and every person along the way.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Publisher series
Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English


Book description
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.

1926. Tom Sherbourne is a young lighthouse keeper on a remote island off Western Australia. The only inhabitants of Janus Rock, he and his wife, Isabel, live a quiet life, cocooned from the rest of the world.
The one April morning a boat washes ashore carrying a dead man and a crying infant - and the path of the couple's lives hits an unthinkable crossroads.
Only years later do they discover the devastating consequences of the decision they made that day - as the baby's real story unfolds...
M.L.STEDMAN'S debut is the mesmerising novel of loyalty, love and unbearable choices.
Haiku summary

No descriptions found.

"A novel set on a remote Australian island, where a childless couple live quietly running a lighthouse, until a boat carrying a baby washes ashore"--

(summary from another edition)

» see all 9 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
9 avail.
376 wanted
5 pay12 pay

Popular covers


Average: (3.98)
0.5 1
1 9
1.5 6
2 43
2.5 22
3 166
3.5 86
4 459
4.5 100
5 296


2 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

See editions

Recorded Books

An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

» Publisher information page

LibraryThing Early Reviewers Alumn

The Light Between Oceans: A Novel by M L Stedman was made available through LibraryThing Early Reviewers. Sign up to possibly get pre-publication copies of books.

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Store | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 99,780,781 books! | Top bar: Always visible