The Light Between Oceans Online eBook 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 Tom Sherbourne, a decorated hero of World War I, is a haunted man: he's haunted by the men he killed, by the comrades who died alongside him, and by an unhappy childhood--none of which he is willing to talk about. In an effort to find peace, Tom takes a position as a lighthouse keeper on Janus Island, 100 miles out from the Australian coastal city of Partageuse. No one is more surprised than Tom when he finds love with Isabel Graysmarks, a beautiful and spirited local girl who is willing to marry him and move to the isolated island. Both of them grow to love the spare landscape and the magical light itself. But if there is one thing that blights their happiness, it is Isabel's inability to bear a child. She has suffered two miscarriages and, just two weeks earlier, a stillbirth, when a boat washes ashore, inside it a dead man, a woman's cardigan--and a live infant. As always, Tom feels obligated to do the right thing . . . but just what is the right thing? Stedman has written a compelling novel, one that captivates the reader and moves him/her through a myriad of emotions, from sorrow to joy, from peacefulness to suspense, from anger to acceptance. Her characters are individual and believable (although I found the child Lucy just a bit too precious) and always deserving of empathy. Stedman's descriptions of the island and of the beloved lighthouse are so vivid that you can smell the salt sea, the polish, and the vapor. Overall, a fine novel--and an amazing debut. I look forward to her next endeavor.
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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