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The Light Between Oceans: A Novel

The Light Between Oceans: A Novel

Scritto da M.L. Stedman

Narrato da Noah Taylor


The Light Between Oceans: A Novel

Scritto da M.L. Stedman

Narrato da Noah Taylor

valutazioni:
4.5/5 (152 valutazioni)
Lunghezza:
10 ore
Pubblicato:
Jul 31, 2012
ISBN:
9781442350304
Formato:
Audiolibro

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Nota del redattore

A mother’s love…

Moral codes, maternal instincts, and a young couple’s marriage are put to the test when a boat carrying a dead man, and a very alive baby girl, washes onto the shore of a remote Australian island.

Descrizione

The years-long New York Times bestseller soon to be a major motion picture from Spielberg's Dreamworks that is "irresistible…seductive…with a high concept plot that keeps you riveted from the first page" (O, The Oprah Magazine).

After four harrowing years on the Western Front, Tom Sherbourne returns to Australia and takes a job as the lighthouse keeper on Janus Rock, nearly half a day's journey from the coast. To this isolated island, where the supply boat comes once a season, Tom brings a young, bold, and loving wife, Isabel. Years later, after two miscarriages and one stillbirth, the grieving Isabel hears a baby's cries on the wind. A boat has washed up onshore carrying a dead man and a living baby.

Tom, who keeps meticulous records and whose moral principles have withstood a horrific war, wants to report the man and infant immediately. But Isabel insists the baby is a "gift from God," and against Tom's judgment, they claim her as their own and name her Lucy. When she is two, Tom and Isabel return to the mainland and are reminded that there are other people in the world. Their choice has devastated one of them.
Pubblicato:
Jul 31, 2012
ISBN:
9781442350304
Formato:
Audiolibro

Disponibile anche come...

Disponibile anche come libroLibro

Informazioni sull'autore

M.L. Stedman was born and raised in Western Australia and now lives in London. The Light Between Oceans is her first novel.


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Recensioni dei lettori

  • (4/5)
    Written in an old style, contemporary with 'one of ours' or so. Same emotional feeling and inaccuracies, the women are kind of useless.
  • (5/5)
    Tissue alert ! Great book but I don’t think I can watch the movie knowing how it ends.
  • (5/5)
    Just a lovely book about love mothers and babies and the love they create. The twists of fate are hard and the decisions made make us all think.
  • (5/5)
    So good! Very heartwarming, makes you think about living in this moment of your life
  • (5/5)
    Loved the story and quality of the writing.

    A book I wil surely read again and again

    I often listened to this while reading.

    Her descriptions really brought this book to life. A sad story but just genuine.




  • (5/5)
    I loved this book! Stedman does a wonderful job making you see all sides of this story and having empathy for all the characters. I cried at the end, I do not usually do this.
  • (4/5)
    I read this for a book discussion group, and I really enjoyed it. Of course, you know from the description of the story what is going to happen. Tom and Isabel live at the lighthouse, where Tom is stationed. They are isolated from their family and friends. Together, they endure multiple miscarriages, leaving Isabel sad, and Tom even more withdrawn. One day, a boat washes ashore with the body of a dead man, and a living, newborn baby. Isabel convinces Tom to keep the baby and pass her off as their own. From this point on, the book has many discussion topics. What would you do? What about the baby's family? Could you keep a secret for years? I thought the ending of the book was well done, and it even had some pleasant surprises. I was really expecting a cliched ending, but this one didn't end the way I thought it would. Overall, the writing was well done, and the characters, though deeply flawed, were very real and universal.
  • (4/5)
    Basically this was a very sad book. That said the writing was stellar. The characters were soflawed but immensely well drawn. It just might make it's way onto my top 10 list by the end of theyear!
  • (3/5)
    This novel features a series of excellent ethical dilemmas, as the two central characters (Tom and Isabel) are first confronted with the consequences of a choice they made for their own happiness that has come with a heartbreaking loss for another, and then must face a series of escalating, harrowing decisions as a result. It's one of those books that really causes you to wonder what would you do if you found yourself in the same situation. The author does a good job of demonstrating the pain on all sides that comes to the characters, and the burden of a guilty conscience.

