I finished reading The Light Between Oceans a couple of hours ago and I’m still dealing with a book hangover. M. L. Stedman has woven a tale I won’t soon forget.
Set in Australia in the years after the Great War, The Light Between Oceans is the story of Tom and Isabel Sherbourne, two people trying to build a life with the pieces the war leftover. It starts out on Janus Rock where Tom mans the lighthouse. Each night he climbs the step to light the light, warning ships of the dangers of the ocean below. But the ocean is relentless, and full of terrors.
One morning as Isabel plants rosemary bush on the grave of yet another child who came too soon she sees a rowboat wrecked on the beach below. Tom runs down and finds the body of a stranger in the boat, and miraculously, a small child wrapped in a lavender cardigan, alone but alive.
Tom is the first to ask the question, “What should we do?” It will take the rest of the book to answer.
This is a story of blurred lines and grey places, where heros and villains are not so easy to spot. I found myself unsure of who to root for, hoping for both possible endings while knowing, as Tom does from the start, that you can’t have both.
This book reminds me of The Dive from Clauson’s Pier. Love may be the answer, but which love is stronger – the one that holds on or the one that lets go?
All I know for now is that The Light Between Oceans hasn’t let go of me yet.