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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 (1328 )
5 star
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4.1 (1149 )
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Story
3.7 (1168 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Sarah Tucson, AZ, United States 11-06-12
    Sarah Tucson, AZ, United States 11-06-12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    8
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Terrible narrator"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    I didn't believe it when I read other reviews but the narrator was truly terrible. I have enjoyed many books from audible.com and this narration was by far the worst. I could hardly understand the narrator at times because he was mumbling and the volume of his voice changed so much I had to keep adjusting the volume. Very frustrating.


    Any additional comments?

    It was a good story but maybe one that would be better to read than listen to.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Page Tredennick DENVER, CO, US 11-03-12
    Page Tredennick DENVER, CO, US 11-03-12 Member Since 2011
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    8
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "hard to understand."
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    Too hard to understand the dialect. This is the first time I have ever had this problem. The story sounded like it was going to be very good but I constantly had to keep going back to understand.
    Maybe I will try to read it in the printed word!


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

    I could not understand his dialect


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Victoria 11-02-12
    Victoria 11-02-12 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    0
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    105
    2
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    "Could not put it down."
    What did you love best about The Light Between Oceans?

    Excellent compassionate, heart wrenching story.


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

    The love that was shared.


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

    No.


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

    Yes.


    Any additional comments?

    Loved it!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Constance LOS ANGELES, CA, United States 10-29-12
    Constance LOS ANGELES, CA, United States 10-29-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    0
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    52
    1
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    0
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    "The narrator is almost impossible to understand."
    Would you listen to The Light Between Oceans again? Why?

    No. Can't understand the narration. I wound up not being able to listen.


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

    Couldn't understand him. He swallowed words. Whispered. Very difficult. I thought after awhile I would get used to his accent and style but I couldn't. I have listened to other Aussie's read and never had a problem


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marilyn Londonderry, NH, United States 10-25-12
    Marilyn Londonderry, NH, United States 10-25-12 Member Since 2011
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    10
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Wonderful story"
    Where does The Light Between Oceans rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    It was one of the better audiobooks I've listened to. The characters were all very real, and the story one of a real moral dilemma. Each character was tragic and I really felt their pain and wanted things to turn out well for them.


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

    The whole book moved me!


    Any additional comments?

    The performance was wonderful. The reader's Australian accent really gave the book a sense of place.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Martha ORLANDO, FL, USA 10-24-12
    Martha ORLANDO, FL, USA 10-24-12 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    4
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    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
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    Story
    "Horrid Narration Ruins a Good Book"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Very frustrating to listen to since the end of most sentences fade to a whisper. Hard to adjust volume and difficult to follow because of poor narration.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    Constantly!


    Was The Light Between Oceans worth the listening time?

    Have not finished. As frustrating as the narration is will finish as I like the story.


    Any additional comments?

    A good book runined by the reader. I listen to and enjoy many books with accents. The problem is the fading volume and nearly mumbling at the end of sentences.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elizabeth Midlothian, VA, United States 10-08-12
    Elizabeth Midlothian, VA, United States 10-08-12 Member Since 2009
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    62
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent all around!"

    I simply loved this audiobook. I thought the story was mesmerizing and the narration outstanding. Unlike some of the other reviewers, I loved the narrator's rich, deep voice and found him very easy to listen to for long periods of time. The characters were consistent and believable, even in the most heartbreaking of situations. The novel was very well-written.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Spunky 09-25-12
    Spunky 09-25-12 Member Since 2009
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "The story will stay with you for a long time"
    Would you listen to The Light Between Oceans again? Why?

    No, but I would seriously consider buying the book. The story is beautifully crafted with very real, memorable characters and an almost unthinkable dilemma. The reader's accent was difficult to understand and changes in volume made catching every word, especially with ambient noise, impossible.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Tom He's a very moral man with a way-too-large altruistic streak. He consistently put others' needs and best interests ahead of his own, despite the hardships in his own life. His constant love for and support of his wife was especially touching.


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

    Yes I listened to the book while commuting but ended up listening to the last hour after I got home - "couldn't put it down."


    Any additional comments?

    Really, really memorable "read"

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cheryl 09-24-12
    Cheryl 09-24-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    3
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
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    "first audio book"

    I loved the story. It kept our interest for a long road trip! However, we found the narrator hard to understand and often hard to hear. We got used to the accent after a few hours but sorry, not my favorite narrator.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    carolyn marietta, ga, United States 09-21-12
    carolyn marietta, ga, United States 09-21-12 Member Since 2004
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    18
    7
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Can't Understand the Narrator"
    If you could sum up The Light Between Oceans in three words, what would they be?

    Potential but poor reader.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The story itself.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    The way he read the book. He is awful.


    Any additional comments?

    Read the book because listening to it is very difficult.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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