Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Review ~ The Light Between Oceans by M L Stedman

The Light Between Oceans
Simon and Schuster
7August 2012

'If the war had taught her anything, it was to take nothing for granted...life could snatch away the things you treasured, and there was no getting them back.'

Beautifully written, The Light Between Oceans captures time and place perfectly, the talent of this gifted story teller is present in every word, as she takes the reader on an emotional journey into the heart of a marriage, motherhood, and human responsibility.

The novel opens in the 1920's, as Tom Sherbourne and his wife, Isabel, make their home on the remote Janus Island, just off the coast of Australia. Tom is the lighthouse keeper, whilst Isabel keeps house, and tends to the goat and chickens. Both have had their share of tragedy; Tom is still fighting his own demons following his time as a soldier in world war one, and Isabel, desperate for family, suffers the heartbreak of multiple miscarriages. When a small boat is marooned on the island, Tom and Isabel are shocked to discover alongside the dead body of a man, is the perfect bundle of a small baby girl, who is very much alive.

What then follows is a story of overwhelming despair, and emotional culpability, and yet, as you read further into the novel, you come to realise that underneath the story of a decision made and lived with, is the story of abiding love, and the agony of indecision.

Without doubt, this is an exceptional debut novel; the author’s ability to weave written magic is present in every word, as with wonderful imagery and fine attention to detail, the emotional rollercoaster of Tom and Isabel’s life gradually unfolds.

This is one of those rare books I didn’t want to end. Tissues needed throughout !

My thanks to NetGalley and Simon and Schuster for a review copy.


  1. Nice review, Josie. I have this one on wishlist but will need to be in the right mood to read it!

    1. Hi Treez -I'm sure you would love this one ! This is a great book for a cold winter's afternoon...cuppa tea in hand !


Thanks for taking the time to comment - Jaffareadstoo appreciates your interest.