Sunday, April 28, 2013

The Light Between Oceans

by M.L. Stedman
April 13-23, 2013

Have I mentioned how happy I am that my book slump seems to be behind me? Well, hooray! I've been on a nice run of good words as of late, which is also encouraging me to read longer into the night, and losing some sleep. It's worth it though if the books remain as good as this one: The Light Between Oceans.

Tom Sherbourne returns to Australia after WWI an emotionally damaged man. He shoulders guilt for not being physically injured; having seen his fellow soldiers wounded beyond repair. He finds solace in a job on Janus Rock as the keeper of its lighthouse. On a rare shore leave, he meets and marries Isabel. She in content on the island and with the life they have built together. But after two miscarriages and a stillbirth, she is on the verge a breakdown; until the day when a boat washes ashore carrying a dead man and a two-month old baby girl, who is very much alive. Isabel does everything in her power to convince Tom that they should keep the baby. As a man who is comforted by rules and procedures, he is adamantly against this idea. But when faced with a distraught wife who truly deserves children, he reluctantly gives in. They live with their new daughter, Lucy, for nearly four years until the guilt is more than Tom can bear.

“You only have to forgive once. To resent, you have to do it all day, every day. You have to keep remembering all the bad things.”

I tore through this novel with great interest and fascination. At times I found it so heartbreaking to read, but I didn't stop. Although the idea of keeping the child may seem completely unbelievable, Stedman makes you believe. This being her debut novel, I look forward to much more from her.

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