Jennie Walters's Reviews > The Light Between Oceans

The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman
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I enjoyed this book, particularly towards the end, which was more subtle and unexpected than I'd predicted. My reservations were largely that some of the dialogue seemed a bit clunky, and at first the relationship between Tom and Isabel, the main protagonists, didn't quite convince - the scene where Isabel imitates the other dinner guests, for example, didn't succeed for me. But by the end, I had really warmed to Tom, the hero of the book, who although damaged by his experiences in the war, is such an essentially good and noble person that he lifts this novel into a whole other realm. Unlike other reviewers here, I thought you could tell it was a first novel - eg great chunks of information about how a lighthouse works plopped down into the story - but it had some really interesting things to say about the moral dilemma at the heart of the story (the relative rights of parents and children)and a very tender portrayal of a marriage. Keeps you reading right till the last page!
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
May 7, 2012 – Finished Reading
May 9, 2012 – Shelved

Comments Showing 1-5 of 5 (5 new)

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Lily "I enjoyed this book, particularly towards the end, which was more subtle and unexpected than I'd predicted." -- Agree! I expected a clear, crisp ending. This one was much more diffuse.

"...some of the dialogue seemed a bit clunky..." -- Agree, thought the same of some of the action, even Isabel's "wooing" of Tom.

"...could tell it was a first novel - eg, great chunks... -- Didn't think about that, but recognize your point.

"...a very tender portrayal of a marriage..." -- I got so frustrated with Isabel at points, I wouldn't have written those words, but I definitely can acknowledge what you saw, Jennie. (Thinking about it, maybe tender portrayals of even more than one marriage?)


Jennie Walters Yes, I think you're right, Lily! The other relationships provide a sort of counterbalance/comparison.


message 3: by Bookman8 (last edited Aug 14, 2016 03:39PM) (new) - added it

Bookman8 Why do you dislike the writing about how a lighthouse works? I so often hear similar criticisms of Moby Dick and whales. Is that not part of the mystique, the enjoyment of literature like this? Stedman is not Melville, but...... enjoy, revel, absorb.


Jennie Walters Bookman8 wrote: "Why do you dislike the writing about how a lighthouse works? I so often hear similar criticisms of Moby Dick and whales. Is that not part of the mystique, the enjoyment of literature like this? Ste..."

I felt that the factual information wasn't smoothly integrated and didn't either advance the story or give me much more insight into the characters, so in my opinion, it slowed things up without adding anything. But of course other readers may disagree!


message 5: by Pat (new) - rated it 4 stars

Pat Johns I gave Isabelle a pass at the dinner for being very young and immature - not having had the leavening experiences as Tom did in the war - she is more delighted in the world.


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