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A captivating, beautiful, and stunningly accomplished debut novel that opens in 1918 Australia - the story of a lighthouse keeper and his wife who make one devastating choice that forever changes two worlds. Australia, 1926. After four harrowing years fighting on the Western Front, Tom Sherbourne returns home to take a job as the lighthouse keeper on Janus Rock, nearly hal A captivating, beautiful, and stunningly accomplished debut novel that opens in 1918 Australia - the story of a lighthouse keeper and his wife who make one devastating choice that forever changes two worlds. Australia, 1926. After four harrowing years fighting on the Western Front, Tom Sherbourne returns home to take 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 debut 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.


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A captivating, beautiful, and stunningly accomplished debut novel that opens in 1918 Australia - the story of a lighthouse keeper and his wife who make one devastating choice that forever changes two worlds. Australia, 1926. After four harrowing years fighting on the Western Front, Tom Sherbourne returns home to take a job as the lighthouse keeper on Janus Rock, nearly hal A captivating, beautiful, and stunningly accomplished debut novel that opens in 1918 Australia - the story of a lighthouse keeper and his wife who make one devastating choice that forever changes two worlds. Australia, 1926. After four harrowing years fighting on the Western Front, Tom Sherbourne returns home to take 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 debut 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.

30 review for Svet v okeane

  1. 5 out of 5

    Barbara Williams

    I am going to start with review with a disclaimer. This review is subjective, from my point of view etc. I thought this book was terrible, bad, no good. You don’t have to agree with me, and you could think that this was the most AMAZING book and your eyes almost exploded from all the awesomeness that traveled through them to reach your brain which leapt in your skull with every sentence you read, and that is fine. I do not think that you are inferior to me. Now on to my review. Stop here for spo I am going to start with review with a disclaimer. This review is subjective, from my point of view etc. I thought this book was terrible, bad, no good. You don’t have to agree with me, and you could think that this was the most AMAZING book and your eyes almost exploded from all the awesomeness that traveled through them to reach your brain which leapt in your skull with every sentence you read, and that is fine. I do not think that you are inferior to me. Now on to my review. Stop here for spoilers (although you might regret it! It’s an awesome review.) I am not one to judge books by their covers, although a good cover is always a bonus, and this book has a excellent one. Props to the graphic designer. Combined with being on the New York Times Best Seller list, and having an first rate premise, I thought this one was a winner. But I was wrong. DEAD WRONG (ok that is a little dramatic.) If I was describe my reading experience like the ocean tides, sometimes I would be fine, floating near the shore, but other times it would sweep me out to sea with its ridiculousness. The conclusion didn’t help the novel’s case. It left a distinctly bitter taste in my mouth. So basically the premise is that a couple, Tom and Isabel, living on a island in a lighthouse in Australia, find a dead man and baby ashore. Isabel, filled with grief from her last three miscarriages, begs her husband to kidnap the baby and bury the dead man in a ditch so she can be fulfilled as a woman and finally have a child. She assumes that the mother is dead, so I mean, is she really doing anything wrong? It’s like when you find a stray dog and it has a collar. What if the dog was being abused, so that’s why it ran away? It’s your duty to keep that cute dog and love it forever. Except…. This is a BABY. Now I have never had a miscarriage, nor have I ever had children, so I guess this is why I hated Isabel so much. I don’t understand her point of view AT ALL. I agreed with Tom, and was pretty mad when his sympathies got the better of him. I mean really, it’s a BABY people. It is a human life you're messing with! So Tom and Isabel visit the main land like every three years, and this time they bring the baby, who they have named Lucy, for her christening and to show off to everyone. Now here comes the twist: the mother is alive! Shocker I know. So Tom once again is like, “Hey, this is kidnapping now, and the mother is literally insane with grief. Maybe we should give back her baby.” And Isabel is all like, “No! I can’t have babies. And I am a selfish person who is pretending to be a good person by saying it is better for the baby if she stays with us. We can’t confuse Lucy!” For me, I have always thought love was doing what is best for the person you care for. Apparently, this is not what Isabel thinks love is, so this makes her the villain of the story in my perspective. So of course, Tom and Isabel are found out eventually, all by Tom’s doing, so he takes the blame for everything. This is the point where I want to give up on the book, and it’s not because I hate Isabel for letting Tom take the blame to make him suffer for taking Lucy away. The story is full of pointless dialog and characters (and not even Jane Austin style with enjoyable pointless dialog.) It is like Stedman’s publisher was like, “This novel has to be 300+ pages so, get on that and write me some more!” I think I would have enjoyed this story much more if it was a short story. I skimmed the last chapters, just so I could be done with it. Now there are some redeeming factors to this novel ( I mean it’s not like this is 50 Shades of Gray terrible, I gave it two stars) . Stedman is a great writer when it comes down to descriptions of the island of Janus and little antidotes about the 1920’s in Australia. I just didn’t like her characters, NOT one of them. So my conclusion is read this book for yourself and make up your own opinion. As for me, I still need to learn that “judging a book by its cover” is a phrase for a reason. ***EDIT*** So I just found out that they are making this book into a movie. Because Hollywood. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2547584/?ref_=nv_sr_1

  2. 4 out of 5

    Gabe

    The Light Between Oceans is an incredibly moving novel about what happens when good people make bad decisions. The story takes place in the town of Point Partageuse, Australia during the 1920s. The story begins when a light house keeper and his wife find a life boat containing a live baby (and dead man) on the shore of their isolated island. Through a mixture of misplaced intentions and unsupported superstition they decide to raise the child as their own -- deciding not to inform the authorities The Light Between Oceans is an incredibly moving novel about what happens when good people make bad decisions. The story takes place in the town of Point Partageuse, Australia during the 1920s. The story begins when a light house keeper and his wife find a life boat containing a live baby (and dead man) on the shore of their isolated island. Through a mixture of misplaced intentions and unsupported superstition they decide to raise the child as their own -- deciding not to inform the authorities of the child's existence. Although the book was a quick read, I never once felt that it was forced or lacking in anyway. The plot is compact -- never wavering from its central theme. I enjoy this kind of focused writing. Irrelevant or distracting side plots would have pulled me away from Tom and Isabel's narrative and weakened my investment in their turmoil. The story is highly emotional. Stedman crafts a perfectly gray scenario that forces its readers to question their own moral standing. This truly is reader manipulation at its most powerful. Allowing the reader to sympathize with morally ambiguous characters is a difficult task, however, Stedman presents her narrative in such a way that the reader can't help feeling the same inner conflict as Tom and Isabel. Considering this is Stedman's first published novel, I am incredibly excited to see what she produces next. This was a masterpiece in storytelling.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Khanh, first of her name, mother of bunnies

