The Light Between Oceans

The Light Between Oceans

Paperback - 2012 | Large print edition.
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After four harrowing years on the Western Front, Tom Sherbourne returns to Australia and takes a job as lighthouse keeper on Janus Rock. To this isolated island, 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 carrying a dead man and a living baby. Isabel persuades Tom to keep this "gift from God," and we are swept into their story.
Publisher: Waterville, Maine : Thorndike Press, 2012.
Edition: Large print edition.
ISBN: 9781410452573
1410452573
Branch Call Number: Large Print Fic
Characteristics: 553 pages : map ; 23 cm.

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From Library Staff

Australia is the setting for this novel, which follows a lighthouse keeper and his wife, whose tragic and unsuccessful attempts to have a child have made them desperate for one. An unexpected discovery of a baby on a drifting boat ends with a decision to keep her, despite the fact that she's acco... Read More »


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d
Dream24
Aug 30, 2018

I picked this book up with high hopes, only to feel a little let down.

There is quite the dilemma here. Tom and Isabel have had like 3 miscarriages and 1 stillbirth (something like that). One day a row boat drifts to Janus carrying a dead man and a baby girl, so what do they do? Well Isabel is convinced it is a sign from God, and they must keep the baby girl (named Lucy). However.... when they return to civilization with young Lucy, they found out that Lucy might actually be Grace, the missing daughter of Hannah (a local resident who lost her husband and baby girl a few short years ago to an unknown fate). And what does Isabel do? She thinks it is best to keep things a secret so no one else gets hurt and the deception to continue on the guilty conscious of Tom.

On Janus, things are simple and filled with daily rituals. Is what Isabel and Tom did right? That is very conflicting. Yes Isabel may have suffered continued heartache over the children she could never have, but to have put her family and Hannah's family through all this horrible thing may not have seemed like the best choice. But then again with a mother so desperate for a baby/child to love, who was Tom to deny her that.

When the deception finally unravels, the story got a little boring and just dragged on and on. Poor little Lucy Grace is caught between the two worlds (her life on Janus and her original life with Hannah), with no idea what is going on and how to handle the sudden shock and change.

In all honesty, I could not and gave up trying to understand and relate to Isabel. She seems so selfish and depressed. Yes she has issues, but clearly forcing Tom to help her keep the secret is not a good way to deal with this issue. Tom is a good guy, he tries so hard to make things right now that the war is over, but he is too much of a doormat when going up against Isabel.

The ending. Meh. I could honestly take it or leave it, I really didn't care what happened to them in the end

o
orange_lobster_23
Apr 18, 2018

Newly-wed WWII veteran Tom Sherburne takes the position of lighthouse keeper on a remote coastal Australian island with his wife in order to regain a sense of peace and stability.
After wife Isabel suffers two miscarriages and a still-birth; the couple's life together is set in turmoil as Isabel discovers a yawl containing a dead man and a crying infant washed on shore after a gale. Moral and ethical decisions, individually, and as a couple, confront them as a decision is made to keep the baby as their own. They are faced with the implications of their choices upon returning to the main-land to visit family two years later and coming into contact with the infant's biological mother. This is a heart-breaking, soul-searching read in which the reader empathizes with all the main characters.

s
smiliesar
Nov 20, 2017

loved the beginning of this book but it was such a frustrating ending and so much heartache I wish I's never read it

d
dlh1
Oct 25, 2017

I found this book to be very thought provoking, regarding the choices we make in life. Sometimes our instincts lead us off the path of what is "right". The author chose to let the characters face the consequences and grow (from not keeping the secret any longer). Too bad that most people in real life wouldn't chose this path willingly.

k
kathybibus
Sep 11, 2017

My heart hurt and was joyful after reading this book. It was brilliant.

CatherineG_1 Sep 09, 2017

Thornhill Village Evening Book Club, Thursday, September 14th at 6:30 p.m.

Come out and share your thoughts about this book and the movie!

Everyone is welcome!

t
trudge
Aug 22, 2017

Absolutely beautiful writing. Highly recommended for both the use of language and the story.

w
wmtlady
Aug 17, 2017

I wanted to put M.L. Stedman on my favorite author list but it looks like this is a debut novel.
Definitely a 5-Star novel. I considered watching the movie made of it but didn't request it because (from reviews) the depth of the characters and their emotional experiences couldn't be brought out in the film; the film tried to cover all the time of the book--to the boredom of many and yet didn't do it justice. So---READ this book instead of viewing the movie; so worth the poetic description and the pace is not boring. 10-Star concluding chapter.

f
finsikins
Jun 22, 2017

Couldn't put this book down! It really made me think about the thin silver thread between right and wrong. If you want a stirring, thought-provoking and beautifully crafted novel that stays with you long after you've read it, then this is the book for you. And so good to support an Australian author too.

o
Olivy
Apr 17, 2017

A very beautiful book. I first saw the movie and wanted 'more' so I borrowed the book. I was not let down, the details provided a more complete story and really complimented the movie. The writing is incredible as well; a real treat. I suggest watching the film and then reading the book as it is fun to discover more rather than wonder why they did not include certain details.

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21221010665351
Jun 14, 2017

vortex,

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yehafr
Aug 13, 2016

"She's a beauty all right" said Tom, taking in the giant lens, far taller than himself, atop the rotating pedestal: a palace of prisms like a beehive made from glass. It was the very heart of Janus, all light and clarity and silence."

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becker
Nov 03, 2012

“You only have to forgive once. To resent, you have to do it all day, every day.”

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LauraSteinert
Dec 03, 2015

LauraSteinert thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

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