The Light Between Oceans (by ML Stedman)

Friday, 4 January 2013

I intended to finish this book during the last week of 2012, but it simply didn’t happen, so this one counts as my first book of 2013. And what a book it was; I won’t be surprised if when the end of the year rolls around, that it ranks among my top 10 for the year.

The basic premise of this book is that a boat carrying a dead man and a live baby washes onshore at an isolated lighthouse station. The couple running the place have had three miscarriages and the wife is desperate to keep the infant girl. She sees her as a little miracle — God’s way of making up for all the pain. By the time they find out that the child’s mother is still alive and emotionally bereft without the girl, they have already bonded with her and can’t imagine giving her up.

“What to do” takes up most of the rest of the book. Over time, the husband’s conscience gets the best of him and in his efforts to mitigate the damage, he unwittingly unravels all of their lives.

I spent much of the book simply angry at the way that there were no good options; that no one could come out a winner. To her credit, Stedman (a debut author) never takes the easy way out of the situation. She manages to make nearly everyone into a sympathetic character, and she avoids stereotypes and clichés. I simply hated what was happening in the story.

However, it has been a very long time indeed since I spent a final chapter crying so hard that my throat hurt and I could hardly focus on my kindle. She handled it all brilliantly. It’s a heartbreaker, but real, and does end on a hopeful note. What else could have happened, really?  I will never be able to re-live the first time through, but I want to read it again. Can’t wait for more books from this author!

A solid 5 stars from me

To purchase the book,


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