Read The Light Between Oceans Online by M.L. Stedman
Click Here to Download the Book 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. The Light Between Oceans is exquisite and unforgettable, a deeply moving novel.
Reviews I found The Light Between Two Oceans by M.L. Stedman to be a powerfully, engrossing novel. Tom Sherbourne is a hero returning to Australia after the war has ended and is looking for a place of peace and isolation where he can heal from the atrocities he has seen. He takes a job on Janus Rock as the lighthouse keeper. Janus Rock is a secluded island and Tom's only real connection with the mainland is through Ralph and Bluey, two men who navigate the supply boat that comes to Janus Rock once a season. Though many a man has gone mad in this lonely existence, Tom thrives and heals. He is a meticulous lighthouse keeper, abiding by every rule. He is very good at his job and well suited for this solitary life. He comes to love Janus Rock. Tom eventually meets (through a series of events explained in the book) and marries Isabel Graysmark. Isabel moves to Janus rock and their life is ideal. Isabel initially is a dynamic, bold and playful character who loves Tom very much, but after 3 miscarriages, one being fairly recent, she is mentally fragile. A boat washes up on Janus Rock. In the boat is a dead man and a baby girl wrapped in a cardigan sweater. Convincing Tom that the baby must be an orphan, better off with them, and that it is the will of G-d, Tom and Isabel keep the baby as their own. They bury the dead man and never report their findings. Tom and Isabel fall desperately in love with the baby they name Lucy and can't imagine their world without her. When the Sherbournes discover that Lucy's birth mother is actually alive, has never given up hope of finding her husband and baby, and has been severely suffering with her losses, Tom and Isabel are faced with an overwhelmingly tragic dilemma, keep the child that they love and allow the birth mother to agonize over her losses or release the child back to her birth mother and shatter from their own broken hearts.
After fighting in World War I and seeing more death than he can handle, Tom Sherbourne returns to Australia to become a lighthouse keeper. Ultimately he winds up becoming the keeper on Janus Rock, an isolated island
where a supply boat only comes once every three months. But the hard work and the honor of being responsible for such a majestic and vital landmark is more than enough for Tom, until he meets Isabel Graysmark, a young woman whose playful spirit and zest for life awakens feelings in Tom he never thought he'd be worthy to experience. Years later, after two miscarriages and a stillborn baby, Tom and Isabel are weathering the isolation of Janus Rock and wondering how to handle the crushing emptiness they feel. One day, a boat washes up on shore, carrying the body of a man and an infant, whose cries awaken Isabel's maternal spirit. She convinces Tom, a man who pays meticulous attention to detail and the rules governing lighthouses all over Australia, to hold off reporting the ship and the baby, just for a few days. And this decision has powerful ramifications not only in their lives, but the lives of their family and friends, and those who wondered what happened to the man and the baby on that fateful day. In this haunting book, M.L. Stedman visits a familiar plot point—the split second decision that affects the futures of many—but does so in a gripping and affecting way. You know what Tom and Isabel have done is wrong, but you certainly sympathize with their choice and the guilt they feel, but then you realize just how many people this decision ultimately hurts. And Stedman is able to keep you guessing; just when you believe the story will take one direction, you find yourself surprised, but that doesn't affect the power of the story. As one character says, "Right and wrong can be like bloody snakes: so tangled up that you can’t tell which is which until you’ve shot 'em both, and then it’s too late." There is a vividness and a heart to this story that is unforgettable.
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