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. On the Offshore Lights you can live any story you want to tell yourself, and no one will say you’re wrong: not the seagulls, not the prisms, not the wind. So Isabel floats further and further into her world of divine benevolence, where prayers are answered, where babies arrive by the will of God and the working of currents. There's this married couple, their names are Tom and Isabel. For the purposes of this review, Tom = Doormat and Isabel = Batshit Crazy but we'll shorten it to Batshit. It's 1 On the Offshore Lights you can live any story you want to tell yourself, and no one will say you’re wrong: not the seagulls, not the prisms, not the wind. So Isabel floats further and further into her world of divine benevolence, where prayers are answered, where babies arrive by the will of God and the working of currents. There's this married couple, their names are Tom and Isabel. For the purposes of this review, Tom = Doormat and Isabel = Batshit Crazy but we'll shorten it to Batshit. It's 1926 Australia, we're on a rock (it's actually called Janus Rock) in the ocean in the middle of nowhere, and considering we're in Australia, it's even middle-of-nowhere-er. Doormat is a lighthouse keeper. He records the motion of the ocean, the way of the waves, the bodies that wash ashore, and all of that. Well, not so much the bodies that wash ashore, because that happens just once, and apparently, once is one time too many because that didn't turn out well at all. The day when a man dies and is washed ashore is called "the day of the miracle." Hoooooo-kay. Whatever you call it, Batshit. Ok, here's the situation. One day a dead body washes ashore. Along with it is a wee lil baby, a living baby. Batshit is a woman who desperately wants a child. She has suffered from multiple stillbirths and is grieving and is going slowly mad because of it. A long time ago, she was a woman who had a lot of joy and happiness in her. It was what attracted Doormat to Batshit in the first place. ...he wondered what other secrets lay behind her playful smile. 8 years later, we know what secret lies behind that "playful smile." Pure, unadulterated lunacy. Batshit wants a child. A baby washes ashore! Huzzah! It's a miracle! Only, the baby's not theirs to keep. Sure, it's 1926. And sure, it's Australia, the wild land populated by criminals and kangaroos and wombats (or maybe that's New Zealand?), and people who speak really, really strangely. “Izzy,” Tom called. “Izzy, wait! Don’t do your ’nana, love. He’s not…” But she was already too far off to hear the rest of his words. “She…” Tom considered whether to explain. “She got the wrong end of the stick about it. Sorry. She’s chucked a wobbly. Once she does that, all you can do is batten down the hatches and wait for it to pass. Means I’ll be making sandwiches for lunch, I’m afraid.” But in this lawless land, in this lawless time, there are still regulations and shit to be followed. That's why Tom's there, working as the lighthouse keeper. So when a dead man and a living baby washes ashore, Tom's got a whole lot of fucking paperwork to fill out. “It’s all got to go in the log, pet. You know I’ve got to report everything straightaway,” Tom said, for his duties included noting every significant event at or near the light station, from passing ships and weather, to problems with the apparatus. Only he doesn't. Because his beloved Batshit insists on keeping the baby, for just a little bit longer, the way a 4-year old child says "Please, daddy, I'll go to bed in just 5 minutes!" It ain't gonna happen. It's never going to be just five fucking minutes, and Batshit isn't just planning to keep the poor half-dead baby just oooooooooone more day. Despite what Doormat tells her, against all fucking common sense to just, you know turn the baby in to proper authorities, Batshit doesn't fucking listen. “Then the baby’s probably got a mother waiting for it somewhere onshore, tearing her hair out. How would you feel if it was yours?” “You saw the cardigan. The mother must have fallen out of the boat and drowned.” “Sweetheart, we don’t have any idea about the mother. Or about who the man was.” “It’s the most likely explanation, isn’t it? Infants don’t just wander off from their parents.” “Izzy, anything’s possible. We just don’t know.” “When did you ever hear of a tiny baby setting off in a boat without its mother?” She held the child a fraction closer. -_- Oh, logic, you really fucking got it, eh, Batshit? Sure, the baby's mother isn't there. She must be dead. Somehow. Her body must be on the bottom of the ocean floor. The baby can't POSSIBLY have another relative on land. Makes perfect fucking sense. To someone who belongs in Bedlam asylum (not to be mistaken for Arkham asylum. This isn't Batman) Do they have a Bedlam franchise in Australia? Poor Doormat's got a crisis of conscience. He wants to do the right thing, but he's just so fucking in love with Batshit that he gives in. Totally whipped. “I suppose, at a pinch…” he conceded, the words coming with great difficulty, “I could—leave the signal until the morning. First thing, though. As soon as the light’s out.” Yeah, so they wait one day to turn the baby in. And the next thing you know Batshit's breast-feeding the baby! Well, that escalated quickly! “Oh, little sweetheart,” she murmured, and slowly unbuttoned her blouse. Seconds later, the child had latched on fast, sucking contentedly, though only a few drops of milk came. They had been like that for a good while when Tom entered the kitchen. “How’s the—” He stopped in mid-sentence, arrested at the sight. Isabel looked up at him, her face a mixture of innocence and guilt. “It was the only way I could get her to settle.” “But… Well…” Alarmed, Tom couldn’t even frame his questions. “She was desperate. Wouldn’t take the bottle…” “But—but she took it earlier, I saw her…” Uh, ok. So the baby can bottle feed, it's just more convenient to breastfeed her. -____________-; And then next thing you know, the baby's got a name. “We need to welcome Lucy, and say a prayer for her poor father.” “If that’s who he was,” said Tom. “And Lucy?” “Well she needs a name. Lucy means ‘light,’ so it’s perfect, isn’t it?” Seriously, what the fuck? Now all thought of turning the baby in to the authorities is out the window, because how the fuck is poor Doormat going to explain the fact that they kept the baby for weeks, gave her a name, breastfed her, didn't notify the authorities right away, and didn't notify the authorities that they found a dead body that might be her father. Clearly, they're in some deep fucking doodoo. And Batshit is there in her little land of happiness, contented with the fact that she has her wewy own baby! Let's just forget about the fact that the baby may or may not still have a mother or a relative. Let's just throw out all reason out the window. “Izzy, Izzy! You know I’d do anything for you, darl, but—whoever that man is and whatever he’s done, he deserves to be dealt with properly. And lawfully, for that matter. What if the mother’s not dead, and he’s got a wife fretting, waiting for them both?” “What woman would let her baby out of her sight? Face it, Tom: she must have drowned.” What woman would let her baby out of her sight? Maybe a desperate one? Maybe one who gave her to a nanny while she was away? Guh! So there they live, in blissful happy ostrich-in-the-sand-land for several years. Until they realize that, well, shit the baby's mother might be alive. And she ain't a bad person, or a despicable person. “Funny how lives turn out, isn’t it? Born to more money than you can shake a stick at; went all the way to Sydney University to get a degree in something or other; married the love of her life—and you see her now sometimes, wandering about, like she’s got no home to go to.” So as it turned out, the baby's mother is alive and breathing. And wealthy. And scared, and lost, and lonely, because she's lost her husband AND her child. Poor Hannah may be rich, but she's had to fight for her love. She fought to marry a German, and this was pretty bad, considering this is post-WWI. Her father disinherited her, she had to work menial labor, she had to suffer a lot to marry the love of her life. And now her husband may be dead somewhere, she doesn't know (because Batshit and Doormat never reported the dead body) and her daughter may be dead somewhere, she doesn't know (because Batshit and Doormat never reported FINDING A FUCKING BABY). So Hannah is now searching for her husband and daughter. She is wealthy because her father has accepted her again. If Batshit and Doormat returned the baby (Lucy) (who's more like a small child by now), Lucy will have a happy life with a loving mother, a loving aunt, and a doting grandfather, not to mention she'll be rich as fuck. Settled for life, yo. The natural thing, the good thing to do would be to give Lucy that future. But of course, they're not called Doormat and Batshit by me for nothing. So there's poor Hannah. In mourning. Desolate. Childless. And here's how Batshit reacts to that. “Hannah had a terrible tragedy a few years ago. Family lost at sea—her husband, and a daughter who would have been about your girl’s age by now. She’s always asking that sort of thing. Seeing little ones sets her off.” “Dreadful,” Isabel managed to mutter. Understatement of the fucking century. The Romance: There is no romance in this book. It is a love borne out of madness and obsession. It is a love that is full of mindless devotion on Doormat's part, with pure emotional manipulation on Batshit's part. “How can you be so hard-hearted? All you care about is your rules and your ships and your bloody light.” These were accusations Tom had heard before, when, wild with grief after her miscarriages, Isabel had let loose her rage against the only person there—the man who continued to do his duty, who comforted her as best he could, but kept his own grieving to himself. Doormat's mad devotion to his wife will eventually be his own downfall, and as we will learn towards the climax of the book, that love is truly a one-way street. Overall: This book didn't convince me of anything. There were morality issues that failed to send any sort of message besides that of "crazy woman is crazy," "life sucks," and "men need to grow some balls." I didn't like any of the main characters, I ended up being sympathetic to Hannah aka poor mom who lost the kid, which made it all the more frustrating when crazy woman is constantly shoved in our face. Maybe I'm not supposed to like the main characters, but why the hell should I bother to read a book if everything about it frustrates me?

