Bookclub Review This month the book review comes from Jesus House Book Club, a life group in London. They read The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman, a Australian author, which follows a remote lighthouse keeper, Tom, and his wife Isabel, in the first half of the 20th century. Edel Meremikwu shares what they thought of the book. About The Group Bolatito Folaran, Ojay Nwobodo and Edel Meremikwu are members of a book club who meet regularly every two weeks. They take turns to choose a book and host the discussion with tasty nibbles and refreshments. Recent reads include The Spider King’s Daughter by Chibundo Onuzo, a debut novel by a 21 year old author. The group are open to reading a variety of fiction and non-fiction books and discussing the topical themes of life that flow from this. As a growing church, Jesus House life groups are a means by which congregation members connect and grow together in smaller informal settings. Lifegroups are a way of people coming together outside of the church through a shared interest or activity to impart the life of Christ on one another through fellowship, discipleship and support.
“…a description of the extraordinary, sustaining power of a marriage to bind two people together in love, through the most emotionally harrowing circumstances.” Daily Mail Here is an extract from the novel:
‘Oh it’s heaven here!’ Isabel declared the next day as she looked out at the flat, turquoise ocean. Despite Tom’s grim warnings about the weather, the wind had declared a greeting truce and the sun was again gloriously warm. He had brought her to the lagoon, a broad pool of placid ultramarine no more than six feet deep, in which they were now swimming. ‘Just as well you like it. It’s three years till we get shore leave.’ She put her arms around him. ‘I’m where I want to be and with the man I want to be with. Nothing else matters.’ Tom swirled her gently in a circle as he spoke. ‘Sometimes fish find their way in here through the gaps in the rocks. You can scoop them up with a net, or even just with your hands.’ ‘What’s this pool called?’ ‘Hasn’t got a name.’ ‘Everything deserves a name, don’t you think?’ ‘Well, you can give it one then.’ Isabel thought for a moment. ‘I hereby christen this “Paradise Pool”,’ she said, and splashed a handful of water onto a rock. ‘This will be my swimming spot.’
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The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman On the Whole The group overall had mixed views about the book, one reason being that getting into it was a challenge, but everyone agreed that there were definitely some great moments in the novel. This is a story of love, pain and trial that Tom and Isabel, the main characters of this novel, go through. They have been trying for a child and have so far been faced with a series of miscarriages. This book brings to light the main issue that breaks a woman’s confidence, motherhood, or the inability to produce one’s off spring to be more precise. It also emphasises how humans can get desperate, in some cases where there has been no child in a relationship. Bolatito Folaran The title intrigued me, so I couldn’t wait to read it. The narrative is set in 1918, just after the end of the First World War. The two main characters Tom and Isabel keep watch at this Lighthouse. The reader learns that their story has so far
The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman HB • Doubleday • £16.99 ISBN 9780857521002 Out Now
been a sad one as they are trying to have a child and Isabel has miscarried during this time. Although it was not my kind of story, it is readable and will appeal to a female market because of the theme of motherhood Ojay Nwobodo The book is written in three parts, in the third person through the eyes of the two main characters, but with Tom at the centre. At the heart of this novel is a compelling human story, with a complex moral dilemma which the author conveys vividly. M.L Stedman writes with great compassion, I am guessing she is a female author, even though the initials do not give this away, (or a really compassionate man!). All of the main characters are good people in a challenging situation. Yes it did make me cry. Edel Meremikwu