I just finished The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman and was completely enchanted by the storyline and characters. I felt that it had a unique storyline, characters that were easy to identify with and that there was enough drama throughout to leave you wondering the next turn the book was going to take.
Set in 1920s Australia, Tom Sherbourne returns to society after spending some time fighting in his country’s army. He takes a job as a lighthouse keeper on an isolated island called Janus. During one of his breaks back to the mainland, Tom meets a young and lively woman named Isabel Graysmark and falls in love with her after exchanging letters over a period of time. Tom and Isabel marry and Isabel leaves the mainland to join Tom in his island adventure. Although quite isolated, with visits from a ship that brings supplies every few months, Isabel and Tom push forward with building a life together in their own little corner of the world.
While on Janus, Isabel is overjoyed when she discovers she is expecting a child and comes even more to life reading up on pregnancy books and planning baby Sherbourne’s arrival. On one fateful evening, while Tom is tending to his duties on the light, Isabel suffers a terrible miscarriage that throws her into a deep depression. She then suffers two additional miscarriages over the course of a few years, creating a make-shift graveyard for her lost unborn. The continued losses change Isabel and overturn the Sherbourne marriage, as Tom grapples as to how to bring his wife’s pain to ease.
One particularly stormy evening, though, brings a small boat with the body of a dead man and a crying baby. Not knowing what to do – Tom is torn between his duty to report the incident and his wife’s immediate change in demeanor with the new arrival. The rest of the novel dives deeper into the Sherbourne’s relationship with the found baby and how their lives come back together with the new addition to their family, only to be torn a part once the guilt sets in.
Wonderfully written, very enticing and characters that you’ll find yourself having mixed emotions about.