  4. 5 out of 5

    Matthew

    The book - 4 stars The audiobook - negative 1000 stars! (more on that later) This book was a soul crushing catch-22. The decisions the characters had to make and the options they are presented with range from totally awful to not all that great. It was interesting to read a book that felt the entire way through like there is no chance for a happy ending. Which bad option will be the outcome? The audiobook is terrible. So bad that I will never listen to another book by this reader (Noah Taylor). Hi The book - 4 stars The audiobook - negative 1000 stars! (more on that later) This book was a soul crushing catch-22. The decisions the characters had to make and the options they are presented with range from totally awful to not all that great. It was interesting to read a book that felt the entire way through like there is no chance for a happy ending. Which bad option will be the outcome? The audiobook is terrible. So bad that I will never listen to another book by this reader (Noah Taylor). His odd inflections, weird and frequent pauses, poor enunciation, and whispering made this painful to listen to. As much as I did enjoy the book, I was thankful when it was over.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jeanette "Astute Crabbist"

    "Sometimes life turns out hard, Isabel. Sometimes it just bites right through you. And sometimes, just when you think it's done its worst, it comes back and takes another chunk." Remember when you were four years old, and your mother was just about your entire world? If you can remember that long-ago feeling of attachment to a parent, or if you have a child, or if you have longed for a child of your own, your heart will break for little Lucy. And it will break for all the grown-ups who loved her, "Sometimes life turns out hard, Isabel. Sometimes it just bites right through you. And sometimes, just when you think it's done its worst, it comes back and takes another chunk." Remember when you were four years old, and your mother was just about your entire world? If you can remember that long-ago feeling of attachment to a parent, or if you have a child, or if you have longed for a child of your own, your heart will break for little Lucy. And it will break for all the grown-ups who loved her, whether they had a right to or not. This story can feel so slow that you might be tempted to give up. It's gorgeously written, but slooooow. Much of it takes place on a lighthouse rock 100 miles off the tip of Western Australia. The setting accounts in part for the pokey pace, but it's also a big part of the novel's charm. Somewhere in the last third of the book you'll begin to appreciate the mastery in the careful build-up. The pace will pick up (a bit) and you'll be glad you stayed with it.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Mischenko

    Please visit www.readrantrockandroll.com to see this review and others... The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman is a heart-wrenching story about a relationship between two people and the risks they're willing to take for each other. I'm going to say that for me, the story was heart-wrenching. You can feel the love that Tom and Isabel have for each other. Tom, who would do anything for Isabel, is a special character I fell in love with from the start. Is what they do right or wrong? The story i Please visit www.readrantrockandroll.com to see this review and others... The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman is a heart-wrenching story about a relationship between two people and the risks they're willing to take for each other. I'm going to say that for me, the story was heart-wrenching. You can feel the love that Tom and Isabel have for each other. Tom, who would do anything for Isabel, is a special character I fell in love with from the start. Is what they do right or wrong? The story is sure to test your moral judgement. “I promised to spend my life with you. I still want to spend my life with you. Izz, I've learned the hard way that to have any kind of a future you've got to give up hope of ever changing your past.” I did find certain parts a little boring, but the last half of the book - I couldn't stop until the end. However, I do wish it would've ended differently. The conclusion I was looking for wasn't the one I received, but that's the way the author wrote it, and it's still good. It's worth reading and I'd recommend it to anyone. I'm really looking forward to reading more by this author and hope she writes more in the future... 4****

  7. 4 out of 5

    Suzanne

    I just can’t do this. Halfway through, but cannot go on. There are people waiting for this library copy, and the library is calling it back in, so I am going to relinquish it to someone who actually wants to read it. Given the moral choices that form the heart of the plot, this could have been a much better book, if it were, you know, well-written. Apart from the fairly good initial characterization of Tom Sherbourne as a WWI vet suffering from memories of a troubled childhood and PTSD from war I just can’t do this. Halfway through, but cannot go on. There are people waiting for this library copy, and the library is calling it back in, so I am going to relinquish it to someone who actually wants to read it. Given the moral choices that form the heart of the plot, this could have been a much better book, if it were, you know, well-written. Apart from the fairly good initial characterization of Tom Sherbourne as a WWI vet suffering from memories of a troubled childhood and PTSD from war time experiences, and some alright landscape descriptions, this book was, on the whole, filled with sappy, simplistic and sentimental writing than rendered the whole thing fairly bad. And the longer it went on, the more the badness grated on me. I had to give up at page 176 because I no longer cared about the consequences of the moral choices the characters had made, even though the intrinsic complexity of the questions at the core of the story remained an interesting dilemma. Getting to any possible answers (if there were any) or even seeing how it played out was just too painful. Thank you, Kerry, for your review that released me and saved me from a few more hours of this. My Recommendation: Avoid.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Brenda

    What a wonderfully complex and morally riveting story! I literally could not put this down, and read for a solid 3 hours last night, until 1am, when I finished this book! When Tom Sherbourne returned from WWI, he was a shattered man. He needed a quiet place to gather his thoughts, to calm himself, as he didn’t believe he should have survived the war, when his mates did not. So he became a lighthouse keeper, and over the next few years, he did his job, and learned his trade, until he accepted the What a wonderfully complex and morally riveting story! I literally could not put this down, and read for a solid 3 hours last night, until 1am, when I finished this book! When Tom Sherbourne returned from WWI, he was a shattered man. He needed a quiet place to gather his thoughts, to calm himself, as he didn’t believe he should have survived the war, when his mates did not. So he became a lighthouse keeper, and over the next few years, he did his job, and learned his trade, until he accepted the job of lighthouse keeper on the small island of Janus Rock, an extremely remote location off the coast of Western Australia. The small township of Partageuse was where he spent a week or so, before heading out to the island for his first look at Janus Rock, with the help of Ralph and Bluey. They would come out in The Windward Spirit every three months with his supplies, any mail, anything that was needed. But in the time he spent in Partageuse, he met up with the lovely Isabel Graysmark, and over the next months, a quiet courtship occurred, with letters going back and forth on The Windward Spirit with Ralph and Bluey. On their marriage, in 1926, Isabel joined Tom on Janus Rock, and the two of them lived their lives happy, content, and isolated from the rest of the world. Their happiness was not complete however, as Isabel endured miscarriages and depression, with Tom struggling to comfort her. One April morning, with the wind blowing strongly, a boat was washed ashore, with a dead man, and a crying baby onboard. The consequences of the choices they made that fateful day would live with them forever. As the years unfolded, their decision would see many lives affected, with an extremely devastating result. The continuing heartbreaking story will tear you apart, as you grapple with the right and wrong of love and loyalty. This debut novel by Aussie author M.L. Stedman is gripping in its intensity. I highly recommend this book.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Ninoska Goris

    Español - English “A veces deseamos tanto algo que nos engañamos y creemos haberlo encontrado.” Lo que se nos presenta aquí es una historia moral, entre lo bueno y lo malo que conlleva una decisión. Eso sí, muy bien escrita. Thomas (Tom) Sherbourne después de terminar la Primera Guerra Mundial y queriendo dejar atrás todos los malos recuerdos de su niñez y la muerte de soldados, decide presentarse para el puesto de farero, mientras mas lejos y solitario mejor. Pero cuando llega al puerto de Partage Español - English “A veces deseamos tanto algo que nos engañamos y creemos haberlo encontrado.” Lo que se nos presenta aquí es una historia moral, entre lo bueno y lo malo que conlleva una decisión. Eso sí, muy bien escrita. Thomas (Tom) Sherbourne después de terminar la Primera Guerra Mundial y queriendo dejar atrás todos los malos recuerdos de su niñez y la muerte de soldados, decide presentarse para el puesto de farero, mientras mas lejos y solitario mejor. Pero cuando llega al puerto de Partageuse para de ahí partir a su destino final, Janus Rock, a la primera persona que ve al desembarcar es a Isabel Graysmark. Isabel Graysmark es joven, extrovertida, hermosa y sabe lo que quiere: quiere casarse con Tom y vivir con él en la isla del faro. Cuando lo logra vive una vida feliz con Tom en la solitaria isla. Tom es todo lo que una esposa podría desear: es atento, cariñoso y trabajador. Toda esta felicidad se ve empañada por dos abortos y un parto prematuro donde el bebé nace muerto. Aunque esta es la raíz principal del tema del libro, creo que no se explica bien, no sentí el sufrimiento de Isabel ante su incapacidad para tener hijos. Un día aparece en la costa un barco con un hombre muerto y una bebé. Isabel convence a un indeciso Tom de no dar parte a las autoridades del hallazgo y quedarse el bebé para ellos. Cuando visitan a los padres de Isabel en Partageuse se enteran que la madre de la bebé está viva. Isabel se niega a entregar a Lucy, pero a Tom le remuerde la conciencia y decide hacer algo y ocultárselo a su esposa. Este es el punto en que se afina la línea entre el bien y el mal. Aunque esta tercera parte del libro se alarga mucho, es muy emotiva. El final me pareció adecuado porque, desde mi punto de vista, todo quedó como debió quedar. --- What is presented here is a moral story, between the good and the bad that comes with a decision. Yes, very well written. Thomas (Tom) Sherbourne after finishing World War I and wanting to leave behind all the bad memories of his childhood and the death of soldiers, decides to opt for the position of lighthouseman, farther and lonely the better. But when he arrives at the port of Partageuse and then leaves for his final destination, Janus Rock, the first person he sees when disembark is Isabel Graysmark. Isabel Graysmark is young, extroverted, beautiful and knows what she wants: she wants to marry Tom and live with him on the island of the lighthouse. Where she manages to live a happy life with Tom on the lonely island. Tom is everything a wife could wish for: he is caring and hardworking. All this happiness is marred by two abortions and a premature birth where the baby is born dead. Although this is the main root of the subject of the book, I think it is not well explained, I did not feel the suffering of Isabel before her inability to have children. One day a ship with a dead man and a baby appears on the coast. Isabel persuades an undecided Tom not to give the authorities of the find and keep the baby for them. When they visit Isabel's parents in Partageuse they learn that the mother of the baby is alive. Isabel refuses to surrender Lucy, but Tom regrets his conscience and decides to do something and hide it from his wife. This is the point at which the line between good and evil is sharpened. Although this third part of the book is very long, it is very emotional. The end seemed appropriate because, from my point of view, everything was as it should have remained.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Chaitra

