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The Light Between Oceans Audiobook

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

4.1 (2742 )
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3.9 (2426 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Linda CA, United States 11-12-12
    Linda CA, United States 11-12-12 Member Since 2012

    Linda

    HELPFUL VOTES
    27
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    "Unending Sadness"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    Nothing, it's just not my kind of story.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    He almost mumbled.


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

    Unbearable sadness.


    Any additional comments?

    Not my cup of tea! Before anyone starts sending hate mail, please understand, the book is well written, I (meaning ME, my opinion) just hated the story. In regard to the characters, I'm not sure who the protagonist or the antagonists are but I hated Tom! and Hannah! Truth be told I don't like reading any book that is so overwrought with sadness as to make ripping my own heart out and shredding it with my fingernails seem preferable, but I digress. I have five kids, so yea... I'm a Mom. I thought Hannah was selfish to demand the return of Lucy/Grace without thought for what it was putting the child through. I also thought Tom was selfish for agreeing and then, in order to quell his own guilty conscience, destroying just about everybody's lives. Something akin to confessing an affair for no other purpose than making yourself feel better. Isabel was the easiest for me to forgive, losing 3 babies and then having one appear almost magically. It would be real easy to convince yourself it was a gift from God and surely meant to be.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Deidre 10-29-12
    Deidre 10-29-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Recommended if want to hear in authentic Aussie"
    What made the experience of listening to The Light Between Oceans the most enjoyable?

    Having an authentic Australian voice was great! I read reviews before buying and heard a sample. The reviews were not very positive, but I understood the sample well so I went ahead and purchased it.


    What about Noah Taylor’s performance did you like?

    It was an authentic accent. If the listener is not familiar with accents outside of the US, I can see the frustration. Best recommendation would be to have a hardcopy book on hand for any difficult areas. It's a pleasure hearing it in an voice similar to the setting and author's voice.


    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stevon Tempe, AZ, United States 11-28-15
    Stevon Tempe, AZ, United States 11-28-15 Member Since 2015

    I love books!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "life can be tough sometimes"

    First time author me, debut novel for the author. Set in Australia in the 1920's, the book centers around a couple that live on a small island 100 miles off the west coast of Australia. The husband is the lighthouse keeper. They live a fairly happy life except the wife really, really wants to have a baby, especially after three miscarriages. Then one day a boat washes up on the shore and inside is a baby wrapped in blankets and a dead man, no identification. The couple makes a decision to raise the child as their own. This decision has implications that take a while to unfold and ends up causing a lot of pain and sadness.The book is really well written and brings a tear or two towards the end.

    In reading the reviews prior to diving in with the book I read where many of the reviewers had complaints about the narration. I don't understand what listeners want? The book is written by an Aussie author, set in Australia, and it should be no surprise to have an Aussie narrator with an Aussie accent. I, too, find sometimes when I start listening to a foreign accented narrator that it can be hard to understand. But, I also find that in the beginning I have to pay closer attention to the narration but that my ear eventually gets attuned to it. Scottish accents can be tough to get used as well. But I didn't find the narration detracting from the story, in fact, I enjoyed it.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    JoAnn Boston, MA, United States 01-16-14
    JoAnn Boston, MA, United States 01-16-14 Member Since 2016
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    "Amazing!"

    This book was terrific. A great story, beautifully written, and the narration.. oh the narration. Hearing a book based in Australia narrated by an Australian REALLY brought the book alive. Thanks to Mr. Taylor, I could sense the townspeople whispering, I could feel the waves crashing, and I could see a little girl standing before me.

    This is a book about choices, doing the right thing, loss, regret, and above all else, love. There are no villains... just imperfect people dealing with imperfect situations. Mr. Stedman writes in a way that constantly has you questioning, guessing, second guessing, and, at times, on the edge of your seat. I smiled, cried, ached, laughed, and at the end of the story was left feeling (to my surprise!) supremely satisfied.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Millie United States 02-05-13
    Millie United States 02-05-13
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    "Poor narration."
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    The narration left much to be desired. He dropped his voice at the end of each sentence and it came out garbled. I missed a lot of the story.


    Any additional comments?

    Better read than listened to.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jodie Prospect, KY, United States 02-03-13
    Jodie Prospect, KY, United States 02-03-13 Member Since 2010
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    "The narrator is annoying me to death!!!"
    Would you try another book from M. L. Stedman and/or Noah Taylor?

    No. Well, perhaps from the author but not from the narrator!


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    I'm half-way through this book, having to read it for Book Club. The story is fine... it's the narrator. He starts EVERY sentence up - meaning you can hear it - and ends EACH sentence speaking so low and mumbly you can't hear/understand what he's saying. I would quit listening to it right now if it weren't for book club. I don't have time to "read" it.


    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Juan 09-02-12
    Juan 09-02-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Awesome story, horrible narrator"
    Would you listen to The Light Between Oceans again? Why?

    Yes to perhaps catch the 10% that I lost with the unintelligible narrator


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Tom. Always thinking of others well being.


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

    A proven good narrator with a clear voice with no accent.


    Who was the most memorable character of The Light Between Oceans and why?

    Lucy


    13 of 17 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Connie 02-04-13
    Connie 02-04-13 Member Since 2011
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    "bad performance"

    Did not like the reader. Had a very difficult time engaging in the story at the beginning. Couldn't understand the reader much of the time. Gave up on it .. Read the book

    7 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MEMcL Carlsbad, CA 02-03-13
    MEMcL Carlsbad, CA 02-03-13 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    223
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    Story
    "Hang in there!"

    Not only did I not like the narrator, he made me mad! I had to turn the volume way up to be able to decipher the mumbling, uninflected reading. I nearly gave up on it a number of times.

    But, I continued, and found it to be a sensitive, interesting portrayal of an impossible family situation. The characters were, for the most part, well-drawn and depicted. The ending is a tear-jerker, and I wept for all the losses and poignant dilemmas. The book did move me, and was well written.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anita Harris 04-08-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Could Never Get Into Story Because of Narrator"
    What disappointed you about The Light Between Oceans?

    The narration was AWFUL unless you like a monotone mumbler that has a slight lisp.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    The Secrets She Carried by Barbara Davis


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

    NO!


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

    Could not go beyond Chapter 10. The narration was unbearable. It was like Chinese water torture.


    Any additional comments?

    I am so sorry that I didn't read reviews before purchasing. This was my Book Club's selection for the month, so I just purchased. Never in a million years would I have gotten it if I had read the reviews.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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