The Light Between Oceans PDF 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 In the opening chapter of this thought-provoking novel, a boat is washed up on a lonely island of the southwest corner of Australia. The island's only inhabitants, the lighthouse-keeper and his wife, Tom and Isabel Sherbourne, find a dead man and a squalling infant girl. Isabel, who has recently suffered her third miscarriage, nurses the baby and bonds with her almost immediately, regarding the baby's arrival as a miracle. Against his better judgment, Tom buries the man and agrees not to report the wreck. Three years later, on furlough to the mainland, the couple learns of the baby's mother, driven half mad by the disappearance of her husband and her child. The stage is set for a moral dilemma that will tug at the heart strings of anyone who has had children or can imagine losing them. It is a Judgment of Solomon, with no answer that will not hurt someone. M. L. Stedman has a lot going for her: her characters, for instance, most of whom are sympathetic even in their torment; her evocation of the rocky island and the small-town community on shore; her use of the period following the First World War (Tom is a decorated hero) and the way it has altered the moral perspectives of almost everyone around, whether they fought or not. And even characters who seem to express a fixed point of view can still surprise the reader in the last third of the book. But I also have to say that the last hundred pages seem too drawn out as they cycle round and round the same pride, anger, resentments, and regrets. Yet the ending, though probably right and ultimately quite moving, suddenly jumps over many of the key events. With such a promising set-up, one wishes that Stedman had delved even deeper into the moral and social climate, and ended with a judgment that was, well, more Solomonic.
I bought this book for my Kindle right before a recent trip to Los Angeles. I finished it in about 6 hours - I couldn't put it down. Tom Sherbourne completes his time in the military and take a job working as a lighthouse keeper. After the war, he enjoys the solitude and schedule of ensuring the light is running and taken care of. He takes a post on
Janus Rock, an almost desolate post where supply boats come few and far between and no one else but the lightkeeper lives. Tom comes to love the lighthouse on Janus Rock - but understands that the solitude there could be a hardship for anyone else. Hence when he meets bright, vivacious Isabel, who makes him laugh, he at first tries to dissuade her from loving him and wanting to come with him to the lighthouse. Isabel has her way and initially they are both extremely happy. However, several miscarriages later, Isabel is depressed and despondent - until one day a boat washes up on shore with a dead man - and a live baby. Tom wants to report the incident but Isabel convinces him to wait just a day - for the baby's sake. Thus begins the long, downhill slope of lies that Isabel entreats Tom to make on her behalf. Isabel is convinced the baby's mother is dead, and that they should keep the baby. She just had a miscarriage; they could say this was her baby. The dynamics involved in this story - between Tom and Isabel, and then with other characters later on, are so charged and intense - I couldn't make up my mind as to whose side I was on. I am trying not to write any spoilers which is why I am being vague...but I believe this book will not disappoint you. The author does an amazing job showing the weaknesses and strengths of the characters - their self doubt, their sense of duty and right - and finally, their resiliency. Highly recommend this book; it's on my list on favorites from now on!
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