The backbone of this story is Tom, the new lighthouse keeper of Janus Rock, a fictional island in Australia. He’s honest, reflective, strong, conscientious, and rule-abiding. A veteran. A survivor. Distant.
You might pass this one up because, let’s face it, life in a lighthouse on a remote island isn’t exactly what you’d read in People magazine, but this has got drama. Quite a bit of it, really.
Tom’s life changes when he randomly meets sweet, happy, admirably bold Isabel. Isabel turns out to be the kind of young woman who takes what she wants – in this case, Tom. They marry and she moves out to live with him on Janus Rock and it’s happily ever after. Or so they hoped.
Their beautiful, carefree life turns into a purgatory as Isabel is left broken by serial miscarriages and impending infertility. Tom wants to help, but unable to connect with his wife, there is nothing he can do. There is just no way to fix her. When a baby is washed ashore on a boat, Isabel sees it as a dream come true, a child has been delivered in the only way possible. Lucy is a gift from God. But, no matter how hard he tries, Tom can’t see it that way. The lighthouse keeper in him wants to report the incident, surrender the baby to town.
And so begins the flood of moral debate…
Stedman explores what happens when good, but damaged and desperate, people try to navigate the invisible line between right and wrong. Meanwhile, everyone who encounters her becomes blinded by their affection for the adorable child at the center of it all.
The Light Between Oceans is flowery, yet beautifully written. The characters are filled out and lovable, despite all that they do. Nature lovers will appreciate the apt descriptions.
Book: The Light Between Oceans
Author: M.L. Stedman
Type: Heart wrenching drama