The Light Between Oceans by M. L. Stedman

This will be my first Adult Book Review here. I had to read this one for my library’s Book Club so I though tit would make a great post here.

The Light Between Oceans

Set in the 1920s, The Light Between Oceans is about a young couple who live in a lighthouse off the coast of Southern Australia who make a decision that changes the course of many lives. The husband, Tom, is the keeper and his wife, Isabel, has become lonely living on the island just the two of them. Shortly after her third miscarriage, a row boat with a dead man and a crying baby in it washes up on shore. Isabel is convinced the child is a gift from God and that given the lady’s cardigan found in the boat, that the mother must have gone overboard, therefore the child must be an orphan. She convinces Tom not to report the arrival of the boat and it’s occupants in his logs, or to shore, and that they should keep the child and pass it off as their own as they also have not reported the miscarriage.  Several years later, they find out the mother is still alive and worried sick at what possibly could have happened to her husband and daughter. What follows is a mix of emotions and a moral dilemma for all involved. Should they keep the girl as Isabel says, or return her to her desperate birth mother as Tom believes? Both choices have grave consequences for all involved.

I was really looking forward to reading this book, and I thought I’d like it. However, I really didn’t. The premise sounding so interesting to me, as I love period pieces and loved the concept of a lighthouse keeper and his wife living in isolation. While it started out interesting, I just couldn’t like any of the characters. I couldn’t agree with Isabel’s addled decision to keep the child and how she could possible think that someone somewhere, even a grandparent, wouldn’t be desperately waiting to hear of news of the child’s survival. After it was revealed the child wasn’t an orphan, she still insisted the keep the child. I couldn’t understand why a woman who had lost a child so many times could not relate to the birth mother’s despair. She came off as crazy, without remorseful, selfish, and lacking in sympathy and empathy for a woman she should have understood. As for the birth mother, Hannah, she too lacked the empathy and understanding she should have had for realizing why Isabel did what she did, but she couldn’t see the similarities between themselves either. The only female character I thought had any sense at all, was the biological aunt who seemed to be the only woman who was concerned for the child’s state of mind and not their own or what the other woman was doing to them. As for Tom, I completely understood his guilt and why he did what he did in the end, even if his wife took a long time to realize it.

Then there was the parts of the story that dragged on. There were parts that didn’t seem to move the plot along at all, or give much insight into the characters. They just seemed to drag on. It took forever to get to the point sometimes. Not to mention the random scenes in second person. It was sudden and off putting, and made no sense, as well as disrupted the flow.

The plot issues, tense issue, and unrelateable, not to mention crazy characters, combine to make me rate this one Two and a Half Lightsabers. I can’t say I recommend this one much, if at all.


One thought on “The Light Between Oceans by M. L. Stedman

  1. Pingback: 2013 in Review | The Ramblings of a Jedi Librarian

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