26 July, 2016


Title: The Light Between Ocean
Author: M.L.Stedman
Series: -
Genres: Adult fiction, drama, romance, historical fiction
Publisher: Black Swan
Source: Paperback
Pages: 461

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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.

M. L. Stedman’s mesmerizing, beautifully written novel seduces us into accommodating Isabel’s decision to keep this “gift from God.” And we are swept into a story about extraordinarily compelling characters seeking to find their North Star in a world where there is no right answer, where justice for one person is another’s tragic loss.


I had no expectations going into this book. I just saw a pretty book cover in the library noticed this book had to have lighthouses in it (and I love love love lighthouses), so I thought why not? Maybe it will be a romance drama, with love and cute characters and so on. And boy was I right about the drama part! There's been a long time since I read such a beautiful and fulfilling story!

THE WORLD: The plot takes place in 1926 Australia, to be more specific, a little island called Janus Rock, that has a lighthouse on it, and the lighthouse is crucial for ships to see, as the big fishing boats and merchant boats come and go. I say plot takes place, but we also have jumps to the past and jumps to the future.The world is as we know the world to be after World War I, but I can assure you that there isn't much of war in this book, maybe in the beginning when we get to meet the main characters. I love the seaside so from what I could imagine the world in this book would be very grey, windy with bright. There were beautiful passages written on how the entire landscape looked, and how the nature and weather shifted and it truly made you imagine just how exactly the lighthouse looked with it's dingy floors and almost falling off window sills and so on. 

CHARACTERS: As in a normal historical fiction book there a number of characters in this book but I would like to focus more on only four of them. So one of the main characters in this book is Tom. He is a WWI veteran and after the end of his service he comes to New South Wales so just look for new life and meaning. I liked Tom, he was such a pleasure to read - smart, handsome, strong, having super depth, caring, loving, devoted husband and father - simply a wonderful character. Of course you get to see his little inner demons as he remembers something from war once in a while, but what I liked about him was that he left it all in the past, he understood that he will never forget it but decided to focus on future and love instead!

And he did focus on love. Love for Isabel -  a girl he meets in Point Partageuse. Isabel is younger than Tom, but the age difference is not that several, just like few years or something. But Isabel is like a ray of sunlight into Tom's grey life. She is full of life, love, hope and possibilities. I liked their dynamic, where Tom would be grumpy or kind of lost in his head and Isabel would just bring him back with her joyfulness and young heart. I loved them, they were just so cute to read, their dates, conversations, just to see how much they loved each other. They do get married, and Isabel has no issue with going with Tom to Janus Rock to look after the lighthouse. And you can just see how crazy happy they are....until Isabel suffers few miscarriages. Guys, these passages broke my heart. It was so sad to read it. The way Isabel just sit on the hill where all her babies were buried and Tom just in complete loss of what to do to bring his happy Isabel back.

And here comes the plot of the book: they basically find a boat on the shore with a baby inside it and Isabel convinces Tom to take her and not report it. So they do and here everything shifts. I have to say I loved Tom thought out the book, as mentioned before, a truly wonderful character. Now Isabel was annoying at times. I really wanted to just smack her few times to snap her out of it but again, you kind of understood her as well. She was just too overtaken by pain of losing her children so this child to her felt like a gift from God, so event though I cried and I yelled and hated her - I completely understood her.

I would also like to mention Hannah Roennfeldt, who is eventually is uncovered to be the boat baby's real mother. I don't know if I liked her character. I got that she was heartbroken of losing a child, I guess there's nothing more awful than knowing your loved one was lost at sea. I liked her more towards the end of the book, when she realized just how Tom and Isabel loved the baby.

What I also enjoyed with every viper of my being was the strong connection Isabel had with Lucy-Grace (the baby in the boat. Her real names was Grace, but Isabel and Tom calls her Lucy). I mean you could feel the love and connection! It's true what they say, it's not the parents who made you but those who raised you!

LOVE: Like I said, the love between Tom and Isabel just made me feel so gushy and warm and happy inside. They were so cute and their bond, their connection is never lost despite the events going down in the book. As always, this book had so much parental love, parents - child love and just love in general.

PLUS: I enjoyed the plot immensely! If I would have to summarize this book into a sentence it would be - this is book is about what happens when good people make bad choices. I mean there so many themes in this book, that I found myself just thinking about it all the time, just figuring what would I do, I don't know, what if I would also acted like this or like that? I mean I am so sorry I can't discuss this book in full spoiler mode, but believe me guys, this book is amazing! Just so simple but beyond magical!

MINUS: Even though the ending was really good, I would have liked it to end a little bit differently.

OVERALL: I bow down to M.L.Stedman,and I hope in the near future I will read more of such books, because this has everything I like! It's a cry book but you don't cry because it's just sad or something, no! You cry because it gets you right in the feelings and you simply can't do anything else but cry!

p.s. also guys, there is a movie coming out!!!! Can you imagine it? I post the trailer below. I think it will be great!


What did you think of THE LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS?