Rated of 5
by Rebecca E. (Bala Cynwyd, PA)
Love and Loss, Light and Dark
The Light Between Oceans is a promising debut from Australian author M. L. Stedman. As good historical fiction is supposed to do, this book introduced me to several new topics, namely, everything I ever wanted to know about lighthouses, and also the deeply felt impact of far-away World War I on the citizens of a small coastal Australian town.
At the heart of the well-drawn plot and characters is a terrible moral dilemma, and the ramifications and heartbreak of the solution to the problem. As a mother who knows the pain of pregnancy loss and miscarriage, Isabel and Tom’s story resonated with me and kept me up late at night reading until I had finished the novel. Stedman’s writing and use of metaphor is skillful, and the reader can feel the emptiness and solitude of life alone at the edge of the world, the profound darkness of the ocean relieved by the lighthouse, and the tremendous longing and loss that can only be relieved by hope eternal.
I look forward to Stedman’s next novel, and highly recommend The Light Between Oceans.