Book Review – “The Light Between Oceans” by M. L. Stedman

lightbetweenoceans  Title:  The Light Between Oceans

Author:  M. L. Stedman

ISBN:  9781451681734

Publisher:  Scribner

Synopsis (from

The debut of a stunning new voice in fiction— a novel both heartbreaking and transcendent

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.

My thoughts:  I must sincerely thank my book club for bringing this book to my attention and choosing it for our January read!  Thank you, thank you, thank you.  This is not the type of book I normally read, but am glad I did.  I don’t even really know where to begin to talk about this book.  Through its plots and subplots, the author has amazing character development of many key characters.

This is a beautifully written novel that takes you on a journey . . . at one moment you are have your mind made up about how you feel toward each of the characters and in the next moment that all changes.  The character and actions that you hate . . . all of a sudden you see it from their perspective and change your mind!

It is a story about decisions, isolation, deceit, lies, cover-ups, love, loss, grief, . . . and more.  It makes you ask yourself the question, “What would I do?”

You know a book is good when you are reaching for your phone to jot down a great quote from the book.  One of my favorite quotes from the book, and perhaps a great metaphor for life when you stop to think about it:

“A lighthouse is for others; powerless to illuminate the space closest to it.”

I highly recommend this book!

And remember,

Books are Life,




1 Comment

Filed under Book Reviews, Fiction, New Releases

One response to “Book Review – “The Light Between Oceans” by M. L. Stedman

  1. Marika

    I love this book…it’s perfect even if sad.It’s a great story and it teaches you that the love can be limitless.

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