Saturday, January 26, 2013

Light Between the Oceans by M. L. Stedman [Review]

The Light Between Oceans4 out of 5 Robots!

The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman
Genre: Historical Fiction
Release: July 31, 2012
Hardcover: 343 Pages
Publisher: Scribner
My Copy: Purchased
Reviewer: Shannon
Buy the Book: Amazon

Book Summary:
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.
(Courtesy of the Publisher)
Shannon's Thoughts:
This review has taken a long time to write.  I find myself at a loss of what to say.  I really liked this book, but it left me with many conflicting emotions.  There are so many sides to this story and each one is heartbreaking.  M. L. Stedman does a great job of making you sympathize with each view point and understanding why the characters do the things they do.  There is no clear path of right or wrong.  The writing is beautiful and often lyrical.  I also loved the setting.  I haven't read many books set in Australia and particularly not set after World War I.  It was at once familiar, but not.   Ultimately this is a heart-wrenching story about a husband's promise and a mother's love.  I recommend it checking it out!


  1. Well, this sounds intriguing , I have not heard of it before, but it looks familiar somehow. I don't know why
    Might check it out sometime
    Your reader,

  2. I just finished this last night -- in tears. You are right when you say there are so many sides to the story. It's heartbreaking. You know from the beginning that there's no way everyone is going to be happy.....great review. I'll post one next week.

    1. You are so right Annette! When I started it I thought to myself "there is no way this ends well". But I thought it was a pretty realistic ending, all things considering. Can't wait to read your review on it!

      Shannon @ Rex Robot Reviews



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