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 (1914 )
5 star
 (689)
4 star
 (740)
3 star
 (326)
2 star
 (89)
1 star
 (70)
Overall
4.1 (1654 )
5 star
 (735)
4 star
 (576)
3 star
 (234)
2 star
 (61)
1 star
 (48)
Story
3.8 (1676 )
5 star
 (626)
4 star
 (529)
3 star
 (238)
2 star
 (124)
1 star
 (159)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Betsy Georgitis Western US 04-16-13
    Betsy Georgitis Western US 04-16-13 Member Since 2012

    I enjoy a variety of books including mysteries, historical fiction as well as young adult and children's literature. Listening to books gives me the ability to "read" in the car as well as the evening as a nightcap before bed.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    29
    14
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Love, love, love this book"

    Although a bit slow at the start this novel definitely picks up the pace as it goes along. The difficult dilemma presented here is problematic to resolve. There are very few "bad" people only bad decisions. The choices made by the characters are very understandable as we all "make up" stories to fit our reality.. Throughout the book one is kept wondering how any resolution can be made that is realistic yet not totally depressing. The end is sad but realistic and so bitter sweet.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    D Hermitage, PA, United States 04-11-13
    D Hermitage, PA, United States 04-11-13 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    31
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    40
    14
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Gets to you."
    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Wow, after listening/reading hundreds of books I have to say this one taught me a lesson. And that is that the expression "a lump in my throat" is not just an expression but a real thing! I really don't think any book has even done that to me, I don't know that anything has! The feelings protrayed in these writings are real, being a mother, you get the raw emotions. I would reccommend getting this book, but perhaps not if you have ever lost a child!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christine E Cunningham Knoxville, TN, US 04-11-13
    Christine E Cunningham Knoxville, TN, US 04-11-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Heartwarming and Heartbreaking"
    What did you like best about this story?

    In the end, I dare you to pick a side. I like that the ups and downs have you battling with and then defending the main characters. There really is no right and wrong, no way to choose a side when you can see both of them. The write does an excellent job of portraying the joy and sadness through this long journey and getting you to see the "light" at the end.


    What about Noah Taylor’s performance did you like?

    I enjoyed the accent.


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

    I feel like the title fits. It's as compelling as the story.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Barbara JACKSONVILLE, FL, United States 03-30-13
    Barbara JACKSONVILLE, FL, United States 03-30-13 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "impossible to understand"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Someone who can understand the readers heavy accent


    Has The Light Between Oceans turned you off from other books in this genre?

    no


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

    I could not understand him at all. After about 2 hours of listening, I gave up on trying to understand what he was saying. The accent was so heavy.


    Any additional comments?

    Very disappointed that this performer would be chosen to read this.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gayle Hallgren-Rezac Vancouver, BC 03-29-13
    Gayle Hallgren-Rezac Vancouver, BC 03-29-13 Member Since 2009

    I love books, but I particularly love audio books. What a luxury to have someone like Campbell Scott read you to sleep.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    11
    10
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Interesting Story, I'm OK with Narrator"
    Would you listen to The Light Between Oceans again? Why?

    It's an interesting story of a crossroads in the lives of two people and the consequences of an action. I loved the story being set at a lighthouse, the isolation, the dynamic between the husband and wife. I didn't feel as strongly about the narration as many other reviewers. Listen to a sample and decide for yourself.

    I probably wouldn't read/listen to the book again, but I might go to a movie--right director, right actors...


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    JessK Loveland, CO, United States 03-25-13
    JessK Loveland, CO, United States 03-25-13 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Compelling story of love and hope for one child."
    What made the experience of listening to The Light Between Oceans the most enjoyable?

    I enjoyed the description of the place and how the little island affected the family that lived there. Also the memories that people had throughout the story and how their past affected their decisions now.


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

    How Lucy came to be found and discovered from both her adopted family and the biological one.


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

    Perhaps especially towards the end I didn't want to stop listening. But I listen when doing other things so when those tasks are done so is my listening.


    Any additional comments?

    The story line is just so great. We think a lot about how much people are affected during a war not after. Or rather how the community is affected by so much loss and how that impacts their decisions. The light that this little girl brought into the extended family after having lost 2 sons in the war it was understood why her adopted mother didn't want to give her up. I thought it was an amazing inventive tale of love and how honesty can be blurred and affect the choices we make.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathleen Davenport, IA, United States 03-18-13
    Kathleen Davenport, IA, United States 03-18-13 Member Since 2012

    I'm an English teacher at a midwest high school. I'm a mother of four, a singer, and a string bass player.

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    10
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Selfish Adults"
    Any additional comments?

    I was struck how many adults commit atrocities in this book with the justification of "this is what's best for the child." To an outsider, it is clear that these women are acting in their own best interests, not Lucy/Grace's.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marcy 03-13-13
    Marcy 03-13-13

    Say something about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    71
    8
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Beautifully written, heartbreaking story"

    The Light Between Oceans is one of the most beautifully written stories I've read in a long time. I was immediately and completely drawn into Tom Sherbournes's world. It was a joy to read a modern novel of such outstanting literary quality. Characters were complex and well-drawn, including the lighthouse and island which were characters in and of themselves. I was struck by the wonderful metaphors and symbolism within the story and the challenging themes the novel tackled. Be prepared, however, this is not a light read.

    The narrator's delightful Australian accent was enchanting and wonderful to listen to.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sandra Hooker Marshall, TX USA 03-11-13
    Sandra Hooker Marshall, TX USA 03-11-13
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I was easily pulled into the story."
    If you could sum up The Light Between Oceans in three words, what would they be?

    Conflict of emotions


    What did you like best about this story?

    Characters in the story were well-developed. I understood the conflict between the two main characters.


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

    I enjoy listening to audio books while doing activities that I don't particularly enjoy. His pleasant voice gave the story authenticity.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    The story created an emotional struggle within me as I pondered what I might do if I had experienced what the characters in the story experienced.


    Any additional comments?

    A good read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Loveland, OH, United States 03-08-13
    David Loveland, OH, United States 03-08-13
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    4
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Difficult to understand the reader"
    What didn’t you like about Noah Taylor’s performance?

    Noah Taylor has an Australian accent and a lisp. I had to back up parts of the book several times to understand what he was saying


    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.