The Light between Oceans by M.L. Stedman is an incredibly moving novel. This heartfelt story is about the fragility of being human, about forgiveness, love and loss and a heartbreaking exploration of right and wrong.
The story takes place in the town of Point Partageuse, Australia in the 1920s. “A boat washes up on the shore of a remote lighthouse keeper’s island. It holds a dead man and a crying baby. The only two islanders, Tom, the lighthouse keeper, and his wife Isabel, are about to make a devastating decision. They break the rules and follow their hearts. What happens next will break yours”.
The story touched me emotionally. It made me smile, it made me cry, and it made me sad. At times the characters, Isabel in particular, made me even angry but there always was understanding and sympathy that pulled me back. I was feeling so very deeply sympathetic to all the characters wishing them the best but knowing that it was not possible. The setting in the aftermath of the Great War gave the novel extra power – the power of community where people had come together, “suffered losses together, rejected outsiders together”.
There are moments in the novel that make the reader question their own moral principles and feel inner battles as Tom and Isabel. And there are no easy answers. I think that the ending was not perfect, but it was right.
The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton
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The Orchid House by Lucinda Riley
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The ghost of the Mary Celeste by Valerie Martin
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