Monday, May 9, 2016
Review: The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman
Summary from Goodreads:
After four harrowing years on the Western Front, Tom Sherbourne returns to Australia and takes a job as the lighthouse keeper on Janus Rock, nearly half a day’s journey from the coast. To this isolated island, where the supply boat comes once a season and shore leaves are granted every other year at best, Tom brings a young, bold, and loving wife, Isabel. Years later, after two miscarriages and one stillbirth, the grieving Isabel hears a baby’s cries on the wind. A boat has washed up onshore 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 man and infant immediately. But Isabel has taken the tiny baby to her breast. Against Tom’s judgment, they claim her as their own and name her Lucy. When she is two, Tom and Isabel return to the mainland and are reminded that there are other people in the world. Their choice has devastated one of them.
M. L. Stedman’s mesmerizing, beautifully written novel seduces us into accommodating Isabel’s decision to keep this “gift from God.” And we are swept into a story about extraordinarily compelling characters seeking to find their North Star in a world where there is no right answer, where justice for one person is another’s tragic loss.
The Light Between Oceans is exquisite and unforgettable, a deeply moving novel.
I ventured out of my comfort zone (away from YA or Fantasy) and tried to get into a Literary fiction with a novel that is going to be a film this year (with Michael Fassbender!).
I had a hard time connecting with the novel, however, the fact that I was reading it between massive amounts of homework for some 400 level courses did not help.
I'm so used to a lot of action and plot development that I struggled to get into the novel but I plan on trying to read more literary fiction in the future to expand my reading habits.
I felt that the ending was a bit underwhelming and I wanted a bit more from it. However, besides that and the pacing I enjoyed the interesting plot and the characters.
It will be intriguing to see what happens with the film and if they decide to keep the ending or make it a tad more exciting or satisfying.
I recommend checking out this novel if you want to see the film and if you enjoy a more poetic tale.
Four Stars Out of Five Stars