- Paperback: 352 pages
- Publisher: Scribner; Media Tie-In edition (August 23, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1501106481
- ISBN-13: 978-1501106484
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.7 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (13,599 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,559 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Light Between Oceans: A Novel Paperback – August 23, 2016
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The Amazon Book Review
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Amazon Best Books of the Month, August 2012: Tom Sherbourne is a lighthouse keeper on Janus Rock, a tiny island a half day’s boat journey from the coast of Western Australia. When a baby washes up in a rowboat, he and his young wife Isabel decide to raise the child as their own. The baby seems like a gift from God, and the couple’s reasoning for keeping her seduces the reader into entering the waters of treacherous morality even as Tom--whose moral code withstood the horrors of World War I--begins to waver. M. L. Stedman’s vivid characters and gorgeous descriptions of the solitude of Janus Rock and of the unpredictable Australian frontier create a perfect backdrop for the tale of longing, loss, and the overwhelming love for a child that is The Light Between Oceans. --Malissa Kent --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"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)
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Top Customer Reviews
The first two-thirds of the book were very good, but the final third showed some difficulty in bringing all the facets of the story to a conclusion. So, in my opinion, the book sort of hobbled across the finish line, exhausted.
I loved it, hands down. The author creates a rich, full and beautiful world for us to explore within the story. Everything she describes is easy to envision and the characters seem like real people. It’s so easy to get lost within the pages and have all sorts of internal debates with yourself. The whole book is very morally ambiguous and I believe that it is part of the point the book is trying to make. What’s the right thing to do? What’s wrong? Is there an in-between? Who is in the right within the story?
The basic spoiler-free premise, is a young couple live on a lighthouse off the coast of Australia in the 1920s. After several miscarriages, a boat washes ashore the island with a deceased man and an alive infant. The lighthouse couple decide to keep the child and the story is what follows in the book.
I’m going to keep this review short and sweet because there will probably be a surge in popularity following the release of the movie. This book is beautifully written and will make you think. It has rich and full characters, beautiful landscapes and a story-line that hooks you and doesn’t release until the book is over. I absolutely recommend this book to anyone, regardless of what genre you prefer (I prefer horror, but loved this one). You will not regret it!
"The Light Between Oceans" is not an easy book to review....the story is unique and one wouldn't want to give away any part of the plot line. M.L. Stedman was born and raised in Western Australia, her discriptions of the coast of Australia are beautifully rendered. The beginning of the book takes place on an island off of the coast of mainland Australia. Stedman does an excellent job of setting us in a remote spot. She also draws her characters so well that one finds themselves thinking of them between readings. They and their problems become real...one wants to advise them as to what to do, or warn them of things they shouldn't. This book is engrossing and with it's many plot twists and turns it is always entertaining...doesn't bog down or become predictable. Some of the passages are so profound that I found myself rereading them..... As stated by other reviewers, this is not a "happy" story. But it is a true to life story. The characters are flawed in ways that we all could possibly be .....M. L. Stedman...knows how to render time and place, people and situations with great skill. This is a first novel and I would not hesitate to read the next by this author....simply because I thought this was an excellent effort....we will be reading this for one of my reading groups. I have also recommended it to many of my fellow readers already. I know they will not be disappointed.
Part geography lesson, part historical novel, a bit of a mystery and above all a story of love...love of all types this book has been a joy to read. Greatful for the chance to do so. I am a fan. Read this story.....it is so well crafted, it will not disappoint.