TITLE: The Light Between Oceans
AUTHOR: M.L. Stedman
GENRE: Historical Fiction
PUBLISHED: July 31, 2012
PURCHASE LINKS: Amazon, Mobilism
Description: The years-long New York Times bestseller and major motion picture from Spielberg’s Dreamworks 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.
Review: For me this book was nothing more than ‘Oh that description sounds very interesting. I will add it to the top of my reading list.’ I then get to work and ask others to read the book along with me so we could discuss the questions. Well forgot the work-friends -- I could not stop reading this book. A truly heart-wrenching story about love, loss and desperate things we do for the one thing we want most in life.
“Bloody hell!” he exclaimed. “Bloody hell, Izzy. It’s—”
“A baby! Oh my Lord above! Oh Tom! Tom! Here—give it to me!”
It makes a person wonder how or why the fates would put this temptation right out there for Isabel when she has lost so many babies herself. Was it to temp her to see if she would keep the child herself or to offer her a little bit of comfort to help ease the heartache from losing her own babies?
We can all look/read and think in our minds that we would never do something like Isabel. We would never keep the child, only offer her a bit of comfort and move one, but I really question that. Yes, we would all offer comfort but to what degree? Would we keep the child for years or would we just comfort until the authorities came to get the child? How easy could we give up the one thing we desire most?
“Let’s just wait. After all, it can’t make much difference.”
“It’s all got to go in the log, pet. You know I’ve got to report everything straightaway,” Tom said, for his duties included noting every significant event at or near the light station, from passing ships and weather, to problems with the apparatus.
“Do it in the morning, eh?”
We cannot honestly lay all the blame at Isabel’s feet, Tom is just as responsible. Did Tom desire a child as much as Isabel? Tom could have written everything into the log book and Isabel would never have known. He could have called or reported it to the proper authorities and faced Isabel’s heartache afterward. What was the right thing here? Is there truly a right and wrong way?
“I choose to,” he said. “I can leave myself to rot in the past, spend my time hating people for what happened, like my father did, or I can forgive and forget.”
When Hannah starts to think about Frank and how he was able to move past everything that happened to him is when she starts to heal and learn that no matter what she can and will move past this speed bump in the road of life. We can all take the lesson from Frank. We can choose to move past the hurt, anger, resentment, and wrongs or allow our selves to sit in all this rot and wallow in self-pity while life keeps going forward. I look at Frank’s motto a little different. If I don’t forgive others for what they did to me I will end up turning into an old bitter woman without friends. I do not want to be that person.
Scars are just another kind of memory.
One of Tom’s last thoughts is another thing readers can and should take away. Scars are just memories, things we can hold on to and never let go, never heal or we can keep them as memories and look back on them and learn from what they taught us.
This is one of those books that pulls at your heartstrings. It makes you question why one person has so much grief and suffers through so much. Why did the fates pick that person to go through everything possible without giving them the one thing they desire? How much should one suffer before breaking?
This book is no quick, easy, light read. It is a moving story that will leave readers questioning certain things in his or her life or in the life of friends/family. A story that requires tissue throughout. A lifetime spent in regret for the few years of total happiness. Was that few years of happiness worth the lifetime of regret? For each person that answer is different but only you can answer.