    ETA: Sep 20, 2015 Oh, this review. First, I read this book way back in 2012. I don't know that I would write such a review now, whether or not I hate a book. I've had an attitude shift, if not in life, then in review writing. I've wanted to change it for a while now, but I don't remember most of the book. I also can't make any defense against specific arguments from commenters who liked the book, because of the same. I read this when I had no baby. At some point after I had my own bundle of joy, ETA: Sep 20, 2015 Oh, this review. First, I read this book way back in 2012. I don't know that I would write such a review now, whether or not I hate a book. I've had an attitude shift, if not in life, then in review writing. I've wanted to change it for a while now, but I don't remember most of the book. I also can't make any defense against specific arguments from commenters who liked the book, because of the same. I read this when I had no baby. At some point after I had my own bundle of joy, I considered reading this book again, especially since a number of people I trust mentioned that it was a much better reading experience for them. But the difference was this, they sympathized with Isabelle more than Hannah. I did the opposite. And having my baby wasn't going to change that, if anything I would feel Hannah's pain more keenly. But the main reason I haven't read this book up again is because I couldn't remember the actual language being any good. I might be misremembering all of the above, but I don't care enough to read it again to confirm one way or another. I will watch the movie at some point, because the director made Blue Valentine - with two unlikable characters - and I loved it and understood both of them. Maybe he will bring something to the table that the book, for me, didn't. Anyway, please read this review knowing that I would not have written it exactly the same today, even though I still dislike the book. I welcome comments from everyone, especially people who liked the book, because maybe enough of those will convince me to read it back - I'm big on second guessing myself. *** The review: (view spoiler)[I first rated this 2 stars, and now, on further consideration, I've come to the conclusion that it's worth no more than 1 star. How much did I dislike this book? Let me count the ways. First and foremost, the characterization. They're all fairly unlikable. Fairly? Kidding. They are absolutely unlikable. Tom Sherbourne and his wife Isabel have had three miscarriages. They find a baby in a boat along with a dead man, and decide that the baby is God's gift to them, and keep it. This is easy to do, because they're in a lighthouse in the middle of nowhere. All they have to do is hide the dead body (of the father) somewhere. They do this without turning a hair. They never ever think to at least make discreet enquiries if the baby had a family. They don't ever think that the father might be missed, that someone might be mourning for the pair of them. If they wanted a baby so much, why could they not have adopted one? There are plenty of war orphans around. Tom half-heartedly brings it up, and Isabel pooh-poohs the notion. The truth is, they do not try. At all. Cut to two years later, they find that the baby has a living breathing mother. She's still mourning for the loss of her baby and husband, she's gaunt with it. What do our protagonists do (yes, they are protagonists not villains, surprise!)? Do they admit it? Nope. They take the baby and go back to the lighthouse. Isabel even dishes out a platitude to Tom - whose conscience has woken up - life is hard sometimes. What the? In any case, Tom decides to do something even more cruel to everyone concerned. He sends an anonymous letter to the mother that her baby is safe. Never once does anyone say that this was a bad thing. I mean, Isabel does, but only because it leads to circumstances where they have to give up the baby. But never do they even address the fact that Tom was being a bastard cruelly raising the hopes of a grieving person. Then they do have to give up the baby. Tom takes it all on himself, and Isabel plots revenge! She lets people assume that Tom indeed was the person to blame, and also that he killed the father. She plays grieving mother and put upon wife to the hilt. The baby doesn't take so easily to its birth mother, and everyone around the birth mother to return the baby to these baby stealers! And she agrees! Then she changes her mind, but she doesn't press charges against these monsters. What the (again)? No one, not a single person (except for a fringe character) takes Isabel to task. The reason is that she had three miscarriages.* How does that explain that she stole a baby? That she never tried to at least find out if the baby had any family? That she never stepped into an orphanage to at least try to adopt one of the poor for-real orphans she was so upset about? When faced with the fact that the baby has a mother who's grieving, the lady has the audacity to think that the only reason she doesn't want to part with the baby is because she's thinking of the best for the baby. She never changes this opinion. All that she did was for the baby. Well, kill me dead. She calls the birth mother selfish for wanting her baby back. She calls Tom selfish because he thinks of the birth mother (though he is a moron). But is she selfish? Nope, not her - the most selfless person on earth, the only one that's thinking of the baby. Who is two. I doubt it would be very traumatized if it changed hands at that point in life. The tug of war (which is ridiculous) that ensues is so much more damaging to the child. Yet, we're meant to sympathize with and excuse this lady who carries on about how life has been more unfair to her than to the birth mother, than everyone else on this planet. Aargh! I hated this so much. The two stars initially was for the writing, until I remembered that I was also annoyed by the CONSTANT use of mixed tenses. Stick to one tense lady! It's 'he did this and he did that' in one paragraph and 'he does this and he does that' in the very next. I get it. It's to distinguish between the specific and the general parts of the plot, but believe me, that can be done and understood by us poor readers with one freaking tense. I won't be reading anything by this author again. *= I had originally written something that was pointed out to me in the comments (by Kimk) as callous. She was right, it did sound terrible, when it was not my intention. My reason for bringing up the miscarriages was not because I didn't sympathize with Isabelle for having had them, but because it was not reason enough for the rest of them to support her in her madness. (hide spoiler)]

  11. 5 out of 5

    Starjustin

    this book kept my interest all the way to the end. was hoping for a slightly different ending however, would recommend as a book you 'don't want to miss'.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Kristalia

    Final rating: 5/5 stars “...or I can forgive and forget...Oh, but my treasure, it is so much less exhausting. You only have to forgive once. To resent, you have to do it all day, every day. You have to keep remembering all the bad things...we always have a choice.” One word: Beautiful. And also beautiful. and beautiful. and beautiful.... I cannot even begin the review properly. This book crushed my feelings, brought them back together and did it all over and over again. I smiled and i cried. B Final rating: 5/5 stars “...or I can forgive and forget...Oh, but my treasure, it is so much less exhausting. You only have to forgive once. To resent, you have to do it all day, every day. You have to keep remembering all the bad things...we always have a choice.” One word: Beautiful. And also beautiful. and beautiful. and beautiful.... I cannot even begin the review properly. This book crushed my feelings, brought them back together and did it all over and over again. I smiled and i cried. But it was worth it. The writing style was beautiful. It followed multiply POVs and without them, this story wouldn't have such an impact on me. Everyone in this story is important. Everyone. The story happens in Australia... And by reading this i kind of fell in love with it ;D (i did before as well, but now, even more). And it was just wonderful and i loved it to bits. ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~ This is a story of forgiveness. Of making difference between right and wrong. Learning from your mistakes. But it is also a story of a couple. Two people who met one day and fell in love. Tom and Isabel. “It’s like a whole… a whole galaxy waiting for you to find out about. And I want to find out about yours.” Tom returned from the war to Australia... He decided the best way to live his life would be to be a lighthouse keeper. But then he met Isabel and all things changed. “So marry me!” He blinked. “Izz—I hardly know you! And besides, I’ve never even—well, I’ve never even kissed you, for crying out loud.” “At long last!” She spoke as if the solution were blindingly obvious, and she stood on tiptoes to pull his head down toward her. Before he knew what was happening he was being kissed, inexpertly but with great force. He pulled away from her. “That’s a dangerous game to play, Isabel. You shouldn’t go running around kissing blokes out of the blue. Not unless you mean it.” “But I do mean it!” Tom looked at her, her eyes challenging him, her petite chin set firm. Once he crossed that line, who knew where he would end up? Oh, bugger it. To hell with good behavior. To hell with doing the right thing. Here was a beautiful girl, begging to be kissed, and the sun was gone and the weeks were up and he’d be out in the middle of bloody nowhere this time tomorrow. He took her face in his hands and bent low as he said, “Then this is how you do it,” and kissed her slowly, letting time fade away. And he couldn’t remember any other kiss that felt quite the same. They married. And they wanted children. Lots and lots of children. But... fate had other plans. Isabel miscarried three times. They were growing desperate. Until the day when the boat came near the shore. With a dead man and a crying baby. Isabel and Tom are surprised... and they take the baby to raise is as their own. No one knew Iz miscarried third child...so they said she gave birth to the baby. Dear Mum and Dad, Well, God has sent us an angel to keep us company. Baby Lucy has captured our hearts! She’s a beautiful little girl—absolutely perfect. She sleeps well and feeds well. She’s never any trouble. But Guilt is slowly eating Tom up.... What if the mother of the little girl is still alive? How does she feel? But he can't help it... he became a father... And Isabel has never been happier.... And then.... things go horribly wrong. ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~ The characters of this book are faced with so many choices...and mistakes. One will do anything for the one he loves. One will betray them. One will be their friend till the end. One will face "betrayal" and want revenge. Some i utterly and totally loved. Some i hated with passion. For some i felt sad and in some i was disappointed. But...i understood everyone. And the end of the book.... beautiful :D (i noticed i used too much the word "beautiful", but i just can't help it :D) ____________________________________________ OVERALL : ____________________________________________ I loved it... i will remember it for a long time and i highly recommend it. Its a beautiful love story... story of loss and gain, pain and forgiveness, regret and mistakes. Story about a husband who only wanted to make his wife shine like she did before... Until the moment when everything went wrong. Beautiful book. “There are still more days to travel in this life. And he knows that the man who makes the journey has been shaped by every day and every person along the way. Scars are just another kind of memory....Soon enough the days will close over their lives, the grass will grow over their graves, until their story is just an unvisited headstone.” This review can be found on my blog: infinity-of-time.blogspot.com also known as...

