Melanie Coombes's Reviews > The Light Between Oceans

The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman
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Jul 22, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: first-reads
Read from July 01 to 22, 2012

After finishing this book today, I am certain that it should be a bestseller.
Description-Tom Sherbourne returns from WWI trying to forget the horrors he has witnessed and figure out how to find some kind of peace and solace for himself. The routines and rules of being a lighthouse keeper appeal to him and so he spends his days doing this. Until he eventually meets Isabel who falls deeply in love with him. She soon becomes his wife and joins him on the isolated island where he works. Several years and miscarriages later, Isabel is torn by grief for the children she has lost and fears she will never have. Two weeks after a stillborn death, a boat arrives with a dead man and a living baby. Isabel feels her prayers have been answered and convinces Tom to bury the man and keep the baby as their own. As they are the only 2 people on the island, they have no one to question their actions.

Only until the return to the mainland on shore leave do they realize that the mother is very much alive and only a shadow of who she once was due to the constant wondering of what happened to her husband and daughter. Meanwhile, Tom now lives only a half life due to the guilt he feels, while Isabel is only more determined to keep their secret forever.

What follows is a heartbreaking tragedy. I felt so much sorrow for Isabel and her husband Tom. Both who are portrayed as good people who were unable to think clearly in their grief.

The mother left behind on the mainland, Hannah, is also a compelling character. As soon as we learn her story, the author leaves us feeling such compassion for her as well. This was absolutely amazing storytelling. Any book that can leave me crying after I have ended the story, is a very gifted writer.

I received this book as part of the Goodreads first reads program.
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