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.
©2012 Grasshill Communications. (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
“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)
I listen to a lot of audio books and this is the worst narrator I have ever heard. On the long sentences his voice would either speed up and at the same time fade away. I was missing so much of what he said that I went to the library and checked out the book. It is such a shame because this is such a beautifully written story.
The language. It is beautifully written
Slow down, and don't drop off your sentences. Some of the longer sentences were so quick and quiet they turn into a total mumble!
Don't cut anything. It's a well written story with beautiful language
Would like a refund, that's how bad the narration was. I couldn't even listen to it.
Gripping story of choice and consequence. Australian story written by an Australian born author, and narrated by an Australian born actor with an Australian accent. To forgo this novel due to negative reviews of the narrator would be missing out on a fabulous portrayal of human nature--it's shortcomings and strengths. At no point did I find the narrator difficult to understand. Noah Taylor's slow, somber voice expertly portrays the mood of the book. ML Stedman tells the story of unfortunate people working their way through great sadness, their memories and hopes of great joys, and the reality of their lives. It's a tale of kinship, understanding and misunderstanding, forgiveness and grief. Although rarely uplifting, it is a conceivable, thought-provoking, moving debut novel.
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.
No, the narrator was often hard to understand and the mannor in which he spoke made the sad book even more depressing.
The story pulls strongly on the heartstrings, especially if you are a mother. The emotional pain felt by many of the characters was easily felt by the listener. The book was a good one, but not very uplifting; very tragic and heartbreaking. As a side note, I think I may have enjoyed the book more had it been narrated by someone else or just read in book form.
Yes to perhaps catch the 10% that I lost with the unintelligible narrator
Tom. Always thinking of others well being.
A proven good narrator with a clear voice with no accent.
I've just finished this excellent book this morning, and I'm still a bit lost in its spell. What a story! I cried more than once (and for more than one reason), laughed several times, actually felt sick a few times, and on more than one occasion felt myself completely taken up in it, which is the highest praise I can give a book.
I strongly recommend this book to anyone who loves a good, compelling, and deeply moving story.
The only complaint I have is that the narrator would often sort of trail off at the end of a sentence. In every other respect, he was a fine narrator. As I understand it, he's an Australian himself, so that helps lend the story some authenticity.
A lot of reviewers here have really been hard on the narrator, some going so far as to say he ruined the book for them. I did not feel it was quite that bad. I simply turned the volume up a bit higher than normal, so that when he trailed off, he was still easily audible. It did make him a bit loud at times, but I was ok with that.
The book and story are so utterly compelling, it's worth putting up with the narrator's imperfections.
The premise of this story is very creative and I was immediately engaged. These characters find themselves in a heck of a fix. My heart was broken for all of them.
I wanted a different ending, but I don't know what it would have been. Perhaps there was no way to end it in an equitable manner. It is a tough problem that these people had to deal with.
Although I liked the narrator, he was very hard to understand at times, especially when his voice went very soft. I know he was doing that for effect, but if you can't understand what he is saying, the effect is lost anyway.
All in all, I would recommend this book. I enjoyed reading/listening to it very much.
I can't finish because I can't hear half of what the narrator says! I have Australian friends and can certainly understand them, but not this guy when I'm driving in the car. What a disappointment. I'm returning asap.
I tried listening three times and could not get into the story.
Someone who could be more enjoyable to listen to.
I didn't get that far to know unfortunately.
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.
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.
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