Thursday, September 26, 2013

The Light Between Oceans

The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman is a beautifully crafted story of love, loss, forgiveness, and redemption.

In December 1918, Tom Sherbourne signs on as an Australian lighthouse keeper. He is looking for isolation after spending four years on the Western Front. His first permanent assignment is on a small island at the southwestern tip of Australia called Janus Rock. His only contact with the outside world is the seasonal supply boat. He only gets shore leave every other year. Janus Rock is the perfect place to hide away from the world and from the past. Remarkably, while on a shore leave he meets a young beautiful woman who is willing to share his life on Janus Rock. They live happily cocooned in their isolation until a series of miscarriages brings unbearable sadness into their lives. Two weeks after the stillbirth of their son a miracle happens. A small boat drifts up to the island. The young man in the boat is dead, however a tiny baby girl is very much alive. Isabel believes this baby is a gift from God sent to replace the son she just lost. Isabel tells Tom that the baby's mother must have drowned, and she convinces Tom that they should keep the baby. He reluctantly agrees, but only because he sees how this little girl has brought joy into his wife's bleak existence. He falsifies the lighthouse documents to indicate that Isabel has given birth earlier than expected. Then their plan begins to unravel.

The Light Between Oceans is on my personal "favorite books" list. I highly recommend this remarkable award winning debut novel.

~Gilby G

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