    But I had a lot of difficulty in buying into the premise. Yes, a lighthouse isolated from the outside world is a well chosen scenario for experimenting with choices that can be made without society's judgment a concern. But I could not believe that both characters, portrayed throughout the book to be fundamentally good people, would ultimately choose to do something so clearly wrong. While I can believe that being so far away from the rest of the world might cause one to lose one's moral compass a bit, these were two people who mutually seemed to lose sight of right and wrong. Even when they learn of the devastation they have wrought, they do not turn back, at least not at first. And this was enough to take me out of the book and left me more or less shaking my head in disbelief as this narrative path continued.

    Well written and a decent bit of fiction, but when your entire plot hinges on an unbelievable decision (which could have been made very believable if either of the main characters were not so seemingly saintly) it drags the effort down a bit.
  • (5/5)
    Amazing writing, gripping story and characters. Its a touching story of love, and family, and life on a remote island and at the same time its this gripping drama just full of heart wrenching tragedy and everyone just being SO MISERABLE, but not in an annoying way. Its more complicated and true to life than that; its about consequences to the choices we make, its about how when you absolutely love someone you put them entirely before yourself. Amazing, enthralling right to the end. A wonderful read.
  • (4/5)
    A tragic, poignant tale of deep pain, deep love and the consequences of both. Stedman creates characters who are oh so human, who make horrid choices and must live with the consequences, yet are good souls at heart. It is an engaging tale with the isolation of the lighthouse keeper's life mimicking the solitude with which one endures guilt, feels sorrow and also experiences love. Very nice debut!
  • (5/5)
    Incredibly powerful book that makes you gage your own interpretations of right and wrong under the circumstances presented by M.L. Steadman.
  • (4/5)
    Beautifully written. Heartbreaking but beautiful. In the 1920's, an isolated lighthouse keeper and his wife on an island off the Australian coast suffer miscarriage after miscarriage. When one day a boat washes ashore carrying a dead man and a live infant, the wife thinks her prayers have been answered; the husband is uneasy and wants to report it immediately. The wife convinces him that the baby's parents must be dead, they keep the baby and raise her as their daughter. When they discover that the child's birth mother is still alive, the wife rationalizes that they can't possibly tear their daughter, now four, away from the only life she's known. The husband's guilt is overwhelming and he seeks ways to make the situation right. Of course, there is no way to make the situation right, and that is the beauty of this book- the author pursues an issue so heartbreaking that there can be no way to right it. Life is filled with situations where there is no right or wrong, or where there is no way to truly right a wrong that has impacted so many lives, and Stedman has embraced this moral truth and steered it to a conclusion that felt, to me, most acceptable. As I read, I didn't think the conclusion could possibly be tolerable, but it was. This would be a great book for a book group-- lots to discuss-- and it is definitely one that provokes you to ask "what would I do?" Stedman is an amazing storyteller. This book was painful-- it's the first book that has made me tear up in a long time-- but worth it.
  • (5/5)
    Excellent read. FIlled with moral dilemmas.
  • (5/5)
    This book was simply AMAZING! It is not something that I would have ever picked up to read on my own, but I am so glad that I joined the book club and read it! It really had a spell-bounding story that did have a bit of a slow start, but from Chapter 3 on, I found it quite difficult to put it down each night! This author did jump from subject to subject rather quickly sometimes, but I think that kept you interested! You can't help but wonder exactly what you would do if you were in Tom or Izzy's shoes and then later on Hannah's shoes and your heart aches excruciatingly bad for poor little Lucy! Even though the story is based in the 1920's, the writing reflects modern language, which I myself personally really appreciated! I finished this book hours ago and it has left me with lingering thoughts about the story and how it ended! It was so nice to see that Tom and Izzy truly had an ever-lasting love and took their for better or worse, in sickness and in health vows very seriously! I consider myself extremely lucky to be able to add this book to my collection of read books! This is probably by far one of the best books I've ever read!
  • (4/5)
    “He turned his attention to the rotation of the beam, and gave a bitter laugh at the thought that the dip of the light meant that the island itself was always left in darkness. A lighthouse is for others; powerless to illuminate the space closest to it.” (Ch 20)In 1918, having spent four excruciating years on the Western Front, Tom Sherbourne returns to Australia and takes a job as lighthouse keeper on remote Janus Rock. The isolated island, a full half day’s journey from the coast, is the home to which he brings his new wife, Isabel – young, bold, and mysterious. Years later, after their lives have been jarred by two miscarriages and a stillbirth, Isabel hears a baby’s cry on the shore. A boat has washed up, carrying a dead man, a living, crying baby, and a woman’s cardigan. Tom, ever meticulous with his duties as lighthouse keeper, proceeds to report the incident immediately. But Isabel has latched the tiny infant to her breast, and begs Tom to waylay his report. Eventually, against his better judgment, Tom agrees to raise the child with Isabel, and they name her Lucy. Alas, there still exists a world outside of the timelessness that is Janus; and their actions will devastate the life of at least one other.“Hundreds of feet above sea level, he was mesmerized by the drop to the ocean crashing against the cliffs directly below. The water sloshed like white paint, milky-thick, the foam occasionally scraped off long enough to reveal a deep blue undercoat. At the other end of the island, a row of immense boulders created a break against the surf and left the water inside it as calm as a bath. He had the impression he was hanging from the sky, not rising from the earth. Very slowly, he turned a full circle, taking in the nothingness of it all. It seemed his lungs could never be large enough to breathe in this much air, his eyes could never see this much space, nor could he hear the full extent of the rolling, roaring ocean. For the briefest moment, he had no edges.” (Ch 3) The Light Between Oceans is beautifully written. Stedman creates a sense of timelessness, of infinity on Janus that is just lovely. And the irony of the light, capable of illuminating the way for distant others, but powerless to illumine its immediate space, is effective. I did not care for the denouement of the novel – a little too contrived for my taste. That said, it is certainly a worthwhile read, and I highly recommend.“Right and wrong can be like bloody snakes: so tangled up that you can’t tell which is which until you’ve shot ’em both, and then it’s too late.” (Ch 20)
  • (4/5)
    A husband and wife live on an island. The husband works as a lighthouse keeper. They experience the loss of three babies and suddenly one day a baby and her dead father appear on the secluded island.

