Monday, March 4, 2013

Book Review: The Light Between Oceans by M. L. Stedman

Thumbs up for this one!

I started this book on Saturday night and was finished by Sunday afternoon. It was not a short book but because it was so well written, and the plot moved at a steady pace, I found that I could not put it down.

Meet Tom Sherbourne, a veteran of WWI, who comes back to Australia to be the lightkeeper at Janus Point. This post is on a real deserted island, with only the lightkeeper present to the lighthouse illuminated each evening as a beacon/warning for ships on the outskirts of Australia. Service terms are 3 years long, with a ship coming seasonally with supplies and news from the mainland. This arrangement suits Tom well, as he does not think he can be part of the world after the horrors he has seen.

He meets Isabel on the mainland prior to his first term and they become a couple. She is a young idealistic girl, over ten years younger than him who sees this as an adventure with the man she loves. Time and tragedy change her perspective and after three pregnancies that end without a live child, she is disillusioned and bitter.

As she buries her third baby, she hears an infant's cry in the wind, carrying to shore from the ocean. A boat washes up with a dead man and a small infant. Rules would dictate that Tom post this immediately to the superiors but instead temptation takes over and the struggle to appease a mourning wife becomes paramount as he tries to save those he loves.

This is only the beginning of a saga that continues with choices continually made and the ramifications that ensue. Many lives are touched by these rash decisions. What a great read!

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