  13. 4 out of 5

    Luffy

    This book is very good but I'm giving it 3 stars because I'm being severe with the story and not get carried away by emotion. It is a 'rocambolesque' (topsy turvy) tale, narrated by the all knowing author. See, I can't decide whether the drama in the book has crossed the line and become melodrama. I know that there are worse books out there, and that many classics are not as good as this book. Despite that, I need an honest view of the book. I need to look at this rating in 4-5 years and say I rat This book is very good but I'm giving it 3 stars because I'm being severe with the story and not get carried away by emotion. It is a 'rocambolesque' (topsy turvy) tale, narrated by the all knowing author. See, I can't decide whether the drama in the book has crossed the line and become melodrama. I know that there are worse books out there, and that many classics are not as good as this book. Despite that, I need an honest view of the book. I need to look at this rating in 4-5 years and say I rated with justice. The story is about Tom and Isabel Sherbourne who cannot have a child and adopt one baby that had washed up in a boat near their house. It's not an original story. But it's worth reading. Even I don't regret reading it.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    This is an odd book. It is, in a large way, quite boring not to mention depressing. It’d be like if some woman came up to you and told you about her horrible life but using a monotone voice. You’d be partway falling asleep and partway amazed at the dreadfulness. I’m not sure what made it so dull. Maybe it was the writing style: showing not telling, corny people and dialogue, random backstories, one single plotline without much other noise or complexity. The lighthouse stuff was interesting and a This is an odd book. It is, in a large way, quite boring not to mention depressing. It’d be like if some woman came up to you and told you about her horrible life but using a monotone voice. You’d be partway falling asleep and partway amazed at the dreadfulness. I’m not sure what made it so dull. Maybe it was the writing style: showing not telling, corny people and dialogue, random backstories, one single plotline without much other noise or complexity. The lighthouse stuff was interesting and as a reader you really get a sense of the desolation on Janus. Other than that – just not into it. Plus it’s very depressing. Everyone lives bleakily ever after. I did finish it though, which says something.

  15. 5 out of 5

    LENA TRAK

    '' The oceans never stop. They know no beginning or ending. The wind never finishes. Sometimes it disappears, but only to gather momentum from somewhere else... '' '' He watches the ocean surrender to night, knowing that the light will reappear. What a book... What a lovely story..such wonderful prose.. The Light Between Oceans tells the story of Tom and Isabel, two of my most beloved characters ever! Their unconditional love leads them to the wrong decision. And then there's no going back... It '' The oceans never stop. They know no beginning or ending. The wind never finishes. Sometimes it disappears, but only to gather momentum from somewhere else... '' '' He watches the ocean surrender to night, knowing that the light will reappear. What a book... What a lovely story..such wonderful prose.. The Light Between Oceans tells the story of Tom and Isabel, two of my most beloved characters ever! Their unconditional love leads them to the wrong decision. And then there's no going back... Its been a while since I read something this good... And the ending... So powerful and admittedly not what I expected. I am devastated right now. I havent cried so much since '' The Fault in our Stars''. In a nutshell, I just loooooved The light between Oceans. Highly recommended my fellow readers!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Yellowdreamer

    My very first book for 2013, and one I spent the latter half of last year just longing to get my hands on. Well, I finished The Light Between Oceans in only two sittings, in one single day! And this novel - a heartbreaking exploration of right and wrong, and the lonely windswept grey island which lies between the two - has completely wrung me out on only Day One of a brand new reading year. How I wept. I mean absolutely WEPT. No parent could bear such sorrow, on either side of the swirling misery My very first book for 2013, and one I spent the latter half of last year just longing to get my hands on. Well, I finished The Light Between Oceans in only two sittings, in one single day! And this novel - a heartbreaking exploration of right and wrong, and the lonely windswept grey island which lies between the two - has completely wrung me out on only Day One of a brand new reading year. How I wept. I mean absolutely WEPT. No parent could bear such sorrow, on either side of the swirling misery that is conjured up and thrashed around here in Stedman's threnody to love and loss. A complex, haunting, disturbing moral dilemma rendered so powerfully, in such an exquisitely evocative setting. No one here is truly able to judge the actions of two hearts so utterly broken in the wake of such trauma as the battlefields of World War One and the bitter, fruitless bed of perpetual miscarriage. There is no clear position for me to take at the end of this novel on what was right and what was wrong. Instead, I am left to treasure an unforgettably poignant image of human resilience in the face of love lost. A shifting, beautiful glimpse of the light that pervades even the deepest reaches of the human psyche, and the darkest waters of human morality.

  17. 5 out of 5

    AMEERA

    If you want to cry and see your tears falling in your book read this , it's just heartbroken