    The story of the choices we make and how they affect the lives of others, this was a beautiful story about the love a parent has for their children and the love spouses have for each other. Set in Australia, I highly recommend reading this before it comes out as a movie!
  • (4/5)
    I took me over a 100 pages to really get into this book, but once I did, it was engrossing. This novel is filled with sympathetic, flawed characters who struggle with the pain that the war and life caused them, trying to find happiness and also do the right thing in a situation where everyone seems to be getting hurt. At different times, the characters all really struggle to do the right thing.

    Some quotes I really liked.

    "History is that which is agreed upon by mutual consent." (p. 155)

    "You only have to forgive once. To resent, you have to do it all day, every day. You have to keep remembering all the bad things...We always have a choice. All of us." (p. 323)

    "We've put things right as well as we can. That's all we can do. We have to live with things the way they are now." (p. 333)
  • (3/5)
    I had a hard time deciding between 3 and 4 stars. I disliked one of the main characters so much (Izzy) I didn't feel any empathy so I left it at 3. The book started off almost feeling familiar to me too, like something I had maybe read before but the story was a good one.
  • (4/5)
    Wow! From the get go you sort of figure out that this situation could have a devastating ending. But, it is well written and well worth reading. It will definitely tug at your heartstrings!
  • (4/5)
    It’s not a life for everyone, working in a lighthouse. It’s lonely and secluded. It’s quiet and monotonous. The lighthouse keeper has to keep the light shining for the sailors and boaters who need it.

    After World War I, Tom Sherbourne takes a job as a lighthouse keeper. It is just what he needs after all of the evil he saw on the battlefield. He can be alone with his thoughts without the interference of other people. He relishes the routine of caring for the lighthouse.

    Then he accepts the job at the lighthouse on Janus Rock. Janus Rock is an island off of the coast of Australia. Before taking his post, he meets Isabel Graysmark. Isabel is young and naïve. She’s different from anyone Tom has met before. She is taken with Tom and the two write letters to each other while Tom is at the lighthouse.

