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The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman

The Light Between Oceans (original 2012; edition 2012)

by M.L. Stedman

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2,3182192,725 (3.99)1 / 217
Title:The Light Between Oceans
Authors:M.L. Stedman
Info:Scribner (2012), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover
Collections:Your library
Tags:Australia, post WWI, light house, family

Work details

The Light Between Oceans by M L Stedman (2012)

2012 (22) 2013 (46) 2014 (18) Australia (198) Australian (15) Australian literature (13) baby (10) book club (38) ebook (26) family (36) fiction (236) grief (9) historical (19) historical fiction (113) isolation (15) Kindle (23) lighthouse keepers (13) lighthouses (119) literary fiction (14) loss (15) love (24) marriage (50) novel (11) post-WWI (12) read (17) read in 2012 (20) read in 2013 (32) to-read (188) wishlist (10) WWI (29)
  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. 44
    The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards (aliklein)

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English (225)  Dutch (1)  All languages (226)
Showing 1-5 of 225 (next | show all)
Louise Webb
  KindredSpirits | Jul 10, 2014 |
The Light Between Oceans tells the post World War I story about a lighthouse keeper and his wife and the decisions they make when a dead man and living baby wash ashore. The moral questions they face and answer aren’t easy, and therein is the heart of the story. This is a great book for book clubs, and I highly recommend it. ( )
  JoStARs | Jun 15, 2014 |
Bookray started by ValPete; The title refers to the lighthouse on Janus Island, which is situated between the Indian and Southern Oceans off the SW coast of Australia. Tom returns from WWI, and takes up the solitary job of lighthouse keeper. He meets Isabel during a leave & marries her. After multiple miscarriages and a stillbirth, a boat with a dead father and a live infant washes up on the lighthouse shore. In their isolation, they decide to keep the baby as their own, assuming she's a foundling. But when they get shore leave a few years later, they find that the mother is still alive, and grieving terribly. But against Tom's judgment, Isabel convinces him to stay quiet. But he leaves a note for the mother, starting a chain of events that's devastating to both families and others in the community. The story is very powerful throughout, until the ending, which while nice & what the reader wants, doesn't do the book justice. ( )
  nancynova | Jun 8, 2014 |
A quietly intense book that had me in tears at the end. Made me stop and take stock of things I should put to rest, people I should forgive, and figure out how to move on with my life gracefully and as fully as I can. And I'm just not there yet, not able to let go and the future. But I'm trying. ( )
  limamikealpha | Jun 5, 2014 |
This was my library book club read for this month. I had the audio version and not sure if it was the narrator or just the fact that the audio book didn't capture my interest in the story. I liked the story line but I just didn't feel it in the audio version.

I felt torn between the two women Isabel who keeps a baby that her husband finds on a boat near the light house they live in. Isabel has had miscarriages and a still birth. I felt for her but yet I just couldn't fathom keeping a baby just to please my need to be a mother.

The mother whose child Isabel finds is one that I couldn't like or dislike. She held onto the fact that her child must still be alive along with her husband because they never found any bodies. I felt for her but I also got annoyed with her after she was given her child back.

I will possibly decide to read the book to see if I have a different opinion. ( )
  crazy4reading | May 18, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 225 (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.

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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.
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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.
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"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"--

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