  18. 4 out of 5

    Amalia Gavea

    Where do right and wrong stop? In what way is each of these notions perceived by every individual? Do we have the right to play God and presume we will be able to correct the injustice that may have inflicted our lives? Tom and Isabel's course in the story is determined by their own answers to these questions. The Light Between Oceans has been waiting patiently in my TBR list for quite some time. Once it knocked on my door, I started reading it more than eagerly, my expectations were high. Now th Where do right and wrong stop? In what way is each of these notions perceived by every individual? Do we have the right to play God and presume we will be able to correct the injustice that may have inflicted our lives? Tom and Isabel's course in the story is determined by their own answers to these questions. The Light Between Oceans has been waiting patiently in my TBR list for quite some time. Once it knocked on my door, I started reading it more than eagerly, my expectations were high. Now that I have finished it, I can say that it was an average book, maybe good, perhaps very good for most people, but not for me. I didn't find it earth-shattering,it didn't touch me, it did not do much for me. The story goes back and forth, initially, between the years of 1918 and 1926. The opening scenes definitely picked my interest, they were a perfect introduction to the characters and the setting. I won't bore you with plot details, but I must say that I am a completely biased person when it comes to lighthouses. I am obsessed with them, I can browse pictures of those magnificent structures for hours. Therefore, the main reason I wanted to read this book was the setting, it is not often that we get to experience a story taking place in a remote island where the lighthouse is the real sovereign of the land. Another feature I appreciated was the inclusion of all those Australian colloquialisms. It was really interesting to read and discover the meaning of the phrases, some of which were really beautiful. This brings me to my main point of complaint : the writing. Many of the descriptions are beautiful and vivid, and convey the isolation of the setting well, but the dialogue did nothing for me. I found the majority of the interactions too dramatic, a bit unrealistic, too much soap-opera territory. Also, repetition was another issue I had to fight with while I was reading. I don't need to read twice about a christening, I know how it's done. Well, even if I didn't, I do now. The writer uses almost the same words on both occassions. How many times should I read about lens? Or about a guilty conscience? Too many words in pages over pages over pages...I don't know whether this is a trope of romantic novels. To be fair, I didn't think I was holding a romantic novel when I started reading this book. I wanted a historical fiction with a controversial, dark story, not a reading that would- almost forcefully- try to make me cry. Well, it didn't work. Actually, it never works. It is very seldom that I cry in books or films, but that's another story... Was all dialogue bad? No, Tom was a bright ray of light. He is a very interesting character, his thoughts are coming through clearly, his feelings were conveyed in a beautiful manner. His trauma of being a survivor of the First World War is everywhere in the narration, and it provides a very interesting insight to his actions, his fears and hesitations. And Isabel? Well, I tried to understand the motives of her actions. I did, this was no problem. My problem with her comes from her words. There was something in her interactions that made her appear aloof and ignorant and vain, and in many times plainly stupid and evil. Unwilling to see what's in front of her eyes, her only capacity to hide the problems under the carpet. Hannah was indifferent, the other secondary characters laughably bad. I felt anger and sadness at a point, but not for the reason I expected. I was sad over the way the community treated Frank. Should innocent people pay for the faults and the sins of the heads of their countries? This is a question that we will ask forever, to the end of time, and there will never be an answer. Or rather, there is an answer, an immediate NO, but it is a voice crying into the wilderness. And that was the only thing in the book I felt strongly about. The Light Between Oceans should be interesting and appealing to many of us. It has a strong protagonist, it provides a view to a place unknown, isolated, wild. I wouldn't say that I regretted reading it, but it didn't move me, it won't stay with me, I don't consider it ''unforgettable''. Far, far from it. For me, it was just average, and nothing more. I enjoy dark and controversial stories, and that is why I had problems with all the melodrama here. I don't want a tearjerker just for the sake of it. Perhaps, I was still too engrossed in the magic of The Snow Child...Ah, there's a nice way to write about feelings of love and loss without constant hysterics and evokings to God to come and save you...

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jennie Walters

    I enjoyed this book, particularly towards the end, which was more subtle and unexpected than I'd predicted. My reservations were largely that some of the dialogue seemed a bit clunky, and at first the relationship between Tom and Isabel, the main protagonists, didn't quite convince - the scene where Isabel imitates the other dinner guests, for example, didn't succeed for me. But by the end, I had really warmed to Tom, the hero of the book, who although damaged by his experiences in the war, is s I enjoyed this book, particularly towards the end, which was more subtle and unexpected than I'd predicted. My reservations were largely that some of the dialogue seemed a bit clunky, and at first the relationship between Tom and Isabel, the main protagonists, didn't quite convince - the scene where Isabel imitates the other dinner guests, for example, didn't succeed for me. But by the end, I had really warmed to Tom, the hero of the book, who although damaged by his experiences in the war, is such an essentially good and noble person that he lifts this novel into a whole other realm. Unlike other reviewers here, I thought you could tell it was a first novel - eg great chunks of information about how a lighthouse works plopped down into the story - but it had some really interesting things to say about the moral dilemma at the heart of the story (the relative rights of parents and children)and a very tender portrayal of a marriage. Keeps you reading right till the last page!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Margitte

    This story is so multifaceted it is a tough one to review. I slept over this book, mulling around, wondering what to take from it. It was haunting me! I was waking up several times during the night, thinking about yet another angle to it. The most important question was: Where did this tragedy really begin? Tom Sherbourne returned from WWI to Australia, struggling with his own role in the war. He witnessed his friends being shot; he shot people himself. He was a decorated war hero, yet never want This story is so multifaceted it is a tough one to review. I slept over this book, mulling around, wondering what to take from it. It was haunting me! I was waking up several times during the night, thinking about yet another angle to it. The most important question was: Where did this tragedy really begin? Tom Sherbourne returned from WWI to Australia, struggling with his own role in the war. He witnessed his friends being shot; he shot people himself. He was a decorated war hero, yet never wanted to harm anybody in his life ever again; Isobel Sherbourne: Both her beloved brothers died in the war. She was young, bold and happy tempered. But life dealt her three blows she hardly survived on Janus Rock island where she and Tom were stationed at the remote and isolated lighthouse. When a little baby washed up in a boat, she immediately put her to her breast and called her Lucy, "A Gift of God". Anzac day, April 25, 1926, in Port Partageuse, on the south-western corner of the Australian continent. A spot where two oceans met and little businesses sprang up and clung on like lichen on a rock face. Frank Roennfeldt was an Austrain-born shopowner who was interned in the war. A decent man, who married Hannah, the daughter of Septimus Potts, the wealthiest man around. On this day of commemoration, the men in town needed a culprit to pay for the sins against the town's fallen sons in the war. Frank was the perfect candidate for their revenge. A Hun. The town draws a veil over certain events.This is a small community, where everyone knows that sometimes the contract to forget is as important as any promise to remember. Children can grow up having no knowledge of the indiscretion of their father in his youth, or of the illegitimate sibling who lives fifty miles away and bears another man's name. History is that which is agreed upon by mutual consent. That's how life goes on--protected by the silence that anesthetizes shame Who was to blame for the events at the Lighthouse? If there was a crime committed, who were the real criminals. And was it a crime to begin with? 27th April 1926 On the day of the miracle, Isabel was kneeling at the cliff’s edge, tending the small, newly made driftwood cross. A single fat cloud snailed across the late-April sky, which stretched above the island in a mirror of the ocean below. Isabel sprinkled more water and patted down the soil around the rosemary bush she had just planted. “… and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil,” she whispered. This is Tom Sherbourne's story. And as the author says in an interview: If I was going to sum up my book in a small phrase I would say it is about a balance between love and duty; how we find redemption when we have done things we can't undo. MY COMMENTS: I first thought there was a little bit too much melo added to drama. But then, after thinking about the well-developed characters, the picturesque prose, the ambiance of the surroundings, the establishment of the situation, and the moral behind it all, I realized that the melo had to be added to the emotional pipe of both the characters as well as the readers in the effort to smoke this pipe to its fullest. In the end everyone was suffering, including the reader who went along for the ride. This is a brilliant book! Every aspect of it served a purpose, and in dissecting the whole setup, a lot more pour out than just the emotionally-potent plot. The final star was given to the realism so perfectly established and the ending that made this experience emotionally true. PS. One of the multi layers of this book is the importance of the Greek God Janus in the book. I suddenly understood why the book was haunting me! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Janus What a great discussion point for those who have already read the book. (view spoiler)[ I first venture off to Wikipedia to meet Janus, but then landed upon an interview with the author explaining the god's significance in the book, which most of us totally missed out on, myself the main sleeper on the bunk bed! In an interview the author laid out the underlying importance of this element in the book. Janus is the God with two face, back to back, he can never see eye to eye. He is the god of beginnings and endings, of contrast. That was the motivation to name the island Janus Rock, implying a binary foundation weaving through the plot: Two oceans - one cold, fierce and icy, perilous; the other warm, tranquil and balmy; Two families Two names for the little girl Two opposite personalities Tom and Izzy. Izzy was not meant to be likable. She was one of the faces of Janus in contrast with Tom, the hero in the story. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qp2HY... So there we have the secret in this plot! (hide spoiler)]

