Tom and his wife, Isabel, live on Janus Island, the far reaches of southern Australia in 1926. It’s a quiet life as newlyweds, but they thrive. Sadly as a few years pass, so have three babies. Isabel is full of despair until a boat washes ashore. Tom finds a crying, healthy baby along with a dead man. Ever meticulous, he’s prepared to log this in his record and call for emergency help. Isabel, desperate for a child, says “No one has to know.” Those fateful words set them on a course of fear, distrust, sadness, joy, and on a journey about family. The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman is a superbly written, hauntingly beautiful book.
Lucy is the love of their lives, and yet Tom questions what happened to the mother. Why was the man in the boat dead, and was he the father? On a fateful trip to the mainland, Tom and Isabel are frozen as they hear a tragic story that must involve their daughter. But that’s the key – she, now age four, is their daughter. They’ve taught her, fed her, raised her, and loved her. They are all she knows. But guilt festers, and a secret is discovered. Two families must deal with Lucy/Grace and figure out how to find happiness.
The Light Between Oceans is magical and heartbreaking along with being joyous and optimistic about the human soul. It’s about love and you’ll care deeply about the characters and their decisions.
. In the dim light, Tom listened to the cicadas that seemed to tick the seconds away, thousands as a time….He came back to the present, to the hot walls and the thick air. The last rung of the ladder that might lead him out of hell had been taken away. (p. 294) The lighthouse itself is a solid – a force for steadiness and goodness.
I highly recommend this book. You’ll be caught up in a forceful tale as you turn the pages faster and faster and root for them all. You’ll look for the lighthouse in your life, a steady beacon of hope.