The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman

The Light Between Oceans

After four harrowing years on the Western Front, Tom Sherbourne returns to Australia and takes a job as the lighthouse keeper on Janus Rock, nearly half a day’s journey from the coast. To this isolated island, where the supply boat comes once a season and shore leaves are granted every other year at best, Tom brings a young, bold, and loving wife, Isabel. Years later, after two miscarriages and one stillbirth, the grieving Isabel hears a baby...

Details The Light Between Oceans

TitleThe Light Between Oceans
Release DateJul 31st, 2012
Number of pages343 pages
GenreFiction, Historical Fiction, Cultural, Australia, Book Club, Historical

Reviews The Light Between Oceans

  • Barbara Williams
    I am going to start with review with a disclaimer. This review is subjective, from my point of view etc. I thought this book was terrible, bad, no good. You don’t have to agree with me, and you could think that this was the most AMAZING book and your eyes almost exploded from all the awesomeness that traveled through them to reach your brain which leapt in your skull with every sentence you read, and that is fine. I do not think that you are in...
  • Gabe
    The Light Between Oceans is an incredibly moving novel about what happens when good people make bad decisions. The story takes place in the town of Point Partageuse, Australia during the 1920s. The story begins when a light house keeper and his wife find a life boat containing a live baby (and dead man) on the shore of their isolated island. Through a mixture of misplaced intentions and unsupported superstition they decide to raise the child as t...
  • Khanh (the Grinch)
    On the Offshore Lights you can live any story you want to tell yourself, and no one will say you’re wrong: not the seagulls, not the prisms, not the wind.So Isabel floats further and further into her world of divine benevolence, where prayers are answered, where babies arrive by the will of God and the working of currents. There's this married couple, their names are Tom and Isabel. For the purposes of this review, Tom = Doormat and Isabel = Ba...
  • Jeanette
    "Sometimes life turns out hard, Isabel. Sometimes it just bites right through you. And sometimes, just when you think it's done its worst, it comes back and takes another chunk."Remember when you were four years old, and your mother was just about your entire world? If you can remember that long-ago feeling of attachment to a parent, or if you have a child, or if you have longed for a child of your own, your heart will break for little Lucy. And ...
  • Suzanne
    I just can’t do this. Halfway through, but cannot go on. There are people waiting for this library copy, and the library is calling it back in, so I am going to relinquish it to someone who actually wants to read it. Given the moral choices that form the heart of the plot, this could have been a much better book, if it were, you know, well-written. Apart from the fairly good initial characterization of Tom Sherbourne as a WWI vet suffering from...
  • Brenda
    What a wonderfully complex and morally riveting story! I literally could not put this down, and read for a solid 3 hours last night, until 1am, when I finished this book!When Tom Sherbourne returned from WWI, he was a shattered man. He needed a quiet place to gather his thoughts, to calm himself, as he didn’t believe he should have survived the war, when his mates did not. So he became a lighthouse keeper, and over the next few years, he did hi...
  • Chaitra
    ETA: Sep 20, 2015Oh, this review. First, I read this book way back in 2012. I don't know that I would write such a review now, whether or not I hate a book. I've had an attitude shift, if not in life, then in review writing. I've wanted to change it for a while now, but I don't remember most of the book. I also can't make any defense against specific arguments from commenters who liked the book, because of the same. I read this when I had no baby...
  • Kristalia
    Final rating: 5/5 stars “...or I can forgive and forget...Oh, but my treasure, it is so much less exhausting. 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...we always have a choice.” One word: Beautiful. And also beautiful. and beautiful. and beautiful....I cannot even begin the review properly. This book crushed my feelings, brought them back together and d...
  • Matthew
