Book Review: The Light Between Oceans

I told you I was behind on my blogging… the book I finished last night is called The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman. I think I found this one by searching the top downloaded books on Amazon or something along those lines. It was one of those “I’ll guess I’ll give it a try” books and I’m so glad I did!

Synopsis (from

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 and shore leaves are granted every other year at best, 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, whose records as a lighthouse keeper are meticulous and whose moral principles have withstood a horrific war, wants to report the man and infant immediately. But Isabel has taken the tiny baby to her breast. 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.

M. L. Stedman’s mesmerizing, beautifully written novel seduces us into accommodating Isabel’s decision to keep this “gift from God.” And we are swept into a story about extraordinarily compelling characters seeking to find their North Star in a world where there is no right answer, where justice for one person is another’s tragic loss.

My Thoughts

I loved this book. In fact, I actually laid in bed last night and cried as I read the last few pages. M. L. Stedman draws you into the love between Tom and Isabel, then promptly breaks your heart. I loved learning all about lighthouses and the lifestyle of a lighthouse keeper. I was shocked to read that this is her first novel – it is beautifully written and makes you want to read late into the night because you can’t put the book down. If you read only one book this summer, make it this one!

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