dinsdag 18 augustus 2015

M.L. Stedman: The Light between Oceans


The Light between Oceans has been on my TBR for a very, very long time. It couldn’t stay there; so sad and unread, so I had to pick it up.
This novel has 360 pages.

“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, Tom brings a young, bold, and loving wife, Isabel. Years later, after two miscarriages and one stillbirth, the grieving Isabel hears a baby’s cries on the wind. A boat has washed up onshore carrying a dead man and a living baby. Tom, who keeps meticulous records and whose moral principles have withstood a horrific war, wants to report the man and infant immediately. But Isabel insists the baby is a “gift from God,” and against Tom’s judgment, they claim her as their own and name her Lucy. When she is two, Tom and Isabel return to the mainland and are reminded that there are other people in the world. Their choice has devastated one of them.”

I loved the first half of the novel, just couldn’t put it away.
The novel is very easy to read; simple prose and choice of words make it a fast read.
A fast read, but a slow story. Not that I cared because the pacing was perfect the way it was; especially in the first half. The second half could be a bit faster because it became a bit repetitive. But it’s not really a plot-driven story so the pacing doesn’t matter anyway.
After the turning point in the second half (no, I won’t spoil it), I fell more and more out of love with it. It wasn’t so engrossing anymore, I felt less and less involved.
What I can promise you is that you will feel conflicted about the choices Isabel and Tom made. It will play over and over in my mind for the following days. What would I have done?

It’s interesting to read a novel set in Australia. Being from Belgium myself, it’s strange to read about a warm Christmas and a cold August.

Easy read, difficult topic and something that stays with you even though it lacks towards the end. A recommended novel!
Happy reading.


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