    The book - 4 starsThe audiobook - negative 1000 stars! (more on that later)This book was a soul crushing catch-22. The decisions the characters had to make and the options they are presented with range from totally awful to not all that great. It was interesting to read a book that felt the entire way through like there is no chance for a happy ending. Which bad option will be the outcome? The audiobook is terrible. So bad that I will never liste...
  • Jennie Walters
    I enjoyed this book, particularly towards the end, which was more subtle and unexpected than I'd predicted. My reservations were largely that some of the dialogue seemed a bit clunky, and at first the relationship between Tom and Isabel, the main protagonists, didn't quite convince - the scene where Isabel imitates the other dinner guests, for example, didn't succeed for me. But by the end, I had really warmed to Tom, the hero of the book, who al...
  • Averil
    My very first book for 2013, and one I spent the latter half of last year just longing to get my hands on.Well, I finished The Light Between Oceans in only two sittings, in one single day! And this novel - a heartbreaking exploration of right and wrong, and the lonely windswept grey island which lies between the two - has completely wrung me out on only Day One of a brand new reading year. How I wept. I mean absolutely WEPT. No parent could bear ...
  • Michelle
    This is an odd book. It is, in a large way, quite boring not to mention depressing. It’d be like if some woman came up to you and told you about her horrible life but using a monotone voice. You’d be partway falling asleep and partway amazed at the dreadfulness. I’m not sure what made it so dull. Maybe it was the writing style: showing not telling, corny people and dialogue, random backstories, one single plotline without much other noise o...
  • Margitte
    This story is so multifaceted it is a tough one to review. I slept over this book, mulling around, wondering what to take from it. It was haunting me! I was waking up several times during the night, thinking about yet another angle to it. The most important question was:Where did this tragedy really begin?Tom Sherbourne returned from WWI to Australia, struggling with his own role in the war. He witnessed his friends being shot; he shot people him...
  • Diane
    "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."This is an engrossing novel in which one person's happiness inadvertently causes misery for another. Tom fought in World War I and returns to Australia to become a lighthouse keeper on an isolated island. He meets and marries a sweet girl named Isabel, who becomes desperate for a child. One day, a baby is found in a bo...
  • حسام عادل
    " الآثام لا تموت..الآثام تقتلك في النهاية "لكن (توم) لم يكن آثمًا؛كان رجلًا شريفًا وزوجًا محبًا,غير أن حبه دفعه لأن يخطىء خطأً بسيطًا وقاتلًا:قال (نعم),في الوقت الذي كان يجب فيه أن يقول (لا) بحزم..خطأ واحد,قرار واحد,غلبه قلبه ليُقدم عليه - ولأجل من يحب فق...
  • Amalia Gavea
    Where do right and wrong stop? In what way is each of these notions perceived by every individual? Do we have the right to play God and presume we will be able to correct the injustice that may have inflicted our lives? Tom and Isabel's course in the story is determined by their own answers to these questions.The Light Between Oceans has been waiting patiently in my TBR list for quite some time. Once it knocked on my door, I started reading it mo...
  • Philip
    4.5ish stars.Typically I'm fundamentally opposed to any book endorsed by Oprah. Having said that I also have a weakness for the occasional weepy melodrama as long as it's classy. I took a chance here. I don't know what's with me lately because this is the second book I've cried over this month and I couldn't even tell you the last time it's happened.Once (if) you accept that the plot revolves around an isolated couple who find a baby in a boat th...
  • Rob Mango
    Light Between Oceans. (Stedman)Much has been written about the conclusion of counselor Stedman's impressive debut. Prepare to encounter a plot in which one is held suspended until the final chapter,the author skillfully engages the template of the irresolvable outcome.We who require fiction, know this perilous path.Not unlike her characters there is vulnerability for her along this intrepid heading, dividing the readers into camps of wanting ,nee...
  • Dannii Elle
    This the most heartbreaking, sweetest, honest, brutal, messiest and cry-worthy of stories! The subject matter is dark and yet it is dealt with a grace and beauty that alleviates the brooding atmosphere and moral ambiguity and transforms what could be a dense read into a relatable and evocative one. The landscape, story and the characters all came to life through the utter beauty of the writing and I now find myself longing to live in a lighthouse...
