The Light Between Oceans Online Download 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 dayâ€™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 babyâ€™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 Tomâ€™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 could not put this book down. I have been reading a lot of books on my Kindle this summer--I'm a teacher and have time off--and most of my purchases have been in the 2-3 dollar range. I wasn't sure about spending 11 dollars on a Kindle book. But I was intrigued by the plot line and the notion of getting to know something about Australia, a place far, far away from me. From the first chapter, I was hooked. Not only are the characters well drawn, the imagery the author uses to weave together multiple threads is astounding. The characters themselves--Tom, the war veteran turned lighthouse keeper whose past holds darkness, and Isabel, his young wife whose longing to be a mother supersedes her good judgement--fill the book, even though they live an isolated life on the small lighthouse island of Janus. It was a book that I knew at the beginning would not end well. The lies that were spun out by Isabel and supported by Tom had, at some point in time, to come to light. But, oh, how I wished that the small Sherbourne family could have just remained intact on their little island, forever guarded by the stars. I was satisfied at the end. Things were put to right, more or less, but Tom and Isabel did not lose one another. The choice that Isabel had to make was heart-rending; I was not sure, until the last, what her decision would be. Some critics have claimed that this is a "girl read." So be it. Perhaps those of us who have carried children under our hearts can understand, in a way the other gender cannot, the pull a child can have on your soul. For myself, this girl was entranced by the "beach read". The research the author did on lighthouses and the wartime made it more than just a light romance. It was, in a word, astounding.
A unique premise, unique setting, and vivid characterizations all make reading The Light Between Oceans a wonderful experience. Or, maybe I should say "listening to," since I did listen to most of the book. I think if there's a criticism of The Light Between Oceans, it will be the slow pacing, especially at the beginning.
I'm very patient when I listen to audio books, so I enjoyed all the descriptions of the main character, Tom, his involvement in WWI, and his eventual employment at a light house off the coast of Australia. Being a "keeper of the light" in the early 1900s was certainly a difficult, but interesting career. Talk about lonely! These guys received supplies every three months or so, and got shore leave only every three years! It takes a unique person to sign up for this, and that is why Tom, with his horrible experiences in the war, was well suited. The story of how he meets his eventual wife, Izzy, is heartwarming, and their life together on the island is near perfect. All except for the fact that Lizzy has three miscarriages, which brings us to the heart of the story. When a small boat washes ashore with a dead man and a little crying baby, Tom and Izzy's lives change. Against Tom's better judgment and overshadowed by Lizzy's heartbreak over recently losing her third baby, they decide to keep this child and raise it as their own. They are great parents, and Lucy, as they name the baby, lives a happy childhood. But as readers, we know this is a situation that simply cannot end well. And it really doesn't. And my heart just broke for everyone involved. For much of The Light Between Oceans I just couldn't figure out how ANYONE was ever going to be happy, and I didn't feel that any of them deserved to be punished, even though crimes were committed. The resolution is as hopeful as it can be, and the ending brought lots of tears to my eyes (and I don't cry easily.) The journey to that resolution is filled with twists and turns, and Stedman does a great job of keeping you guessing at the outcome. I had some difficulty with my download of the CDs so I had to request the printed form of The Light Between Oceans so I could read part of it. Then, at the end, I couldn't WAIT to find out what was going to happen, so I read the last 70 pages. My point is, the reading experience was just as fulfilling as listening, so I can recommend either way to enjoy The Light Between Oceans. The narrator, Noah Taylor, does lovely accents for the characters, and for the most part I enjoyed the audio. However, he has such a dynamic range that the quiet parts were too soft. I had to turn it way up, and still paired with the accent, I sometimes couldn't catch what he was saying. I tried different equalizer settings, but nothing seemed to help. I would highly recommend The Light Between Oceans to adult readers. I think mature teens might be interested too, although I would hand pick who I offer this to.
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