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The Light Between Oceans Hardcover – 26 Apr 2012

4.6 out of 5 stars 1,459 customer reviews

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Hardcover, 26 Apr 2012
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday; First Edition edition (26 April 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0857521004
  • ISBN-13: 978-0857521002
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 3.3 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,459 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 337,683 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"Irresistible...seductive...a high concept plot that keeps you riveted from the first page."--Sara Nelson, "O," the Oprah magazine

"An extraordinary and heart-rending book about good people, tragic decisions and the beauty found in each of them."--Markus Zusak, author of "The Book Thief"

"Haunting...Stedman draws the reader into her emotionally complex story right from the beginning, with lush descriptions of this savage and beautiful landscape, and vivid characters with whom we can readily empathize. Hers is a stunning and memorable debut."--"Booklist," starred review""

"[Stedman sets] the stage beautifully to allow for a heart-wrenching moral dilemma to play out... Most impressive is the subtle yet profound maturation of Isabel and Tom as characters."--"Publishers Weekly," starred review

"The miraculous arrival of a child in the life of a barren couple delivers profound love but also the seeds of destruction. Moral dilemmas don't come more exquisite than the one around which Australian novelist Stedman constructs her debut."--"Kirkus Reviews," starred review

"This heartbreaking debut from M L Stedman is a gem of a book that you'll have trouble putting down"--"Good Housekeeping"

"A beautifully delineated tale of love and loss, right and wrong, and what we will do for the happiness of those most dear."--Tova Beiser "The Boston Globe "

"Elegantly rendered...heart-wrenching...the relationship between Tom and Isabel, in particular, is beautifully drawn."--Elysa Gardner "USA Today " --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

Recently longlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction 2013, a stunning debut novel and international bestseller about a lighthouse keeper and his wife who face a life-changing moral dilemma.

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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The Light Between Oceans is a post WW1 Australian set novel about Tom Sherbourne who having been demobbed gets a job as a lighthouse keeper on Janus Rock. Soon after he marries and he and his wife come to love their isolated idyll. Their paradise becomes tainted by their inability to have children and following her third miscarriage Isabel is cracking under the strain of the grief, when one night a boat is shipwrecked on their shores..... it contains a dead man and a newborn baby. Believing God has answered their prayers Isabel persuades Tom not to report the wreck and they pass the child off as their own.

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
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this book because it had good write-ups and I liked the first couple of pages I sampled. the beginning is a really good example of how to start a book and hook the reader in. The descriptions of the remote island off the coast of Australia, the sea and the lighthouse were to die for - it really tapped into that romantic childhood fantasy about living on a lighthouse and being a lighthouse keeper (yes, I know I'm a girl!!!)

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!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I ordered this book based on the reviews on Amazon and wasn't disappointed. The plot is fascinating; the dilemma when the boat with a baby and a dead man is found. The reader knows instinctively what will happen but we don't have a clue what will be the outcome of the decision. This is a love story, a mystery and is just so poignant throughout. the story stays with you for some time after you've read it. It is beautifully written and a good piece of literature. Highly recommended.
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Format: Hardcover
'He's in a place where there's just wind and waves and light, and the intricate machinery that keeps the flame burning and the lantern turning. Always turning, always looking over its shoulder.'

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.
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