Book Review: The Light Between Oceans
Like the Lighthouse Keeper in "The Light Between the Oceans," Many People Find Solace Near the Ocean After Traumatic Experiences
In the years after World War I, soldiers returned to their home countries by the thousands, after witnessing the death and destruction of "The Great War." Many of these young men suffered from overwhelming depression and post-traumatic stress syndrome, although that term was not coined until decades later.
The beautiful, debut novel, "The Light Between Oceans," by M.L. Stedman, tells the personal journey of one of these devastated men. Tom is a former soldier who now feels isolated and uncomfortable around his countrymen and, as a result, chooses to go to work as a lighthouse keeper on a remote island off the coast of Australia. Eventually, during his infrequent visits to the mainland, he falls in love and marries a fun, high-spirited girl and brings her to live on the remote island with him.
As the story unfolds, life for the young couple gradually changes from being joyful and light-hearted to heavy and malignant as Isabel suffers miscarriage after miscarriage ... alone and without medical care. Then, one day, a boat drifts ashore carrying the dead body of a man and an very alive, adorable baby girl.
Life is joyful again ... but there are consequences to their decision not to tell anyone that the baby they found is not really their own.
Our women's book club read this book recently and found the characters to be people that we really cared about. In fact, we loved Tom, Isabel, the child Lucy and the other characters ... despite the fact that the adults made some very poorly thought out, hurtful decisions.
We couldn't help but grieve when they grieved and feel sympathy for them when they struggled with the moral issues that seemed so overwhelming at times. The characters are fragile, weak and incredibly human, overwhelmed by their own demons, and you will find yourself wishing that everything could turn out well for everyone in the story ... and knowing in your heart that someone is going to be terribly hurt.
I highly recommend this book for anyone who loves great literature ... because I believe this book is going to be considered a classic in years to come.
You Can Purchase This Book from Amazon
This was a beautiful, moving and very thought-provoking novel that dealt with a number of universal issues ... post-traumatic stress syndrome, honesty, love and integrity.
More Thoughts on "The Light Between Oceans"
"The Light Between Oceans," has now been made into a major motion picture which is being released in the fall of 2016. However, I highly recommend that you read the book prior to seeing the movie because most movies, out of necessity, leave out large portions of novels, and this one is well worth reading in its entirety.
Although our book club reads many books each year, the novel featured in this article is one that we particularly enjoyed and found to be memorable. We often refer back to it in our discussions of other books because it still sheds light on other books that we are discussing!
The book is available in both traditional hardback or paperback books as well as for the Kindle, since members of our book club enjoy different ways of reading.
While I have never been to war or lived in a country during a time when a war was going on around me, many of the experiences that the people go through in this book are situations that anyone can identify with.
People experience a variety of types of trauma in their lives and these events can have a significant effect on us for the rest of our lives. This book is well-written and very thought-provoking.
If you have read "The Light Between Oceans," what did you think?
Please feel free to share your opinion about any of these books in the comment section below. In addition, are there other books that you think should be part of this collection? I'll always be happy to add a few more, or write a new review, if readers believe I have missed a great novel that should be included.
Thanks for your input!