The years-long New York Times bestseller and Goodreads Best Historical Novel that is “irresistible…seductive…with a high concept plot that keeps you riveted from the first page” (O, The Oprah Magazine)—soon to be a major motion picture from Spielberg’s Dreamworks starring Michael Fassbender, Rachel Weisz, and Alicia Vikander, and directed by Derek Cianfrance.
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, 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, who keeps meticulous records and whose moral principles have withstood a horrific war, wants to report the man and infant immediately. But Isabel insists the baby is a “gift from God,” and 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.
“Elegantly rendered…heart-wrenching…beautifully drawn” (USA TODAY), The Light Between Oceans is a gorgeous debut novel, not soon to be forgotten.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
When World War I veteran Tom and his new wife, Isabel, take up residence in the lighthouse on Australia's remote Janus Rock, their future prospects seem as infinite as the sea that surrounds them. From this memorable premise, Australian author M.L. Stedman spins out a twisty plot that pulls no punches, upending Tom and Isabel's life and keeping them—and us—guessing at their eventual fate. At once heartbreaking and stubbornly hopeful, The Light Between Oceans is a love story, a morality tale, and above all a, gorgeously written yarn you won't want to put down.
In Stedman's deftly crafted debut, Tom Sherbourne, seeking constancy after the horrors of WWI, takes a lighthouse keeper's post on an Australian island, and calls for Isabel, a young woman he met on his travels, to join him there as his wife. In peaceful isolation, their love grows. But four years on the island and several miscarriages bring Isabel's seemingly boundless spirit to the brink, and leave Tom feeling helpless until a boat washes ashore with a dead man and a living child. Isabel convinces herself and Tom that the baby is a gift from God. After two years of maternal bliss for Isabel and alternating waves of joy and guilt for Tom, the family, back on the mainland, is confronted with the mother of their child, very much alive. Stedman grounds what could be a far-fetched premise, setting the stage beautifully to allow for a heart-wrenching moral dilemma to play out, making evident that "Right and wrong can be like bloody snakes: so tangled up that you can't tell which is which until you've shot 'em both, and then it's too late." Most impressive is the subtle yet profound maturation of Isabel and Tom as characters.
Customer ReviewsSee All
I've never bothered to write a review before, but having just finished this book I feel I just have to.
This story is so beautifully written. The author has a way with words that so few authors these days seem to have (makes me sound so old! But I'm under 40- promise!!). It did take me a bit to become emotionally invested in the story but once I did wow. I found myself wondering how in the world this could possibly end well... What could anyone of the characters do to make this right? What would I do if in the same situation?
This story draws you in, the words creating imagery in your mind that could never be done justice on a movie screen but would make an amazing script.
Clearly I don't have a way with words, thankfully the author does and buying this book may just be the best purchase on iBooks I've made to date.
The Light Between Oceans
I couldn't put this one down. Beautifully written and definitely touches the heart. Loved it!
Couldn't wait to finish and didn't want it to end--a beautifully written story of war, love, parenting, betrayal and forgiveness. I only wish the author had other books.