  21. 4 out of 5

    PattyMacDotComma

    5★ Fantastic debut novel Oh what a tangled web we weave! It’s too easy to justify to ourselves what we want to do rather than what we’re pretty sure we should do – no, that’s wrong – we know exactly what we should do. We just can’t bear to think about it. . . yet. Like Scarlet O’Hara, we’ll think about it tomorrow. I’m a great rationaliser and pretty handy at arguing either side of a question, so I find it easy to imagine being in the shoes of all these different characters. And they are distincti 5★ Fantastic debut novel Oh what a tangled web we weave! It’s too easy to justify to ourselves what we want to do rather than what we’re pretty sure we should do – no, that’s wrong – we know exactly what we should do. We just can’t bear to think about it. . . yet. Like Scarlet O’Hara, we’ll think about it tomorrow. I’m a great rationaliser and pretty handy at arguing either side of a question, so I find it easy to imagine being in the shoes of all these different characters. And they are distinctive, except for the grandparent generation. They had a lot in common, which made the story even more poignant. Tom has come back from the bloody, muddy trenches of World War One and becomes a lighthouse keeper, escaping from his demons into solitude. He finds a posting at the most far-flung spot he can find, Janus Island. This fictional island is off the Southwestern corner of Western Australia, the dividing point between the well-known Indian Ocean and the wild Great Southern Ocean between Australia and Antarctica. After being left there alone, he feels settled. He climbs to the top of the lighthouse, and steps out into the force of the wind on the gallery (the walkway around the top). “He had the impression he was hanging from the sky, not rising from the earth. Very slowly, he turned a full circle, taking in the nothingness of it all. It seemed his lungs could never be large enough to breathe in this much air, his eyes could never see this much space, nor could he hear the full extent of the rolling, roaring ocean. For the briefest moment, he had no edges. He blinked, and shook his head quickly.” He has trouble maintaining his equilibrium, physical and mental, so puts himself to work. On one of his shore breaks, he meets an irrepressible, bright young woman who takes a fancy to him. She continues to see him when he’s on dry land, and pretty soon, she’s at the lighthouse with him. I think he’s like the Great Southern Ocean, turbulent and threatening. He can’t believe it when this cheerful, happy, civilised girl (the Indian Ocean?) has such a calming effect on him. It’s 1922 and a new life. But after a few years and several heart-rending miscarriages or stillbirths, all happening alone with no help, Isabel has descended into depths of despair deeper than his. He has accepted their heartbreak as some kind of retribution for the killing he did in the Great War, but he can’t understand why Isabel should have to suffer. When a small boat with a dead man and a live baby washes up on their shore, Isabel pleads to keep it. . . at least for now. She’s still producing milk and begins to feed the tiny infant. Isabel names her Lucy, meaning light, and welcomes her into the family, making Tom very ill at ease. They are back to their original situation - Tom, the brooding Great Southern Ocean, Isabel the calm, warm Indian Ocean. But now they have their little light, Lucy, between them. Tom’s view of the world has been changed by this tiny creature. “Existence here is on a scale of giants. Time is in the millions of years; rocks which from a distance look like dice cast against the shore are boulders hundreds of feet wide, licked round by millennia, tumbled onto their sides so that layers become vertical stripes. . . . Tom has trouble keeping both time scales in focus: the existence of an island and the existence of a child. It astounds him that the tiny life of the girl means more to him than all the millennia before it.” They have more shore leaves, and eventually, Tom is placed in a position where he’s damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t. “Words had a way of getting into all sorts of places they weren’t meant to. Best keep things to yourself in life, he’d learnt.” When he did choose his words, he chose them well. He says to Isabel about forgiveness: “‘Oh, but my treasure, it is so much less exhausting. You only have to forgive once. To resent, you have to do it all day, every day. You have to keep remembering all the bad things.’ . . . ‘I would have to make a list, a very, very long list and make sure I hated the people on it the right amount. That I did a very proper job of hating, too. . .” A good thought to end with. Can’t believe it’s a debut but not surprised at the awards it’s won or that it’s been made into a film. =========Other quotes I liked============= About floods: “The rivers quicken, finally scenting the ocean from which they have so long been parted. They will not be stopped in their urgency to get back to it – to get home.” Night falls in the forest, and the wildlife reclaim their domain. “And darkness seeps into the sky second by second, until the shadows no longer fall but rise from the ground and fill the air completely. Humans withdraw to their homes, and surrender the night to the creatures that own it: the crickets, the owls, the snakes. A world that hasn’t changed for hundreds of thousands of years wakes up, and carries on as if the daylight and the humans and the changes to the landscape have been an illusion.” When discussing how communities gloss over unsavoury events people would rather forget: “History is that which is agreed upon by mutual consent. That’s how life goes on – protected by the silence that anaesthetises shame. Men who came back from the war with stories they could have told about the desperate failings of comrades at the point of death say only that they died bravely. To the outside world, no soldier ever visited a brothel or acted like a savage or ran and hid from the enemy. Being over there was punishment enough.” Again: "HISTORY IS THAT WHICH IS AGREED UPON BY MUTUAL CONSENT." I'd love to see what the history of this part of the 21st century will end up looking like.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Violet wells

    Just as well I’m not a commissioning editor as I would have binned this after about sixty pages. Essentially The Light between Oceans is a novella that has been fattened up on starch and additives to a 446 page novel. You could doze off for 50 page sections and still wake up to exactly the same scenery without having missed a single landmark of importance. Because it’s a novel that is built on a single plot idea with no supporting cast of ideas. The idea is that a lighthouse keeper and his wife Just as well I’m not a commissioning editor as I would have binned this after about sixty pages. Essentially The Light between Oceans is a novella that has been fattened up on starch and additives to a 446 page novel. You could doze off for 50 page sections and still wake up to exactly the same scenery without having missed a single landmark of importance. Because it’s a novel that is built on a single plot idea with no supporting cast of ideas. The idea is that a lighthouse keeper and his wife illicitly adopt a baby who arrives with a dead man in a boat on their island. It’s not a bad idea and it might even make a decent film because the endless pages of soap opera chit chat, the bland flowery prose, the heavy handed and unfeasible feeding of tension into the plot’s current and the superfluous domestic embroidery will be excised from any film script. Basically everything that’s going to happen in this novel, bar the happy ending, has already happened by page fifty. Most irritating and time wasting novel I can remember reading for years.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Philip

    4.5ish stars. Typically I'm fundamentally opposed to any book endorsed by Oprah. Having said that I also have a weakness for the occasional weepy melodrama as long as it's classy. I took a chance here. I don't know what's with me lately because this is the second book I've cried over this month and I couldn't even tell you the last time it's happened. Once (if) you accept that the plot revolves around an isolated couple who find a baby in a boat that's washed up on the shore of the lighthouse wher 4.5ish stars. Typically I'm fundamentally opposed to any book endorsed by Oprah. Having said that I also have a weakness for the occasional weepy melodrama as long as it's classy. I took a chance here. I don't know what's with me lately because this is the second book I've cried over this month and I couldn't even tell you the last time it's happened. Once (if) you accept that the plot revolves around an isolated couple who find a baby in a boat that's washed up on the shore of the lighthouse where they live and, hey why not, decide to keep it, you find that there's a lovely, heartbreaking story in a beautiful setting with characters you love to hate. Once (if) you find it within yourself not to automatically write-off the ridiculous moral wrongness of finding a dead body and a baby, burying the body and then raising the baby without telling anyone (among other far-fetched plot points (view spoiler)[Hannah giving Isabel the obligatory ultimatum was completely un-believable to me (hide spoiler)] ), you may just find yourself questioning what's right and wrong. There are no easy solutions (view spoiler)[and not a single possible happy end (hide spoiler)] . You may find yourself sympathizing with various characters at different points and hating them at others. (view spoiler)[It seems like everyone loves to hate on Isabel, but my heart broke for her and then healed and then broke all over again. Do I think she should have kept Lucy? Well initially of course not. Eventually though... I absolutely sympathized with her. Judge away. I found myself hating Hannah and wanting desperately for Lucy-Grace to reject her forever. I don't know what it says about me, maybe I'm an awful human, or naive or maybe I'm just more understanding than most (hmph) but I don't think the moral ground here is black and white. (hide spoiler)] Stedman fulfilled my wish of classiness in a way that absolutely transcends Nicholas Sparks territory. She has painted a setting that makes me desperate to visit. She did an admirable job of providing POVs from several different characters, even very minor ones, making things even fuller and murkier. I was completely aware that my emotions were being manipulated and gosh dang-it I enjoyed it! This type of book is obviously not for everyone so tread lightly and don't blame me if you hate it. And the pace drags during the first half for sure. Just know it's classier than you probably think!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Diane

    "You only have to forgive once. To resent, you have to do it all day, every day. You have to keep remembering all the bad things." This is an engrossing novel in which one person's happiness inadvertently causes misery for another. Tom fought in World War I and returns to Australia to become a lighthouse keeper on an isolated island. He meets and marries a sweet girl named Isabel, who becomes desperate for a child. One day, a baby is found in a boat that washes ashore, and Isabel thinks it's a mi "You only have to forgive once. To resent, you have to do it all day, every day. You have to keep remembering all the bad things." This is an engrossing novel in which one person's happiness inadvertently causes misery for another. Tom fought in World War I and returns to Australia to become a lighthouse keeper on an isolated island. He meets and marries a sweet girl named Isabel, who becomes desperate for a child. One day, a baby is found in a boat that washes ashore, and Isabel thinks it's a miracle and wants to keep the baby as her own. What is the right thing to do? Tom and Isabel have different answers to this question, and their behavior has serious consequences. There is a small mystery to be solved, but the heart of the book is about the ethics of the situation, and how decisions affect the couple's relationship. The writing is lovely, and I liked the humor the author included in the novel. I will admit to a strong dislike of Isabel, but it's possible to hate a character and still love a book. Update July 2015 I just learned that this book was made into a movie starring Michael Fassbender, who will be amazing in the role, I'm sure. This was a thoughtful novel, and I hope it makes for a smart film.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Samantha

