The Light Between Oceans Paperback – 9 May 2013
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"A love story that is both persuasive and tender" (The Sunday Times)
"An extraordinary book . . . as inevitable as Hardy at his most doom-laden. And as unforgettable" (Guardian)
"A description of the extraordinary, sustaining power of a marriage to bind two people together in love, through the most emotionally harrowing circumstances" (Daily Mail)
"It is not only the plot that it so compelling . . . What makes this wonderful novel stand out is the cast of emotionally fragile characters, all of whom inspire tremendous sympathy in the reader" (Daily Express)
"A moving tale . . . prepare to weep" (New York Times)
"Irresistible . . . seductive . . . a high concept plot that keeps you riveted from the first page" (Oprah Magazine)
"A spectacularly sure storyteller . . . Reading The Light Between Oceans is a total-immersion experience, extraordinarily moving." (Monica Ali, author of BRICK LANE)
"The Light Between Oceans unfurls in small acts, at first feeling slight to touch, then building in emotional substance. Into the spaces between words, Stedman breathes an anxiety and pulsating intensity that roils with the ocean and the lighthouse beacon" (Sydney Morning Herald)
"Book of the Week. Critics are buzzing about The Light Between Oceans, the gripping debut from M L Stedman" (Grazia Magazine)
"The characters are beautifully drawn . . . A completely unique read. ****" (Heat Magazine)
"A moving tale. One of this year's must-reads" (Stylist Magazine)
"Told with the authoritative simplicity of a fable . . . engrossing . . . immediate and familiar" (The New Yorker)
"Mesmerising . . . the sheer passion and poetry of Stedman's prose carries us on a wave of emotion and heartbreak" (Australian Woman's Weekly)
"Pick of the month: The memorable and moving tale of one couple’s search for happiness" (Woman and Home)
"A debut novel that tears at the heart – the last pages had me weeping buckets" (Saga Magazine)
"A haunting story peopled with characters you care about" (Choice Magazine)
"Elegantly rendered . . . heart-wrenching . . . beautifully drawn" (USA Today)
"Lyrical . . . Stedman’s debut signals a career certain to deliver future treasures" (People)
"Stunning and memorable" (Booklist)
"Heart-wrenching" (Publisher's Weekly)
The global bestselling debut, now a word-of-mouth classic - a heart-rending story of a lighthouse keeper and his wife who face a life-changing moral dilemma when a baby in a boat washes up on their island.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
But though he loves the child, the actions wrack Tom with guilt for years to come.....
This novel is a stunning debut on the part of M.L Steadman and covers such a range of emotions and reactions. Guilt, grief, sacrifice, morality, love, marriage, parenthood, loss, time, change, duty, truth. Above all it is achingly human, and provokes the same dilemma in its reader as in its protagonist.
I am quite a cynic these days, and on top of that a well read one, so it isn't that often these days that I find a novel with the capacity to move me to tears, but this novel did. Its location is atmospheric and beautifully drawn, the sea and the windswept isolation of the island; even with the unusual parameters of the storyline the novel feels gutwrenchingly real, of a place and time and characters who existed as opposed to an entirely fictitious prospect.
Enormously moving and brilliantly told. I won't forget this book in a hurry nor the emotions that rose within me as I read it. A quality piece of writing and a quality novel, I hugely recommend you purchase this book. 10/10
But it was the reading on that I found difficult. I found it quite an upsetting book to read and found myself skipping chunks - big chunks - because I needed to know what happened but I couldn't bear to read about it. There are some books that just tap into deep emotions and they're not always ones you want to experience. I'm not going to say more because I don't want to spoil the story for anyone who hasn't yet read it.
Briefly - Tom, a returning hero from World War One, becomes a lighthouse keeper and meets his wife Isobel, a small town girl, and takes her out to Janus Island where things don't exactly go to plan. Then, one day, a boat washes up onshore containing a dead man and a live baby..... The moral and ethical decisions that the couple make have repercussions no one anticipates.
The novel is beautifully written, but is also somewhat uneven, as you'd expect from a first book, and I found some of the plot elements stretched my credibility at times. But it's a very clever and impressive piece of writing - that's why I gave it four stars rather than three, though my instinct was to award three and three-quarters!
Tom Sherbourne is haunted by traumatic memories of his horrific experiences in World War I. He is one of the men who have returned to Australia, as so many did not. He is not physically scarred, 'but he's scarred all the same, having to live in the same skin as the man who did the things that needed to be done back then.' Now, looking to his future, he becomes a lighthouse keeper. He takes a position on remote Janus Rock, off the coast of South-Western Australia, with Point Partageuse being the nearest community on the mainland. Partageuse is a place where everyone knows everyone else, and where, after the war, 'gradually, once again lives wove together into a practical sort of fabric..', where '..Janus Rock, linked only by the store boat four times a year, dangled off the edge of the cloth like a loose button that might easily plummet to Antarctica.'
He meets local girl Isabel Graysmark whilst he is on the mainland, they correspond with each other when Tom returns to the lighthouse, and they fall in love and marry. For Isabel, the war has instilled a sense of urgency into life: 'If the war had taught her anything, it was to take nothing for granted...life could snatch away the things you treasured, and there was no getting them back.' Moving forward in time to the mid 1920s, we meet them living out on Janus Rock together, with a sadness hanging between them that they have no children, Isabel having suffered miscarriages.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I couldn't put this book down and read it in three sittings. Very moving and brought me to tears. My favourite read in months and praise to the author.Published 2 days ago by Bridget
Beautifully written story of love and loss. I couldn't put it down! The characters were well developed and believable. One of the best books I've read in ages!❤️Published 2 days ago by R Thompson
A very moving book that is well written. It keeps you interested and easy to get into. A great read for holiday or other timed.Published 2 days ago by Mrs Sue newton
This was one of the most original stories I have ever read. Would highly recommend it. It goes to show you that the love a parent has for their child is willing to endure anything.Published 6 days ago by Penny4247
Decided to buy this book after watching the trailer and it was a truly lovely read. The story is so heartbreaking and beautiful I couldn't help shed tears here and there, I would... Read morePublished 9 days ago by Kyazura
A quality piece of writing and a beautiful plot of emotion and morality. It can easily move the reader to tears. Read morePublished 13 days ago by Hashem Koohy
I orded this book as i wanted to read it prior to watching the movie. This is the first book that I have read by M.L.Stedman and I wasn't dissapointed. Read morePublished 13 days ago by Michaela