    Tom and Isabel get married and move to the lighthouse. The only thing that can make their lives better is to start a family. Each time, though, Isabel loses the baby. After their last baby is stillborn, Isabel is drowning in grief and despair and Tom is at a loss for how to take care of her.

    One morning, a boat washes up on the shore of the island carrying a baby and a dead man. Isabel can’t help but think it’s a sign. Tom, the lighthouse keeper, knows he needs to report the boat and fill out the log. What Tom and Isabel do about the boat and its occupants will have readers questioning themselves about what they would have done and what Tom and Isabel should have done.

    Readers of The Light Between the Ocean by M.L. Stedman are treated to vivid descriptions of life in Australia and working in a lighthouse. The story of Isabel and Tom’s marriage and their lives together will have readers awake very late into the night and missing favorite tv shows in order to learn where their story will end up.
  • (5/5)
    The key event in this book comes at the very beginning. Tom Sherbourne is the keeper of the lighthouse on Janus Rock and is secluded there for months at a time with his wife Isabel. One day, a row boat washes ashore. Inside are a dead man and a baby wrapped in her mother's sweater. Tom, who keeps the lighthouse by the book, begins to follow proper procedures to report the event, but Isabel, who is convinced that the baby's mother must have fallen overboard, insists that he wait at least until morning and sets about taking care of the baby. At this point, on page 9 of the book, I wondered what could possibly sustain the book for another 336 pages. It seemed that Stedman had showed her hand too soon. But, I was wrong. For the remainder of the book, Stedman showed me that a decision is not always as it seems. First, she flashes back eight years and fills in the details that brought Tom and Isabel together and to the lighthouse on Janus Rock. This information is not simply backstory. Tom's experiences in World War I and Isabel's experiences as a young wife place their decisions in a different light. With the context in place, we then see what happens next, as shifting circumstances make them see their decision differently as well. While the first half of the book moved a bit slowly, the second half left me breathless. I was lucky to reach this point in the story on a Saturday morning, and by Saturday night I was turning the final page. This is my real world book club's April book, and I have no doubt that there will be some interesting discussion. Stedman constructed a situation in which right and wrong dissolve quickly into shades of gray. It is seldom easy to find a solution to the problems faced by Tom and Isabel. She also does an excellent job of bringing time and place into the story, as each impacts the decisions that are made. I can't say much more without spoiling the story, so I'll simply say that you should read this one for yourself.
  • (4/5)
    M.L. Stedman's debut effort would have earned 5 stars from me had there not been a couple of pivotal plot developments that felt rushed along, but even those lapses could not diminish the raw emotional power the novel held in store.

    Stedman, and her story, are at their very best when she exercises economy of language, trusting the wholeness of her character development to fully inform the reader's empathy, even when the characters are not deserving of it.

    There was a scene at the end of the book that was so emotionally perfect I could scarcely bear to turn the page. I wish I could say more, but trust that it struck such a true and resonating chord within me that I have written down my thoughts in my personal journal.

