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Light Between Oceans

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Light Between Oceans Cover

ISBN13: 9781451681758
ISBN10: 1451681755
Condition: Standard
All Product Details

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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.

M. L. Stedman’s mesmerizing, beautifully written novel is both heartbreaking and transcendent, “told with the authoritative simplicity of a fable…Stedman’s intricate descriptions of the craggy Australian coastline and her easy mastery of an old-time provincial vernacular are engrossing. As the couple at the lighthouse are drawn into an increasingly tragic set of consequences, these remote, strange lives are rendered immediate and familiar” (The New Yorker).

Review:

“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

Review:

“M.L. Stedman’s The Light Between Oceans is a beautiful novel about isolation and courage in the face of enormous loss. It gets into your heart stealthily, until you stop hoping the characters will make different choices and find you can only watch, transfixed, as every conceivable choice becomes an impossible one. I couldn’t look away from the page and then I couldn’t see it, through tears. It’s a stunning debut.” Maile Meloy, author of Both Ways Is the Only Way I Want It

Review:

“M.L. Stedman, a spectacularly sure storyteller, swept me to a remote island nearly a century ago, where a lighthouse keeper and his wife make a choice that shatters many lives, including their own. This is a novel in which justice for one character means another’s tragic loss, and we care desperately for both. Reading The Light Between Oceans is a total-immersion experience, extraordinarily moving.” Monica Ali, author of Brick Lane and Untold Story

Review:

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

Review:

“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

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

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

Review:

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

Review:

“This fine, suspenseful debut explores desperation, morality, and loss, and considers the damaging ways in which we store our private sorrows, and the consequences of such terrible secrets.” Martha Stewart Whole Living

Review:

“As time passes the harder the decision becomes to undo and the more towering is its impact. This is the story of its terrible consequences. But it is also a description of the extraordinary, sustaining power of a marriage to bind two people together in love, through the most emotionally harrowing circumstances.” The Daily Mail

Synopsis:

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 days 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.

About the Author

M.L. Stedman was born and raised in Western Australia and now lives in London. The Light Between Oceans is her first novel.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 6 comments:

W S Krauss, November 21, 2013 (view all comments by W S Krauss)
This is a heartbreaking story of love, forgiveness and redemption. Tom Sherbourne, recently returned from WWI in Europe, takes a job as a lighthouse keeper on the remote island of Janus, a hundred miles off the coast of Western Australia. Before he leaves the town of Partageuse, from which he will be taken to the island, he meets a young woman named Isabel Graysmark and they begin a relationship that cuminates in marriage. Ultimately, Isabel and Tom move to Janus together to begin their married lives. After a series of miscarriages, Isabel and Tom are grieving. One day, they find a boat that washes up on the shore of the island. A dead man and a living baby are found in the boat. The decisions that Tom and Isabel make on that day impact them, and others, for the rest of their lives.

I was very uncomfortable reading this book at times. I had grown to love these characters and yet was appalled by their choices. However, without giving too much away, I felt the book resolved some of these dilemmas by the conclusion. It is not a storybook ending, however, and it is a novel of difficult themes. I will say that it made me think a lot about the lengths we will go to for those we love, and the balance of right and wrong with what is in our hearts. I will not soon forget this story.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
writermala, October 23, 2013 (view all comments by writermala)
Can a story about a lighthouse on a remote island be interesting? Yes, it certainly can when there is a baby involved. A baby who has two mothers; both of whom love the baby more than anything else. I was torn between trying to decide who should have the baby. More importantly what position should the father ,Tom, take? Tom is torn between two opposing physical forces. They create an inexplicable reaction overpowered by a third stronger force. What is this force? Guilt. To see what happens to the baby and her mothers you will be forced to keep reading.
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Michele Jacobsen, September 18, 2013 (view all comments by Michele Jacobsen)
Someone could have warned me this was a tear-jerker in the end. Sheesh. Okay, so here's the deal. The first half is rather predictable so I don't consider the following synopsis a spoiler: childless couple working/ living on a lighthouse island off the coast of Australia in the years following World War I come across a boat washed up on shore containing one dead man and one live baby. What to do? Of course they raise the baby. And of course a few years down the road you can see where this is going when, on one of their rare trips to the mainland, the mother turns up. And this is where the story really begins. We've got a ton of moral quandaries here. Not only the right and wrong of it all, but what is best for the child. Not to mention the trouble stirred up between husband and wife when they disagree about the best course of action. And I've already warned you it's a bit of a tear-jerker, haven't I? Well, there you go. I give it 4 stars only because it took a good 150 pages for the story to really get going. Glad I hung in there, but jeepers, it shouldn't take that long.
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(1 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)
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Product Details

ISBN:
9781451681758
Author:
Stedman, M.L.
Publisher:
Scribner Book Company
Author:
Stedman, ML
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20130431
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Pages:
352
Dimensions:
8 x 5.25 in

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Related Subjects

Featured Titles » Literature
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Light Between Oceans Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$10.95 In Stock
Product details 352 pages Scribner Book Company - English 9781451681758 Reviews:
"Review" by , “An extraordinary and heart-rending book about good people, tragic decisions and the beauty found in each of them.”
"Review" by , “M.L. Stedman’s The Light Between Oceans is a beautiful novel about isolation and courage in the face of enormous loss. It gets into your heart stealthily, until you stop hoping the characters will make different choices and find you can only watch, transfixed, as every conceivable choice becomes an impossible one. I couldn’t look away from the page and then I couldn’t see it, through tears. It’s a stunning debut.”
"Review" by , “M.L. Stedman, a spectacularly sure storyteller, swept me to a remote island nearly a century ago, where a lighthouse keeper and his wife make a choice that shatters many lives, including their own. This is a novel in which justice for one character means another’s tragic loss, and we care desperately for both. Reading The Light Between Oceans is a total-immersion experience, extraordinarily moving.”
"Review" by , "Irresistible...seductive...a high concept plot that keeps you riveted from the first page."
"Review" by , “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.”
"Review" by , “[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
"Review" by , “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.”
"Review" by , “This heartbreaking debut from M L Stedman is a gem of a book that you'll have trouble putting down”
"Review" by , “This fine, suspenseful debut explores desperation, morality, and loss, and considers the damaging ways in which we store our private sorrows, and the consequences of such terrible secrets.”
"Review" by , “As time passes the harder the decision becomes to undo and the more towering is its impact. This is the story of its terrible consequences. But it is also a description of the extraordinary, sustaining power of a marriage to bind two people together in love, through the most emotionally harrowing circumstances.”
"Synopsis" by , 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 days 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.

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