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The Light Between Oceans
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Light Between Oceans > ISOLATION - What role did it play?

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message 1: by Brantford (last edited Sep 03, 2013 07:17AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Brantford Public Library | 453 comments Mod
Take a look at this quote from the book...

"The island knows no other human voices, no other footprints. On the Offshore Lights you can live any story you want to tell yourself, and no one will say you’re wrong: not the seagulls, not the prisms, not the wind.”

To what extent does the isolation of Janus Rock make this story possible? Do our morals change when there is no one around to judge us? Could you see yourself living in that type of isolation?


Karen (karen1278) | 428 comments I said under the topic" your impressions" that the setting allows for this "indiscretion" to occur. Most likely under other circumstances and being closer to family, Tom and Isabel would not have been able to keep a child that wasn't theirs. I do think their moral compass was altered by their location. Living in a such a remote place, Tom and Isabel answer only to themselves, to the stars and if you will to "God". The author doesn't get into too much of a discussion of the characters' religious beliefs. ( I remember someone going to church,I think it was Isabel's Mother) The moral compass in this story is the Logbook.


Karen (karen1278) | 428 comments I think it would be manageable for me to live on an island for a couple of weeks as long as I had a few good books. But, after that, with no Wi-Fi, forget it!


Anna (iudita) | 450 comments It would be hard to imagine that Tom & Isabel could have gotten away with keeping Lucy if it were not for the fact that they were so isolated. I think isolation was a key factor in this book for several reasons. If Isabel had had a bigger support system of family around her she may have handled the miscarriages better and been in a stronger frame of mind. The same goes for Tom's inner struggles with his war experiences. I think the isolation helped to shape these characters personalities.

I do believe that our morals can easily shift when there is no one to hold us in judgement of our decisions. The human need to be accepted into society is a strong motivator to behave in ways that we as a society deem to be socially acceptable. Otherwise, I think we would be inclined to make more self serving decisions.

It takes a certain type of person to live in isolation. Even though most of us probably feel from time to time that we could use a little isolation, I doubt if many of us would last long.


Anna (iudita) | 450 comments Karen wrote: "I said under the topic" your impressions" that the setting allows for this "indiscretion" to occur. Most likely under other circumstances and being closer to family, Tom and Isabel would not have b..."

Karen, I really liked your observation "The moral compass in this story is the Logbook.". It really is true. The logbook is held in reverence as the source of truth and accountabiltiy. I really liked that idea.


message 6: by Suzanne (new)

Suzanne | 2 comments I totally agree with you Anna. I think the isolation of Janus Rock was necessary for Tom and Isabel to go undetected. Plus it provided the catalyst for the moral dilemna -- it was they who discovered the truth about Lucy first (if they had been in town it certainly would have been discovered by someone else) -- and they were left to decide how to navigate the decisions they were faced with which I think added to the tension.


Kathryn (kdrury) | 112 comments Isolation is the only reason why Tom and Isobel were able to keep the baby. Tom already knew that he should have reported the incident in the log. If there had been others living with them Tom wouldn't have been able to ignore his better judgement.


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