We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
 >   > 
The Light Between Oceans: A Novel | [M. L. Stedman]

The Light Between Oceans: A Novel

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.
Regular Price:$27.99
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

Publisher's Summary

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.

Download the accompanying reference guide.

©2012 Grasshill Communications. (P)2012 Audible, Inc.

What the Critics Say

“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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (1862 )
5 star
 (666)
4 star
 (720)
3 star
 (319)
2 star
 (88)
1 star
 (69)
Overall
4.1 (1607 )
5 star
 (711)
4 star
 (561)
3 star
 (228)
2 star
 (60)
1 star
 (47)
Story
3.8 (1629 )
5 star
 (607)
4 star
 (515)
3 star
 (230)
2 star
 (121)
1 star
 (156)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Peggy Utopia, Texas 03-30-14
    Peggy Utopia, Texas 03-30-14

    Semi-retired labor and delivery nurse, wife, mother and grandmother of 10. Love to read for pleasure. B&B owner in the Texas Hill Country.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    17
    13
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Need an alternate end."
    What made the experience of listening to The Light Between Oceans the most enjoyable?

    The characters were well developed.


    Any additional comments?

    I definitely enjoyed this book. Good, not great. The ending was ok but could've been better.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michele Alpine, UT, United States 03-27-14
    Michele Alpine, UT, United States 03-27-14 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    32
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    245
    32
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Something to think about!"

    This book was enjoyable and gave me something to think about. If I were in this situation, what would I do, how would I feel, would I have made the choice to be in this situation being desperate as this couple was?
    I am American -all the way- I can understand a lot of British but that being said, it took me a little while to get into the narration by Noah Taylor. I found some words just hard to understand.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Aphrodite Windham, ME, United States 03-16-14
    Aphrodite Windham, ME, United States 03-16-14 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    10
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Terrible Narrator!"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    Yes...the NARRATOR! He was just the worst I've heard and I will never buy another book that he narrates. It was really too bad because your thoughts were foremost on the poor narration and not the content of the story.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Since I am from Maine and grew up around lighthouses, I envisioned the story taking place right here at one of our lighthouses. The story itself was pretty good and it made me wonder what I would do in the same circumstance...would I keep the child and the secret or give up the child and my heart?


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    He started his sentences with an okay volume, then just droned down into a mumble at the end of almost every sentence. I thought I could get use to his voice, but it was just awful. Many times I replayed sections because he was so mumbly...sounded like he had just woken from sleep!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nicolas 03-14-14
    Nicolas 03-14-14
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Well written, painful if read by wrong audienc"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    Probably not. It's difficult to conceive how this book could have appealed to me, simply because I don't think I fit in the demographic to which it's marketed. Perhaps, more precise information regarding the main male protagonist's wartime experience. Or some other level of intrigue other than that which was provided by the core story.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Light Between Oceans?

    There was no particularly memorable moment except for my few inner outbursts of frustration at the book slamming me in the brain with it's main emotional theme - i.e. that special sense of loss only a mother can feel when she loses a child, at birth or otherwise. It seemed much or even most of the book was simply attempting to recreate that emotion... for hours... in whoever the book had managed to corner. Ok, if you're inclined to relate, but some audiences, once they get the idea has been satisfactorily conveyed once, will not feel inclined to have the concept reiterated in various forms for 100's of pages on end.


    What does Noah Taylor bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    An accent. Though at times I found him somewhat repetitive, unfortunately.


    Did The Light Between Oceans inspire you to do anything?

    Become a loving mother? Alas this dream has ended before it began, being male and all...


    Any additional comments?

    If you just don't care that much about babies and mommy issues, don't read this book. It's more or less all you're going to get. The story itself is simplistic and relatively quickly presumed by the reader, which limits the books ability to truly surprise, resulting it in being somewhat grinding, especially if you find yourself unable or unwilling to appreciate the book's core theme. Otherwise, very well written - hence my giving it 3 stars as opposed to 0.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sarah Krouse North Manchester, Indiana United States 03-10-14
    Sarah Krouse North Manchester, Indiana United States 03-10-14 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "SOB SOB SOB."
    Would you try another book from M. L. Stedman and/or Noah Taylor?

    I would be careful about another from this author, but never again from this narrator.


    What was most disappointing about M. L. Stedman’s story?

    Overwhelming and hopeless sadness. Not really likeable characters, thought somewhat sympathetic.


    What didn’t you like about Noah Taylor’s performance?

    Tone of voice - sad throughout. Every sentence meant to be a tear jerker. Could not wait for this book to end. If it weren't a book club choice, I never would have finished.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lorri Hamden, CT, United States 03-08-14
    Lorri Hamden, CT, United States 03-08-14
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A real page turner and a bittersweet ending!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes. Loved the way the book was written. A story about morals and true love.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Light Between Oceans?

    How the love of a child and the struggle of doing what is right clash.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Tom, the father, shows his deep love for both his wife and his daughter, yet his underlying truth for right and wrong is shown


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Although Isabelle, the wife, feels she must choose between her daughter and her husband, she finds the answer she can live with.


    Any additional comments?

    Best book I have read this year. Although at times the narrators voice is difficult to hear, I quickly became accustomed to his keen storytelling voice..

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 02-26-14 Member Since 2015

    Crazy Grandma

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "did not enjoy narrator"
    What would have made The Light Between Oceans better?

    did not finish teh audio book could notlisted to it


    What didn’t you like about Noah Taylor’s performance?

    sounded like he was ahalf asleep


    Any additional comments?

    finished book by reading storyline is good

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anthony NM, NM, United States 02-25-14
    Anthony NM, NM, United States 02-25-14 Member Since 2011
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    12
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Wonderful story; boring narration"
    What did you love best about The Light Between Oceans?

    I'm halfway through the first half of the narration. The story is lovely. The narrator sounds like he's in a hurry to get to an appointment, he couldn't be more bored with the story, and he just wants to get through it before the football game starts. I'm going to have to give up on the narration and go read the Kindle version.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Noah Taylor’s performances?

    Not even


    Any additional comments?

    Audible should have known that this narrator just is not skilled. There is not a lot of characterization available in the reading, but Mr. Taylor seems to think his job is just to read all the words in a monotone, quickly, then get on with something else.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nicole Mend ham, NJ, United States 02-18-14
    Nicole Mend ham, NJ, United States 02-18-14 Member Since 2013
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I have stopped listening to this book."
    Would you try another book from M. L. Stedman and/or Noah Taylor?

    NA...I could not and did not listen past the first chapter


    What could M. L. Stedman have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    NA- I did not finish listening to this book


    What didn’t you like about Noah Taylor’s performance?

    Although I enjoyed the Noah Taylor's accent. I found his reading style breathless, boring, and without emotion.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    I was disappointed that I ordered this as an audio book. I have heard many good reviews of this book


    Any additional comments?

    I have ordered this book on Kindle and am thoroughly enjoying if.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Margaret BRICK, NJ, United States 02-09-14
    Margaret BRICK, NJ, United States 02-09-14 Member Since 2012
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    25
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Best book in 2 years on audible"
    If you could sum up The Light Between Oceans in three words, what would they be?

    Excellent story. Did not want to put it down.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Tom - his turmoil between doing the right thing and his family.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.