THE LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS: a book recommendation

Judi, one of my readers, recommended this to me in a recent blog comment.  I had already read several reviews of this book, but saw her recommendation at the moment when I needed something new.

What a good read!

The Light Between Oceans is set in the 1920’s, as was Rules of Civility, which I recently recommended to you, but these books are as different as night and day.  While that one follows the lives of the wealthy in New York, this one is about totally down-home family folks in western Australia.

Here is the story of a married couple who live on a tiny and otherwise unoccupied island 100 miles off the Australian coast.  Tom is the keeper of the light and madly in love with his wife, Isabel, who has had one tragic miscarriage after another.  One day, a small boat carrying only a dead man and a cold, crying infant washes up on shore.  Having just give birth unfruitfully yet again, Isabel nurses the child.  Should they keep her?  Send her back when the boat comes with supplies in three months?  With no one the wiser, they could raise the child as their own.  After all, the father is dead, and the presence in the boat of a woman’s sweater suggests that the mother is dead as well.

One decision impacts so many lives.  I’ve dealt with this in my own books, most notably The Secret Between Us, and the author of The Light Between Oceans handles it well.  This is a love story on many different levels, a story of good people caught up in a web of circumstance that changes their lives, their relationship with each other and with those back on the mainland who are quick to judge.

The Light Between Oceans is highly emotional and well written.  It’s a first novel, which makes it all the more remarkable to me.  Hopefully, there will be others from the author, M.L. Stedman.

So here’s the question I’m left with:  What would you do if, in the final analysis, you had to choose between your husband and your child?


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  1. Judi Gott on November 1, 2012 at 7:22 am

    I am definitely going to read this book! And I believe you should always choose your child over your husband…they are an adult, a child needs you!

  2. Colleen Richardson on November 1, 2012 at 7:48 am

    Thanks for the recommendation. I have thought about getting this book before. I was just unsure. Now I know I want to read it. The question you posed at the end, “what would you do if you had to choose between your husband or your child?” already has me in suspense. Can’t wait to read Sweet Salt Air. Hope you and your family came thru Hurricane Sandy okay.

  3. Alana on November 1, 2012 at 4:34 pm

    I saw this book on a list recently & it means a lot to me being an Australian so was toying with reading it….thanks to your review I will be for sure now. I am suspecting its down off SA coast.

  4. brenda on November 8, 2012 at 12:04 pm

    Sorry, Barbara-we finally disagree on something. This book was too disturbing…sorry

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