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Review: The Light Between Oceans

July 9, 2013

The Light Between Ocean

Tom Sherbourne and his wife Isabel live on Janus Rock, where he tends the lighthouse.  It’s isolated and lonely there, but the two of them are happy.  Isabel desperately wants a child, though, so when a boat washes ashore with a corpse and a baby, Isabel thinks it might be the answer to her prayers.  Tom feels he must record the baby’s appearance in his records and report it immediately.  The decision they make changes their lives forever.

The Light Between Oceans, by M. L. Stedman, is a tragic love story that is beautifully written.  It’s obvious Isabel and Tom are deeply in love – you’d have to be to face the isolation and strenuous work their relationship seems to thrive on – but Isabel’s latest miscarriage has really affected her and Tom doesn’t know what to do to help her.  He’s so thankful for all that she’s done to help him, though, that he’s willing to try just about anything, but claiming a lost baby as theirs might be taking it too far for him.  This book is so well written, I felt for both Isabel and Tom and could see both their points of view.

In case you can’t tell, I thoroughly enjoyed The Light Between Oceans.  I found it to be compelling and heartbreaking even though it did drag for me in a few places.  The pace picked back up very quickly, though, so I was always anxious to get back to the book.  I read this book for my book club and look forward to our discussion – I think we’ll find a lot to talk about when we meet.  I’d recommend this book to anyone who enjoys thought provoking historical fiction or women’s fiction.

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33 Comments leave one →
  1. July 9, 2013 6:04 am

    I have this but just haven’t been inspired to pick it up. I think I may have a thing against lighthouses; sort of like clowns.

  2. July 9, 2013 6:46 am

    This seems to be a book club favorite. I hope yours has a lively discussion.

  3. July 9, 2013 6:58 am

    This is one of the best books I’ve read all year! I think it would be a great selection for a book club. I’ll bet you have a lively discussion, debating Tom & Isabel’s decisions.

  4. July 9, 2013 7:20 am

    A quick hello…this looks so good.

    Enjoy your book club discussion


  5. postingfornow permalink
    July 9, 2013 8:08 am

    I enjoyed your review. I enjoyed the book too.

  6. July 9, 2013 8:38 am

    Wow. This one sounds really good. Keeping that baby has got to take a huge toll on their relationship – considering he wanted to report the found baby. Definitely sounds like something I need to read just so that I can find out what happens to them and the baby. Who was the corpse? Whose baby is it? Cripes, I’m really curious now! I loved your post!

  7. Beth F permalink
    July 9, 2013 9:09 am

    I have been so curious about this because I love the setting but was worried it’d be a little too sappy for me. Your review has has changed my mind, sounds like it has some depth to it.

  8. Patty permalink
    July 9, 2013 9:09 am


  9. Diane permalink
    July 9, 2013 9:34 am

    I really liked this as well Kathy.

  10. July 9, 2013 10:27 am

    I loved this one. I was so torn over what they should do. I felt for everyone and that’s so rare.

  11. July 9, 2013 10:58 am

    I’ve had this one on my radar for a while now. Glad you liked it; I probably will too after reading your review.

  12. July 9, 2013 11:58 am

    Great review-I have heard a lot about this book and am looking forward to reading it!

  13. Amy @ My Friend Amy permalink
    July 9, 2013 12:22 pm

    aw I haven’t read a good tragic love story in awhile..this sounds good!

  14. July 9, 2013 12:27 pm

    Every review I’ve read of this book is good. I’m going to suggest it for our book club too. I’m sure it will make for a good discussion.

  15. July 9, 2013 1:32 pm

    I hope my book club decides to read this in the fall… sounds excellent!

  16. July 9, 2013 3:05 pm

    There is something about this book

  17. July 9, 2013 3:52 pm

    That sounds fascinating. I need to check out this book!

  18. talesofwhimsy permalink
    July 9, 2013 3:54 pm

    Sounds heartbreaking and awesome. One day I must try it. Fab review dear.

  19. July 9, 2013 5:14 pm

    So glad you enjoyed since I just purchased this one last week! Looking forward to such an emotional read.

  20. July 9, 2013 5:36 pm

    Lovely review as usual, Kathy. This sounds like a book I’d also enjoy.

  21. July 9, 2013 6:51 pm

    I saw this at the library and was curious about it. Glad to hear it’s worthwhile. It does sound like a heartbreaker.

  22. July 9, 2013 7:37 pm

    I’ve heard so much about this book. I really need to read it right away.

  23. July 9, 2013 8:14 pm

    Can’t wait to read this book! Everyone seems to love it!

  24. July 9, 2013 9:59 pm

    I’ve heard nothing but good things about this book. I really need to make time for it.

  25. July 9, 2013 11:43 pm

    Hm. I hadn’t really considered this until now, but I like the idea of it. I like books about marriage and having some experience with miscarriages I tend to like the introspection.

  26. July 10, 2013 7:47 am

    I’d certainly like to read this one. Am reading P D James The Light house right now. This one sounds a bit sad though.

  27. July 10, 2013 9:06 pm

    Hmm. I enjoy both historical fiction and women’s fiction, so I’ll have to check this book out. Thanks for the review!

    I am starting a new link-up party this week for all things book and reading related on my blog, Mommynificent. I’d love to have you join us with this post and any others you’d like to share. Hope to see you at Booknificent Thursday this week and every week!
    Tina @ Mommynificent

  28. July 14, 2013 11:14 pm

    I felt the exact same way about this one…outstanding!

  29. July 15, 2013 11:48 am

    I’ve got the audio of this one. Can’t wait to listen to it!

  30. July 17, 2013 9:36 pm

    I liked this, but didn’t love it. Like I said in my post, I think that had more to do with the audio version than the plot.

  31. July 18, 2013 11:53 am

    This sounds like a great read — I’ll have to pick it up.

    I just so happen to be a little obsessed with lighthouses. When Brian and I started dating, he went away to school in Arizona. Whenever he came home we would get hot chocolate and cookies and drive to a near lighthouse and watch it while we caught up on all the time and experiences we had missed.

  32. Ellen E permalink
    July 19, 2013 6:05 pm

    My book club read this book a few months ago. I liked the book quite a bit and more than I thought I would. It was a good book for discussion too.

  33. July 20, 2013 12:35 am

    So Barnes & Noble had the hardcover of this for either $2 or $3 on their webpage, but I’m never sure If it’s one I would end up liking. I’m thinking on day I’ll read it, just not in a hurry to do so. Great review.

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