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The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman
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The Light Between Oceans (original 2012; edition 2012)

by M.L. Stedman

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
3,8803521,327 (3.95)1 / 330
Member:ctpress
Title:The Light Between Oceans
Authors:M.L. Stedman
Info:Scribner (2012), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover
Collections:Read, Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:None

Work details

The Light Between Oceans by M. L. Stedman (2012)

  1. 10
    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)
  2. 32
    Silas Marner by George Eliot (aliklein)
  3. 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
  4. 54
    The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards (aliklein)
  5. 00
    The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton (dara85)
  6. 00
    The Wonder by Emma Donoghue (kqueue)
    kqueue: Both present thorny ethical dilemmas in a historic setting with sympathetic characters.
  7. 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.
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Showing 1-5 of 360 (next | show all)
Compelling and well written, the story captured me from the start. The synopsis can be read several different places so I won't repeat it. I think the book has a rather neutral ending, tinged with sadness, but many seem to think it has a sad ending. If you dislike sad endings, this might not be the book for you, but if you only read books with happy endings, you miss so much good literature.

This a darn good story. It's a story that stays with the reader and urges reading until the end. It's how life is much of the time. Life is good, but life is also sad and tragic sometimes. Good people experience bad things at times. And good people often do the right thing, even if it's painful, thank goodness. The reader will love both sides of this tangle, all the angles of those involved. It's one of those tough situations where we feel and anguish of all parties.

There is also joy in the book, and beautiful scenes. Only if you're set against less than happy endings should you miss this book. ( )
  Rascalstar | Jan 21, 2017 |
What a bittersweet feeling. Four stars for a beautifully written story and a main character (Tom) that is one of the best men I've ever read. ( )
  Danyspike | Jan 14, 2017 |
This story brought me to tears and that says a lot. This story of life, loss and love ended as it should have, but not the way I wanted the events to evolve.

"Soon enough the days will close over their lives, the grass will grow over their graves, until their story is just an unvisited headstone." ( )
  jothebookgirl | Jan 3, 2017 |
All I can say is I hope Ms. Stedman continues writing because her first novel is now one of my favorites. I absolutely loved “The Light Between Oceans”. It is wonderfully written and the characters all pull at your heartstrings. And the ending wasn’t predictable – I changed my mind numerous time as to how I thought it would end. I highly recommend it and can’t wait to pass my copy of it on for others to enjoy. ( )
  lynnski723 | Dec 31, 2016 |
A genre I don't usually read but I was completely engrossed, hard to put it down. ( )
  gnjkreations | Dec 14, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 360 (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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Dedication
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.
Quotations
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.
History is that which is agreed upon by mutual consent.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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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