The Light Between Oceans Book Review

The Light Between Oceans: Book Review by Dinh

4.5 stars for The Light between Oceans


The Light Between Oceans Book Review






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.


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12 thoughts on “The Light Between Oceans Book Review

  1. Thankyou Dinh for recommending this book, it was great.
    It only took me a couple of days to read, so it must have been good.
    I thought your review was just fine Dinh, and yes there is a slight american accent!

    1. Hi Ron,
      I am glad that you enjoyed The Light Between Oceans and that it was a good recommendation.

      My video book review is still a work in progress and I will try and improve on them over time.

      Huh, I have a little American accent? Not according to my family….they are my worse critic and best supporters 🙂

      Do let me what you think of the other recommendations you have read!

      I look forward to chatting then 🙂

    1. Hi Susan,
      thank you for your comment on The Light Between Oceans!

      I am happy that you liked my attempt at a video book review. I am not quite happy with it as I don’t feel that I am coming across as I am. People who know me say that I am more engaging than that. Well, I guess my personality will come through the more I do the videos. I do hope you watch them.

      Did you like the ‘American’ or ‘British’ accent? LOL Having been in the United States for 20 years now I do feel that my accent has eroded and not quite English I once was.

      Ta Ta until next time!

    1. Hi Lonna,
      Thanks for commenting on The Light between Oceans book review.
      I think a few people have been surprised by my English accent, although my friends and family in England are more surprised how ‘American’ I sound and not how English it is! LOL I can’t please some people…..
      I am glad that you enjoyed the video book review. It’s actually quite hard to get it right. It’s a work in progress so bear with me; I promise it will improve as I do more of them.

      Thanks for stopping by and I hope to see you here again!

        1. Thanks Lonna,
          my family is very critical and will let me know ‘how it is’ no matter what. It’s good that we can be honest with each other and I do appreciate it even though the truth can be a bit harsh at times.

          Thanks for the words of encouragement!


  2. Great review! Love the way you speak to the audience in a compelling and engaging way. Loving to hear your point of view.

    My mother likes books like these as well. Will definitely refer to this website. Thank you and keep up the good work!

    1. Hello Maurice,
      thank you for commenting on The Light between Oceans book review. I am glad that you liked the review 🙂
      I enjoyed this novel and I am happy that my enthusiasm showed. It’s a good book for anyone who is looking for a more in depth read that will move you emotionally and mentally.
      If your mother is into this genre then I would definitely recommend it to her.
      We also do other book reviews in other genres so please check out all the categories.

      Happy reading!

  3. This sounds like a lovely easy read Dinh.

    I must say that since having children my taste in books has changed, I need to be able to read with chaos going on all around me so the easier the better lol.

    I don’t mind a predictable story really, as long as it is well written and enjoyable I am happy.

    I love nothing better than a good book and a cup of hot chocolate. This book sounds lovely, it appears it may have a depth to it that a lot of other authors fail to achieve?

    1. Hi Lynne,
      I can totally see where you are coming from since I have 3 kids myself! I sometimes enjoy books that are not heavy but have a good story and is well written. The Light between Oceans is just that.

      The premise of the novel easy to grasp and the heart of the book is emotional so it draws you in immediately. The characters are easy to identify with and the best part of the book is the emotional conflict that lives in each of the character. Guilt is a theme with each character as their decisions and choices reverberate throughout the book, especially in the latter part of the book.

      There is a deep character development in the novel which is displayed as the story progresses. Life is not always black and white and Stedman demonstrates this very effectively.
      I love the moral questions that asked in this book. Makes you think……

      Thanks for stopping by Lynne!

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