A captivating, beautiful, and stunningly accomplished debut novel - the story of a lighthouse keeper and his wife who make one devastating choice that forever changes two worlds.
In 1918, after four harrowing years on the Western Front, Tom Sherbourne returns to Australia to take a job as the lighthouse keeper on remote Janus Rock. To this isolated island, where the supply boat comes only four times a year and shore leaves are granted every other year at best, Tom brings a young, bold, and loving wife, Isabel. Three years later, after two miscarriages and one stillbirth, the grieving Isabel is tending the grave of her newly lost infant when she hears a baby’s cries on the wind. A boat has washed up on shore 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 dead man and the infant immediately. But Isabel has taken the tiny baby to her breast. Against Tom’s judgment, they claim the child as their own and name her Lucy, but a rift begins to grow between them. When Lucy is two, Tom and Isabel return to the mainland and are reminded that there are other people in the world…and one of them is desperate to find her lost baby.
M.L. Stedman’s extraordinarily compelling characters, still trying to make sense of life in the wake of so much death in the war, are imperfect people seeking to find their north star in a world of incomprehensible complexity.
©2012 Grasshill Communications. (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
“M.L. Stedman’s The Light Between Oceans is a beautiful novel about isolation and courage in the face of enormous loss. It gets into your heart stealthily, until you stop hoping the characters will make different choices and find you can only watch, transfixed, as every conceivable choice becomes an impossible one. I couldn’t look away from the page and then I couldn’t see it, through tears. It’s a stunning debut.” (Maile Meloy, author of Both Ways Is the Only Way I Want It)
This book is beautifully written and narrated. Although I did not always agree with the choices made by the characters, I felt I understood and empathized with them all. This can be a hard feat for an author to accomplish. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this book and can't wait to discuss it. There is much to think about.
Mel, a busy homeschooling 34-yr old mom of 3. I love YA/NA Fiction, Historical Romance, the classics like Jane Eyre & Pride & Prejudice.
I enjoyed the book and would recommend it. What a heart-wrenching story. I can't imagine the struggle for Tom, torn between protecting and pleasing his wife and revealing the truth of the situation and suffer the consequences. Performance was good. At first, the accent was hard to understand, but I got used to it rather quickly.
The story was slow to start but once it picked up I didn't want it to end. The narrator was very difficult to hear and understand. More than once I nearly gave up. His words trail off at the end of each sentence as if he is whispering. And to add to that the accent made it hard to understand. I liked the book but recommend you read instead of listen to this one.
I enjoyed the book and it held my interest all the way through. Most of the story is about only 2 characters, but I was completely engrossed.
The narrator was a little hard to understand. He did a great job with the different voices and the Australian accents, but he would start his sentences strong and then taper off at the end of each sentence, so I had to keep the volume way too loud in order to hear the end of his sentences. I usually listen to books at 1.25 - 1.5 times the normal speed, but could not do that with this book, due to the accent and the change in volume.
So disappointed. I'm sure the book was good but I couldn't understand most of it. Narrator mumbled a lot and his sentences would dissipate towards the end so I had no idea what he was saying. I was trying so hard to make sense of his speaking that it took the enjoyment out of it. :(
stangely interesting story. The narrator sometimes was jard to understand. The story had a strong finish, so sad.
The beginning was a bit platonic in the fathers main line. Too complacent to Issy.
I understand why a lot of audiobooks are narrated in the same dialect of the characters in them - it makes the story feel like you're right there in it. But sometimes the wording was difficult for me to understand. I'd have to rewind bits to listen again and try to guess what the narrator had said.
This is a wonderful story of deep love, wistful regret and redemption. Anyone who is lucky enough to be a parent and fortunate enough to have married a soulmate will enjoy this story. It will make you shed a tear I guarantee you and this from a devotee of the Jack Reacher genre !
Don't let the comments regarding the reader keep you from experiencing this story.
I loved this book. I was quite surprised by the bad reviews it received: yes, you could see the consequences of the main characters' decisions coming from a mile away, but that was the whole point of the story! To me, this novel was about how each of us lives with our pasts (good & bad) and copes with our futures (also good & bad). I don't think you have to be a mother to understand Isabelle's desperate yearning for a child or a veteran to understand Tom's desire to repent for what he believes are his sins. How they moved forward together was what engrossed me. All the characters are flawed, but that only made them human to me-it didn't make them unlikeable.
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