"Even when the rainbow seems to pass right by me....I'm still finding Gold in the clouds....."

15 November 2016

2016 Book Review #65: The Light Between Oceans

What a great story!

Trust me...this particular cover makes it look like it's going to be a sappy romance....but..far from it!  I actually like the original book cover best but this is the book I was able to snag from our town library.  I was on the waiting list for several weeks so took the first one they had. I believe this cover is the one from the movie.  I haven't seen the movie.


Tom Sherbourne returns to Australia after 4 years being away at war.  It is 1918.  He takes a job at the Janus Rock lighthouse, as light keeper. It's an island about a half day's journey off the coast.  It's very isolated.  He brings his new bride, Isabel(Izzy) who is young, beautiful, bold and very loving. 

After two miscarriages and a stillbirth, and several years living on the island, she is grieving the loss of the baby born dead when she hears an infant's cries.
Tom discovers a boat, adrift, with a dead man in it....and a living baby of about 3 months old, wrapped in a woman's cardigan. Tom, who has always followed the law and lighthouse keeper rules meticulously, is talked into not reporting the death of the man in the boat, or the baby by Izzy.  They decide the mother must have died, too since just her sweater was found.

Isabel tells Tom that the baby, whom they name Lucy, is a gift from God.  After all, it has only been about 2 weeks since she gave birth to the dead baby.  So, against Tom's better judgement, they keep Lucy and raise her as their own.

When Lucy is about 2 years old, they return to the mainland.  This is when they are reminded that there are other people in their world.

And one of them is  devastated because of their choices....and then.....life changes dramatically.


This book was dramatic and fast-paced.  I enjoyed the setting description and the time period.  I also really liked the character development and was so proud of Tom and Izzy for raising Lucy. Their friends Ralph and Bluey were special characeters and Izzy's parents were so kind and understanding.

I don't want to write details about the plot because if you haven't read this book, I do not want to spoil it for you.

Let's just say the ending is not what I had predicted.  It made me so sad, yet it was brilliant.

There were two lines that serve as great quotes and both are towards the end of the book:

"putting down the burden of the lie has meant giving up the freedom of the dream" (page 386, The Light Between Oceans by M.L.Stedman, c.2012)


"...to have any kind of a future, you've got to give up hope of ever changing your past." (pg.396, The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman, c. 2012)

I hope this author writes more novels.  This is her debut novel.

In my opinion, this book is appropriate for ages 17 and older.

On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest I rate this a 10.



Karen said...

Great review! I loved, loved this book. I read it about a year ago and then saw the movie last month. Of course, the book was so much better, but the movie was enjoyable, too. I don't think I knew that this is the author's first book.

Susanne said...

I really liked this book too. Missed seeing the movie in theaters but hopefully the library will get it and if not I'll rent it off the tv.

Deb said...

Yes, I agree. An excellent book!