Customer Review

5.0 out of 5 stars Heartbreaking moral dilemma that reduced me to tears, 17 Mar 2014
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This review is from: The Light Between Oceans (Paperback)
I wanted a book for Book Club that was fairly recent and written by a woman so I looked at the Women's Prize for Fiction list from 2013 and found this. It is one of those rare occasions when I find myself in total agreement with all the extracts of reviews inside the book. (I should say it got a slightly mixed reception at Book Club!) I was totally fascinated by the weaving of a love story with brilliant historical detail about life in the world and rural Australia in particular, leading up to and following WW1. There is a bit where the 'hero' remembers being on burial detail in the French trenches and the way the buriers ended up being pleased at finding bodies with bits missing because there was less to carry. It was really shocking and incredibly moving. The story shows the limited options for women, the various ways in which men (and their families) are damaged by the war, the anti-German feelings that are fed by cultural and geographical ignorance (not unlike people who think Sikhs are Muslims/terrorists), the petty resentments of men who didn't go to war, and a very moving love story. It's difficult to say anything about the moral dilemma without giving anything away and it's also hard to understand it if you aren't willing to understand the social context in which it is all set - and that includes the idea of living on a lighthouse 100 miles away from land with barely any contact with people. I found it utterly heartbreaking and just had to sit on the sofa, when I finished the book, with tears running down my face and unable to move. Possibly not a choice for you if you are close to infant death. Otherwise, I can't recommend it highly enough. It is beautifully written and one of the best books I've read for a long time.
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