  • Violet wells
    Just as well I’m not a commissioning editor as I would have binned this after about sixty pages. Essentially The Light between Oceans is a novella that has been fattened up on starch and additives to a 446 page novel. You could doze off for 50 page sections and still wake up to exactly the same scenery without having missed a single landmark of importance. Because it’s a novel that is built on a single plot idea with no supporting cast of ide...
  • Maria Espadinha
    Entre o Pensar e o SentirA distinção entre Certo e Errado começa como um processo meramente mental!Naqueles casos standard, batidos e estereotipados a mente é quanto basta; compara-os com os seus semelhantes arquivados, fixa-lhes uma etiqueta e espeta com eles na divisória correspondente: Certos dum lado e Errados do outro.Mas há casos e Casos. Naqueles onde surgem diversas variáveis que parecem lutar entre si, ou na melhor das hipóteses ...
  • Maureen
    3.5/5 starsI really did enjoy this book. It was beautifully written, though a painful story. The struggles that all the characters went through were heartbreaking and it was hard to read at times, but overall beautifully told.That being said, I was also frustrated to death with the characters. I just wanted everyone to do the right thing, but people are complicated, blah blah blah. IT WASN'T HARD PEOPLE. IT WAS ACTUALLY VERY EASY. Though I will s...
  • Dominique
    Beautiful, sad tragic and will make you shed a tear at the end.
  • Rose
    I have been in a deep reading slump and "The Light Between Oceans” was so very refreshing for me. I could almost feel the sea spray and smell the sea air. The details about isolated living on the tiny island really grabbed my imagination. The story swept me up like an ocean wave and kept me tumbling until the end. You can see the train wreck coming but have no idea how or when it will happen and how the characters will deal with it, you can't l...
  • Jennifer
    Disclaimer: I had a difficult time with the audiobook experience. The narrator is the very talented Noah Taylor, and unfortunately I struggled with his accent and overall articulation. I tried every speed adjustment from slow-mo, normal, and hyperspeed, but I had to continue rewinding to ensure I understood what was being said. For this reason, I lost my reading momentum several times which may have impacted my overall enjoyment - I can't say for...
  • Jonetta
    Light keeper Tom Sherbourne and his wife, Isabel, live in isolation on Janus Point in Australia in 1926. When her third pregnancy ends with the child stillborn, Izzy is devastated as her first two had resulted in miscarriages. Seemingly miraculously, a boat turns up with a crying infant and her obviously deceased father. Tom and Izzy make a decision in that moment that will forever change their and many others' destinies. What a beautifully writt...
  • Bianca
    This is too big a novel to do it justice with my poorly articulated review. So, I'll just write down a few things. First of all, I can't get my head around this being a debut novel. I was captivated from the first paragraph. The writing has such a beautiful flow, the descriptions are so vivid. The third person narration is used masterfully, there are no unreliable narrators, we get to know the inner thoughts, feelings and history of most characte...
    If you want to cry and see your tears falling in your book read this , it's just heartbroken
  • Dale Harcombe
    Absolutely loved this book. I was right there with Tom, a returned World War 1 veteran, and Isabel as after three miscarriages she urges Tom to make the decision to keep the live baby washed up in a boat with her dead father. Rightly or wrongly, sympathies were with this couple in their isolation at Janus Rock. The reasoning and motivation behind them deciding to keep the baby is explained so well as is Tom’s inner conflict at the decision, wan...
  • Julie Ekkers
    The Light Between Oceans falls short of its promise. It is very plot-driven and thus, keeps the reader flipping the pages, and there is some lovely writing (though also some lengthy expository passages just dropped in instead of woven in). However, I did not find the characters to be very believable. For example, I did not feel Isabel's grief over her multiple miscarriages was expressed such that her belief a baby washed up in a rowboat with a de...