    The developing buzz on this one drew me to it -- and I am glad I didn't wait any longer to pick it up.
  • (5/5)
    A truly amazing read! I haven't read a book of this calibre in a long time! Once I started reading, it was hard to put down.
  • (5/5)
    The Light Between Oceans by M.L. StedmanI am weeping having just finished this book, one of the longlisted for the Women's Prize. (still Orange Prize to me)Tom, a Veteran of WWI & guilt ridden that he lived through the war when so many did not, has found that he is unable to cope in the world he has returned to. And so he has put in for a post on lighthouses where he will have solitude to ease his mind and soul. He works several relief 'Lights' before being sent to Janus Rock Lighthouse off Partageuse, Australia. The job requires him to be there 24/7 with supply boats coming out every three months and every three years he will have a leave. "For the first time he took in the scale of the view. Hundreds of feet above sea level, he was mesmerized by the drop to the ocean crashing against the cliffs directly below. The water sloshed like white paint, milky-thick, the foam occasionally scraped off long enough to reveal a deep blue undercoat. At the other end of the island, a row of immense boulders created a break against the surf and left the water inside it as calm as a bath. He had the impression he was hanging from the sky, not rising from the earth. Very slowly, he turned a full circle, taking in the nothingness of it all. It seemed his lungs could never be large enough to breathe in this much air, his eyes could never see this much space, nor could he hear the full extent of the rolling, roaring ocean. For the briefest moment, he had no edges."While in Partageuse before heading out to Janus Rock he meets a young lady and they are taken with each other and write back and forth as the supply boats come and go. Within a short time they decide to marry and Isabel joins him out at the lighthouse. She quickly fell in love with the rocky island and all of it's little inlets and coves. Beginning their family, Tom and Izz were so excited but then to be horribly disappointed when she miscarried the child. The babe was buried up on the high cliff and a rosemary bush was planted at the grave. But they didn't give up and soon Isabel was expecting again. It couldn't happen again but sadly it did. The second babe was buried near the first and another rosemary bush planted.They went on, Tom lighting the lamp at night and shutting it off in the morn and keeping the lighthouse and all of it's workings sparkling clean and shiny. Isabel gardened, kept a few chickens and kept busy with the house. Then they found that she was pregnant again. Happy and yet frightening news for Isabel mourned her babes so & wanted one so very badly. This little boy babe she carried for much longer but in the end he was stillborn. She raged at God and tore at her hair, she mourned so. Again the infant son was buried beside his two siblings and another rosemary bush was planted. They tried to go back to life as they knew it but this time it was so different and so much more difficult.Then one day when Isabel was up on the cliffs she thought she heard a baby crying, but surely not. It must be the wind or sea. But then she saw Tom come running out of the Lighthouse and heard him calling for her: A boat, Isabel, a boat! She ran down to him and he helped her as they climbed down the steep path to the sea where there was a small row boat. They could indeed hear a baby crying and could see a man lying in the boat. Tom checked the man for signs of life but he was quite dead. However tucked under the bow he could see a bit of color and there wrapped in a woman's cardigan was a little baby girl crying and very much alive. Isabel took the baby from Tom and it was love at first sight. Tom needed to report the boat, dead man & baby but Izz begged him to wait until morning. His heart sank but he felt so horribly sad for his wife, having just lost their third child two weeks prior, that he gave in. By the next morning she had convinced him that they should bury the man and keep the baby. Obviously the mother had fallen overboard and drowned beings the baby was wrapper in her sweater.No one would know because the supply boat hadn't been since she had lost this last little one.I found this to be an excellent story. I highly recommend it and I rated it 4 1/2 stars.
  • (4/5)
    Beautiful book. Made me cry. Wasn't given a good review on the Book Show but I loved it.
  • (5/5)
    One of the best books I've read so far this year. It will make my top 10. M. L. Stedman is a wonderful storyteller.
  • (2/5)
    I spent most of this book, with the exception of the beginning, angry with most of the characters. Perhaps this is good writing, but I would like to at least like some of the characters in the novels I read. In this case, however, I disagreed with most of the characters' decisions and how they handled the consequences. For example, Isabel is grief stricken over a recent stillbirth when a live baby is found on Janus Rock and she takes the child as a "gift from God." However, even after she and her husband learn the child's mother is still living and hoping for the child's return, Isabel argues to keep the child because, in her view, it's all part of God's plan. While I can understand Isabel's actions, I still feel they are inexcusable and I struggled to feel any kind of sympathy for her character. The main redeeming quality of this book is that finally, by the end, characters do the right thing.
  • (5/5)
    A wonderful story. A childless couple living on an island off Australia discover a boat washed up with a dead man and an infant. The wife wants to keep the baby (having delivered a stillborn 2 weeks previous) and the husband (the lighthouse keeper) relents and says they'll keep it for the night and he'll notify the authories in the morning. The story is about the choices made, justifying those choices and then living with the consequences of the choices. The story is so well told that the reader feels sympathy for all the characters.
  • (4/5)
    Tom and Isabel have a loving marriage and love their life on an isolated lighthouse island off the west coast of Australia. After three unsuccessful pregnancies, Isabel is bereft, and when a newborn infant washes up on their beach, she is convinced that the baby should be theirs. Of course, life is more complicated than that, and theirs takes a tragic turn when their unofficial adoption is discovered.