    A beautiful story of fate, the unfairness of life, and the consequences of the choices we make.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Bianca

    This is too big a novel to do it justice with my poorly articulated review. So, I'll just write down a few things. First of all, I can't get my head around this being a debut novel. I was captivated from the first paragraph. The writing has such a beautiful flow, the descriptions are so vivid. The third person narration is used masterfully, there are no unreliable narrators, we get to know the inner thoughts, feelings and history of most characters. Our main hero, Tom Sherbourne, is an actual Wor This is too big a novel to do it justice with my poorly articulated review. So, I'll just write down a few things. First of all, I can't get my head around this being a debut novel. I was captivated from the first paragraph. The writing has such a beautiful flow, the descriptions are so vivid. The third person narration is used masterfully, there are no unreliable narrators, we get to know the inner thoughts, feelings and history of most characters. Our main hero, Tom Sherbourne, is an actual World War I hero. Like most men who have returned from the war, he's struggling with living and not letting his demons consume him. So he focuses on living simply, day by day. He'd rather be by himself, which makes becoming a lighthouse keeper the perfect occupation for him. When he gets to travel all the way to the South West of Australia, he meets a beautiful and very lively young woman, Isabel Graysmark. She takes a liking to him, and he's fascinated with her, and can't quite comprehend that someone like her would be interested in him. Isabel knows what she wants: she wants to marry Tom and have a big family. She's never been on Janus Island where Tom is a lightkeeper, but she's not afraid to live life in isolation. Unfortunately, the poor Isabel suffers three miscarriages. She's absolutely distraught about it. One day, a boat with a dead man and a crying baby drifts onshore the island. Isabel takes to looking after the baby, while Tom buries the man. She's besotted with the little, sweet baby girl. She persuades Tom not to report it and raise the baby as their own. The baby enriches their life and gets under Tom's skin, melting his cold and broken heart. (view spoiler)[ But when they find out that the baby's mother is still alive and looking for Lucy, Tom grapples with their decision. His conscience tells him to rectify their wrong, but Isabel won't hear about it. A few years go by. Eventually, Tom and Isabel are apprehended and Lucy returned to her biological mother. (hide spoiler)] There is so much angst, and pain, and worries and most people involved are suffering. The situation is dreadful for all concerned. At times, it's absolutely heartwrenching. M.L. Stedman crafted such a beautiful novel, which, I dare say, will become a classic. The writing, the plot, the characters are exquisite. The setting enhances the sense of loneliness, doom and gives the decisions a different weight. Tom Sherbourne is one of the most wholesome male characters ever created. Even his name sounds wholesome. This story will stay with me for a long time. Cover: 5 stars

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    Disclaimer: I had a difficult time with the audiobook experience. The narrator is the very talented Noah Taylor, and unfortunately I struggled with his accent and overall articulation. I tried every speed adjustment from slow-mo, normal, and hyperspeed, but I had to continue rewinding to ensure I understood what was being said. For this reason, I lost my reading momentum several times which may have impacted my overall enjoyment - I can't say for certain. I think my response to this book is in t Disclaimer: I had a difficult time with the audiobook experience. The narrator is the very talented Noah Taylor, and unfortunately I struggled with his accent and overall articulation. I tried every speed adjustment from slow-mo, normal, and hyperspeed, but I had to continue rewinding to ensure I understood what was being said. For this reason, I lost my reading momentum several times which may have impacted my overall enjoyment - I can't say for certain. I think my response to this book is in the minority so just wanted to put this tidbit out there. Nevertheless, I shall proceed with a review of my personal reading experience. The ocean is my very favorite place to be in the entire world. Its natural white noise drowns out every single ounce of stress in my life like nothing else and the fact it stretches from continent to continent and to depths that we cannot even fathom makes me and my problems feel inconsequential and not quite so urgent in the grand scheme of things. It's calming, mysterious, vast, and devastating, and M.L. Stedman captured all of this in his breathtaking descriptions of the setting. For example... “Very slowly, he turned a full circle, taking in the nothingness of it all. It seemed his lungs could never be large enough to breathe in this much air, his eyes could never see this much space, nor could he near the full extent of the rolling, roaring ocean. For the briefest moment, he had no edges.” The setting is only one small piece of a big story though. The author really did write a beautiful and emotionally complicated story about love, loss, and sacrifice. It's about the choices life tempts us with, the anguish that clouds our judgment, and both natural and man-appointed consequences that accompany them. Did it bring tears to my eyes? No. But I can appreciate the desperation felt by all of these characters. Overall, I liked The Light Between Oceans (3 stars), but I didn't feel along with the characters. I was a lonely observer who never quite left the lighthouse. However, if you enjoy a variety of historical fiction or if you are a reader who likes the book-to-screen experience, then check it out! My favorite quote: “When it comes to their kids, parents are all just instinct and hope. And fear."

  28. 4 out of 5

    Dominique

    Beautiful, sad tragic and will make you shed a tear at the end.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Rob Mango

    Light Between Oceans. (Stedman) Much has been written about the conclusion of counselor Stedman's impressive debut. Prepare to encounter a plot in which one is held suspended until the final chapter,the author skillfully engages the template of the irresolvable outcome.We who require fiction, know this perilous path.Not unlike her characters there is vulnerability for her along this intrepid heading, dividing the readers into camps of wanting ,needing a particular resolution,in order to avoid the Light Between Oceans. (Stedman) Much has been written about the conclusion of counselor Stedman's impressive debut. Prepare to encounter a plot in which one is held suspended until the final chapter,the author skillfully engages the template of the irresolvable outcome.We who require fiction, know this perilous path.Not unlike her characters there is vulnerability for her along this intrepid heading, dividing the readers into camps of wanting ,needing a particular resolution,in order to avoid the abysmal disappointment which awaits(in itself courageous). Many will judge the quality of the writing by the fate assigned to their preferred character. To those who arrive at the final page deflated,and will regard the book harshly,I address my review. Clearly this work is a confrontation between moral truth and human instinct,wrapped in a beautiful location, unfamiliar hemisphere,in an earlier epoch few alive today have witnessed. The back stories in themselves more than justify the time invested and compelling emotion aroused. One such resume takes us into the trenches of Tripoli and the ensuing nightmares of the man who inhabited them.The backgrounds and set-up of the three primary characters are informative,economic and laced with subtle relevancy. Descriptions languidly unfold of feminine manor and costume,nautical forces,unique Aussie marsupials and the optical dynamics of a turn of the century lighthouse.Together they assemble a picture in the minds eye that last well beyond a divisive plot resolution. The character representing moral truth is of opposite gender to the author.Tom is rendered thoughtfully with an empathy and insight that impressed me greatly.I found the handling of the lighthouse keeper,a WWI vet a distinctive strength of the novel.The two women represent unchained human instinct;the maternal variety,arguably the strongest force among living things,easily stronger than the conscience of one man who ultimately could not sustain their deception. Their personalities are rendered uniquely different with purposeful detail but animated by the same need.One senses with foreboding their inevitable clash which steadily increases our anxiety and empathy.Explosive emotions generated by their conflicting claim,result in a head on encounter of the feminine imperative,to which they cling through the fateful conclusion and beyond.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Maureen

    3.5/5 stars I really did enjoy this book. It was beautifully written, though a painful story. The struggles that all the characters went through were heartbreaking and it was hard to read at times, but overall beautifully told. That being said, I was also frustrated to death with the characters. I just wanted everyone to do the right thing, but people are complicated, blah blah blah. IT WASN'T HARD PEOPLE. IT WAS ACTUALLY VERY EASY. Though I will say Tom was great he was my fave I liked him a lot. 3.5/5 stars I really did enjoy this book. It was beautifully written, though a painful story. The struggles that all the characters went through were heartbreaking and it was hard to read at times, but overall beautifully told. That being said, I was also frustrated to death with the characters. I just wanted everyone to do the right thing, but people are complicated, blah blah blah. IT WASN'T HARD PEOPLE. IT WAS ACTUALLY VERY EASY. Though I will say Tom was great he was my fave I liked him a lot. Overall - beautifully written, heartbreaking, but extremely frustrating past the point of endearing.

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