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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.
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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

3.9 (1303 )
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4.1 (1125 )
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Story
3.7 (1146 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Annelies roswell, GA, United States 12-02-12
    Annelies roswell, GA, United States 12-02-12 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    10
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    Story
    "Quite a ride!"
    Would you listen to The Light Between Oceans again? Why?

    I would listen to it again because the story was only part of the pleasure


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

    It took too many turns to choose one favorite moment


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

    The language was at first difficult at times. However the australian dialect was perfect for the setting. Bear with it!


    If you could rename The Light Between Oceans, what would you call it?

    The light between 2 oceans.


    Any additional comments?

    Very human and likable characters. The setting takes you to place you have never been
    and would like to go!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    julia FULSHEAR, TX, United States 11-29-12
    julia FULSHEAR, TX, United States 11-29-12 Member Since 2011
    ratings
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    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Couldn't understand narrator"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    The narrator has a beautiful accent, but unfortunately, between that and the speed that he sometimes spoke at, I had to buy the book to finish it.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paula Alpharetta, GA, United States 11-28-12
    Paula Alpharetta, GA, United States 11-28-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
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    11
    5
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    0
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A story about doing integrity and love!"
    Where does The Light Between Oceans rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I totally looked forward to finding out what happened - even though the events were sometimes hard to listen to ... i very much enjoyed this book,and would rank it 3.5 out of 5 in comparison to other audio books.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Isobel... I so totally sympathized with her actions, and felt desperately sad for her.


    Have you listened to any of Noah Taylor’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I haven't listened to Noah Taylor before, but found the narration interesting and clear. The accent helps with the storyline too.


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

    Yes, but I wouldn't want an abridged version... it was exciting to come back to.


    Any additional comments?

    I found it to be a heart rending story well written and well narrated. I would recommend it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Judith TONAWANDA, NY, United States 11-27-12
    Judith TONAWANDA, NY, United States 11-27-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    Story
    "Good story but not so good narrative."

    When a baby appears on the shores of a deserted island off of the coast of Australia, Tom and Isabella provide a warm and comforting home for the infant and Isabella considers the newborn a gift from God since she has had several miscarriages and has no hope for a baby of her own. After a couple of years their lives are cruelly torn apart when they discover the baby's mother, on the mainland, has been desperately searching for the child. As they relinquish the child to the natural mother, Tom and Isabella's lives become a torrent of emotions.

    The plot of the novel continues with the gripping despair of Tom and both mothers. They all try to be rational but are downtrodden with of jealousy and fear. It is quite a good but heartbreaking story that any parent can relate to. I listened to it on audio and the narrater's Australian accent was easy to understand but his voice went from strong to a whisper when, I'm assuming, he was trying for effect. This annoyance really took away from the story for me so at a later date I think I would like to read the book instead of listening to it. This happens sometimes between audio and books!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Martha Columbus, OH, United States 11-26-12
    Martha Columbus, OH, United States 11-26-12 Member Since 2007
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Ethical dilemma"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, I have recommended it many times. The story is riveting but at the end somewhat contrived. This is a great book club discussion book. The ethichal dilemma has many ramifications and twists and turns connecting past elements in a compelling way. It reminds me of a Jodi Picoult type story with choices where nobody can win.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I liked the details of the setting, the strength of the characters and the forward movement of the story line. While it seemed a little slow at first, that introduction helped establish the characters for the later parts of the story.


    How could the performance have been better?

    The narrator was poor. He was a mumbler. This has nothing to do wtih his Australian accent, he just did not open his mouth.


    Any additional comments?

    Good, fast read. Page turner.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    LARASDDW Illinois, USA 11-22-12
    LARASDDW Illinois, USA 11-22-12 Member Since 2011

    J & M

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    4
    2
    Overall
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    Story
    "Great story"
    If you could sum up The Light Between Oceans in three words, what would they be?

    Engaging, thought-provoking.


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

    Good performance, although difficult to hear the changes in volume to emphasize the drama. Still, a good reader, appropriate to the story.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    L. Blanz Fallbrook, CA 11-19-12
    L. Blanz Fallbrook, CA 11-19-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    "I loved the story"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, most any person would love this story. Even though most people would like to have seen the story go in a different direction, it was life.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Tom. He was a wonderful, honest person and so loving to his wife and "daughter".


    What about Noah Taylor’s performance did you like?

    I liked his acting and made the story quite entertaining.


    If you could take any character from The Light Between Oceans out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    Tom, again. He was just a wonderful man


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marsha Suter sacramento, ca 11-17-12
    Marsha Suter sacramento, ca 11-17-12 Member Since 2010

    craven reading

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    23
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Very boring narrator"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    I was hard for me to keep my attention on the story as the narrator was very boring and hard to hear at times even though I had volume to the max.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    Not sure.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Noah Taylor?

    Don't know other narrators.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    No


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Juli PORTLAND, TX, United States 11-16-12
    Juli PORTLAND, TX, United States 11-16-12 Member Since 2008
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    4
    2
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    Story
    "Loved it!!! Narrarator was great!!"
    Any additional comments?

    I almost didn't purchase this book because of the reviews of the narrarator, so thankful that I gave it a chance. I loved the book and Mr. Taylor was excellent in projecting the mood of the of the story and the personalities of the characters. Well done.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pink lady Champaign, IL USA 11-15-12
    Pink lady Champaign, IL USA 11-15-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
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    36
    26
    FOLLOWERS
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    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good but sad"
    What did you love best about The Light Between Oceans?

    How well the details were explained...


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    Hated it


    Which character – as performed by Noah Taylor – was your favorite?

    none


    Any additional comments?

    Enjoyed listening to the book until the turning point. All the stress is not something I like to have anymore of even if it is in a book. Ending made sense even though I did not like it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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