Title: The Light Between Oceans
Author: M.L. Stedman
Publisher: Scribner 2012
Genre: Historical Fiction
Rating: 5/5 stars
Reading Challenges: Share-a-Tea; Modern Mrs. Darcy -- Recommended by a librarian; Library Love
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, 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, who keeps meticulous records and whose moral principles have withstood a horrific war, wants to report the man and infant immediately. But Isabel insists the baby is a “gift from God,” and 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.
This was our book club selection for January and it did not disappoint. I resist reading it for so long because many had said it was tearjerker. I held it together until the last two pages and then the tears came hard and heavy. This book is beautifully written story of a marriage and hard decisions. I instantly fell in with Tom and Isabel and sped through every page to find out what happens to them. I felt their anguish when Lucy arrives on the island and their anguish when the truth comes out (not really a spoiler as you knew it was going to happen; the spoilers are what happens after the truth comes out). Every sentence is expertly crafted to give the reader a voice from a character, a description of action, or to bring Janus to life. I was fascinated by life at the lighthouse and the routines the inhabitants established. Such a great book. I'm so glad this was my first read of 2018. Amazing way to start my year of reading.
Next up on the TBR pile: