The Light Between Oceans: Book Review by Dinh
Please enjoy the video of the Light Between Oceans book review or continue reading!
The Light Between Oceans Review
I’d like to say a big THANK YOU to Andrew from Mahwah Public Library for recommending me this novel. Great choice Andrew!
The story begins with Tom Sherbourne who has come back from the Western Front of World War 1 and he goes into the Commonwealth Lighthouse Service in December 1918.
He does some relief posting on the Lights and in June 1920 he gets news that there is a vacancy on the no so popular post at Janus Rock. Janus Rock is an isolated island and it takes half a day from the coast to reach it and the supply boat comes once a season.
In a coastal town on his way to take his post at Janus Rock, Tom meets Isabel who is young and headstrong girl.
At the end of Tom’s 6 months at Janus Rock he returns to the coastal town only to find that Janus Rock has a permanent position open.
Tom visits Isabel and they begin to fall in love.
Isabel asks Tom to take her with him to Janus Rock but Tom wants her to think about it.
They get married when he comes back for shore leave and both return to Janus together as newlyweds.
Life on Janus Rock is hard for Isabel. After a few years she has 2 miscarriages and then a still birth.
It is April 1926 that a boat washes up to Janus Rock with an unknown dead man and a crying baby.
Isabel pleads to Tom not to report it right away and to give it a day. She begs Tom to keep the baby and against his judgement they keep the baby and name her Lucy.
Two years later, Tom and Isabel and baby Lucy go to shore. It is on this visit that they find the devastating truth about baby Lucy.
Their decision to keep Lucy impacted everyone and things begin to unravel.
The Light Between Oceans Recommendation
I loved reading this book! This is not heavy to read but is intellectually and emotionally stimulating.
This is M. L. Stedman’s first book and it is beautifully written with vivid imagery. The novel is set mostly on Janus Rock and is rich with details on its surrounding. I enjoyed Stedman’s creative descriptions of the ocean, the sky and the natural landscape. You can feel and imagine the beauty and remoteness of Janus Rock.
I liked this book so much that it was read in record time. The novel has 343 pages and it went fast. The style is simplistic and helps the reader get into the story without any hindrance. The novel is a page turner!
The only negative comment I have on the book is the plot. It is predictable. However, The Light between Oceans does not have to have an unpredictable story line because what was lacking in the predictable plot is transcended the way it captivates the reader. It pulls you in and you don’t look back but look ahead as to what will happen next.
I sort of knew what to expect and how the story would end and it wasn’t a problem. What I really enjoyed about this book is that it was filled with emotional and moral dilemmas. It is a heartfelt book that makes you want to read more.
The book raises some interesting questions on how we deal with traumatic events, being scarred for life and how it affects your judgement.
Emotionally, you can understand Tom’s position. He’s has strong beliefs. Tom is still haunted by his enlistment in World War I and what he did in order to stay alive. His steady rituals stems from having to endure the War and coping with its aftermath. He gets nightmares and the horrors of War are still close to him.
Rules are important to Tom. The duties as a light house keeper are a perfect job for him to deal with his psychological and emotional state. Following the rules meticulously is Tom’s way of coping with what happened during that period of his life that he feels so guilty about.
And of course you can relate to Isabel’s situation. You know she would want to keep the baby after going through 2 miscarriages and a still birth. A baby is what she most desired in the whole world and this was seen to her as miracle. A baby given to her, why else would the baby land on Janus Rock?
The Light between Oceans made me think about both sides. Who can I relate to? I liked the way it made me change my opinions and feelings as I read the book. Stedman does a great job in persuading me to side with Isabel and then is also effective making me side with Tom.
These moral dilemmas are not clear cut and the heart sometimes wins over the mind. This book is deeply moving.
The Light Between The Oceans is a fantastic novel and it will touch your heart. I highly recommend you to pick it up to read.
See our other Book Reviews.