What a wonderful book. It takes place at the end if the land where two oceans meet in Western Australia.The key protagonists are to very wounded light house keepers, living in isolation 100 miles from land.Tom is a WW 1 veteran and Isabel has miscarried 3 children. Into their life comes a lifeboat with a dead man and a baby girl. They keep the child and do not mention the incident to anyone . In a small village a woman believes her husband and child have disappeared. The consequences from these actions affect all these protagonists through the years.at the end of the book I was in tears for all the characters.
Rated of 5
by Lisa M. (Fullerton, CA)
An Incredible Debut Novel
This story drew me in from the first page. Compelling and provocative, it raises many questions about right and wrong, and the human heart's capacity for love and forgiveness. Gorgeously written - the people and settings sprang to life from the pages - it's really an amazing first novel from this author. I hope to see more from her in the future.
Rated of 5
by G. Bridget Davis (Newburgh, NY)
The Light Between Oceans
This is a great book. I never before thought about lighthouses except in terms of their usefulness in days gone by. I never thought about the men who worked in them, the loneliness for them and their families and their absolute dedication to their responsibilities. But this book is more than history, it's a story of love, selflessness and selfishness. The characters were amazing and I found myself struggling over who I sided with the most and wondering, if I were in their places, would I make my choices with my heart or my conscience. I can't wait to discuss this with my book club.
Rated of 5
by Carol P. (Mendham, NJ)
The consequences of our decisions
What a wonderful debut novel. The setting is after WWI in Australia. Tom and Isabelle marry and move to Janus Island where Tom is the lighthouse keeper. They both would love a family however Isabelle suffers multiple miscarriages. One day however a boat reaches the island with a dead man and a crying baby on board. The decision Tom and Isabelle make about baby Lucy will impact friends, family and will devastate one family on the mainland. The author brings you into the tragic decision created by Tom and Lucy and the compounding impact to so many characters. I wash brought to tears many times as Isabelle and Tom reach their own moving choices! I think this is a great book club selection. Many great discussion topics on right and wrong and the moral dilemma created by what seemed to be an easy decision. I would also recommend this book for young adults. I hope to read another book by this author who develops such wonderful characters.
Rated of 5
by Amy M. (Brooklyn, NY)
The Vagaries of Love
The Light Between Oceans is a captivating and heartfelt story about the extent to which we’re willing to go for those we love. Tom’s a reliable, quiet lighthouse keeper, a lonely man until he meets sweet, flirty Isabel, a woman very different from himself. After their wedding she joins Tom on isolated Janus Rock, where, together, they happily prepare their home for a family. When life disappoints them, Tom takes an extreme risk, going against his nature, to make Isabel happy. Now, while Isabel awakens ecstatic each day, Tom is decidedly troubled and, for the first time in their marriage, there are silences and vital issues they can’t discuss.
ML Stedman brings Tom and Isabel, two flawed, desperate but likable people, alive in the pages of her book, weaving a compelling and morally complex story that will keep readers mesmerized until the very last page.
Rated of 5
by Mary P. (Bellingham, WA)
The light between oceans
I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. It's literary fiction, taking place in Australia after WWI, with fully developed characters and poetic descriptions of physical and emotional aspects. It probes a moral question of whom a child belongs to--biological parents, or the parents who have mothered and fathered her since she was an infant. The use of location as metaphor is important--being isolated on an island to take care of a light house, and joining society by having a home leave every few years. Almost a read-at-one-sitting book.
Rated of 5
by Karen S. (Princeton, MN)
A Very Moving Debut Novel
The story of Tom and Isabel Sherbourne and their 'life on the lights' transports the reader into a duplicitous world where impossible choices are made based on great love and great loss. For Tom, a beleaguered war hero, Janus Island affords a solitary existence where he can be alone to wrestle with the ghosts of war. He meets Isabel on a leave from the lighthouse and they begin a tumultuous journey together on the Island. The stark loneliness of the island may have been a proper environment for Tom for deal with his demons, but it is no place for Isabel to recover from two miscarriages and a still born birth. One day, a boat enters their world with the possibility of a new start for Isabel, but for Tom, it is the beginning of the end.
The author does a good job in developing the characters so that this reader is emotionally divided as to what would normally be a clear moral choice. As I became involved with the characters I was surprised that I wasn't always able to determine where blame should be placed. I empathized with them in their struggle and hoped for their redemption, and for Tom and Isabel redemption comes in surprising acts of forgiveness and an unlikely legacy.
This debut novel was very enjoyable and would be a great choice for a book club, as it has potential for some deep and meaningful discussion.
U.S. ebook sales up in 2012, but rate of growth is slowing(May 16 2013) In 2012, trade book sales (i.e. non academic book sales) rose 6.9%, to $15.049 billion, and e-book sales continued to grow, although the rate of growth...