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The Light Between Oceans: A Novel Paperback – August 23, 2016
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"Irresistible...seductive...a high concept plot that keeps you riveted from the first page."—Sara Nelson, O, the Oprah magazine
“An extraordinary and heart-rending book about good people, tragic decisions and the beauty found in each of them.”—Markus Zusak, author of The Book Thief
“Haunting...Stedman draws the reader into her emotionally complex story right from the beginning, with lush descriptions of this savage and beautiful landscape, and vivid characters with whom we can readily empathize. Hers is a stunning and memorable debut.”—Booklist, starred review
“[Stedman sets] the stage beautifully to allow for a heart-wrenching moral dilemma to play out... Most impressive is the subtle yet profound maturation of Isabel and Tom as characters.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review
“The miraculous arrival of a child in the life of a barren couple delivers profound love but also the seeds of destruction. Moral dilemmas don’t come more exquisite than the one around which Australian novelist Stedman constructs her debut.”—Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“This heartbreaking debut from M L Stedman is a gem of a book that you'll have trouble putting down”—Good Housekeeping
“Lyrical…Stedman’s debut signals a career certain to deliver future treasures.” (People)
“A beautifully delineated tale of love and loss, right and wrong, and what we will do for the happiness of those most dear.” (Tova Beiser The Boston Globe)
“Elegantly rendered…heart-wrenching…the relationship between Tom and Isabel, in particular, is beautifully drawn.” (Elysa Gardner USA Today)
Told with the authoritative simplicity of a fable…Stedman’s intricate descriptions of the craggy Australian coastline and her easy mastery of an old-time provincial vernacular are engrossing. As the couple at the lighthouse are drawn into and increasingly tragic set of consequences, these remote, strange lives are rendered immediate and familiar.” (The New Yorker)
About the Author
M.L. Stedman was born and raised in Western Australia and now lives in London. The Light Between Oceans is her first novel.
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As a trigger warning, I highly suggest that any woman who has had difficult miscarriages and/or has had trouble conceiving think twice before reading this book. I can imagine that this would be an extremely emotional read for someone like that. Reader beware. It is sobering enough for someone who has never gone through that type of pain.
It’s actually a pretty realistic story, and gives the feeling that it could have really happened somewhere, at some time in the past. The neat thing about the ending is that it had a LOT of possibilities. The author did a good job of not letting you know what was up her sleeve for the end, and I found the last couple chapters somewhat anxiety-causing. Haha. At one point I think I did actually flip to the back (which I have a pretty strict rule for myself that I do NOT usually allow myself to do that) because I wanted to find out one particular detail that was worrying me.
Anyway...overall a great read. A sobering read. A lifelike story. Kudos to the author—nice job.
I loved every aspect of this book. In fact, it is most likely the best book I have read in several years.
A movie based upon this book is about to be released this spring (2016), and if it is even 50% as good as the book, this will be a movie worthy of Academy Award nominations. If it does not win best picture, then the director or screenplay writer thoroughly botched the production. This story is sure to please on the big screen, and I predict will be every bit as good as The Notebook, or any other love-themed movie.
If you read any book this year, make it this one. You cannot go wrong. You'll thank me for recommending it to you!