Light Between Oceans (Hardcover)

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Set post WWI, decorated war hero Tom Sherbourne returns to Australia to be a lighthouse keeper, but before heading out to Janus Rock, he meets and falls in love with Isabelle. They marry and live an idyllic life except that Isabelle keeps on miscarrying. One day, three weeks after her third pregnancy has ended with a stillborn birth, Isabelle hears a baby's cry while Tom finds a boat washed ashore with a three month old baby who is alive and the baby's father who has died. Against Tom's better judgment, they decide to keep the baby and claim her as their own. Though Tom is apprehensive, Isabelle is deliriously happy for the the next two years until Tom, Isabelle, and Lucy make a trip back to mainland Australia and discover that Lucy's biological mother is still trying to find her lost husband and child. Tom and Isabelle's marriage is put to the test as they agonize about what they should do. An emotional read that grabs your heart and does not let go. Book clubs will love discussing the moral dilemma and ethical questions that arise. I loved this book!

— Martha

August 2012 Indie Next List


“World War I is over and Tom Sherbourne returns to Australia as a lighthouse keeper on remote Janus Rock. His young bride, Isabel, joins him, and they love their isolated life on Janus. Sadness descends however, as they try unsuccessfully to start a family. A small boat washes ashore carrying a dead man and a beautiful, healthy baby girl whom they make their own, living happily until they go back to the mainland and begin to realize the consequences of their actions. With incredibly visual prose evocative of the time and place, compelling characters, themes of forgiveness and redemption, and a riveting plot that won't let you put the book down, this is a great debut novel.”
— Judy Crosby, Island Books, Middletown, RI

Description


This months-long "New York Times" bestseller is "irresistible...seductive...with a high concept plot that keeps you riveted from the first page," ("O, The Oprah Magazine").

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.

M. L. Stedman's "elegantly rendered and heart-wrenching novel" ("USA TODAY"), is "told with the authoritative simplicity of a fable. Stedman's intricate descriptions of the craggy Australian coastline and her easy mastery of an old-time provincial vernacular are engrossing. As the couple at the lighthouse are drawn into an increasingly tragic set of consequences, these remote, strange lives are rendered immediate and familiar" ("The New Yorker").



Product Details
ISBN: 9780857521002
Publisher: Doubleday Books
Publication Date: April 1st, 2012