Saturday, February 08, 2014

The Light Between Oceans

The Light Between Oceans by M L Stedman

Winner of three ABIA awards for Best Literary Novel, Best Newcomer and Book of the Year
Winner of two Indie Awards for Best Debut and Book of the Year

The Blurb

This is a story of right and wrong, and how sometimes they look the same.

1926. Tom Sherbourne is a young lighthouse keeper on a remote island off Western Australia. The only inhabitants of Janus Rock, he and his wife Isabel live a quiet life, cocooned from the rest of the world. One April morning a boat washes ashore carrying a dead man and a crying infant - and the path of the couple's lives hits an unthinkable crossroads. Only years later do they discover the devastating consequences of the decision they make that day - as the baby's real story unfolds ...

My Review

I really loved this book, which is about the ethical dilemma this young couple face when the boat washes ashore with a dead man and a baby.  What should they do?  On the face of it, the answer is obvious - report the matter to the appropriate authorities and let them take over.  However, things are not so simple.  Isabel desperately wants a child, and Tom loves her very much.  What they do next has consequences that affect other people as well as themselves.  The book tells us what happens, not only to Tom and Isabel but also to others involved in the life of the little baby.

This is a story of people, and how a person's actions can carry through for many years.  As a study of the moral dilemma, I found it fascinating.  As I read about the other side of the coin, it became even more so.  I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys reading about characters rather than a fast-moving action plot - it's definitely not that - but a most enjoyable read.

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