The Light Between Oceans: A Novel

by M.L. Stedman

Scribner | March 5, 2013 | Trade Paperback

The Light Between Oceans: A Novel is rated 4.45945945945946 out of 5 by 37.
This months-long New York Times bestseller 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.

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 352 pages, 8 × 5.25 × 0.8 in

Published: March 5, 2013

Publisher: Scribner

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 1476738084

ISBN - 13: 9781476738086

Found in: Fiction and Literature

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Reviews

Rated 2 out of 5 by from Good book. bad condition. Book was decent but unfortunately i bought this online and a page was ripped and by the time I got to read it I could no longer return it unfortunately.
Date published: 2016-05-21
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Boring I hated this book
Date published: 2016-05-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from beautiful heartbreaking book I loved this book! I felt so much compassion for Isabel & Tom. This book really makes you think about how your actions affect others And it makes you put yourself in the shoes of others, think about how they feel. It also makes you think about the choices you make & why you make them. It was so beautifully written. Can't wait for more from M.L. Stedman. I'm also excited for the movie!
Date published: 2016-05-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from heartbreaking This novel was well written and the story is very compelling. It also pulls on the heart strings for women who can't have children and their pain. There is no neat an tidy solution for this story. It was a tragic novel but one that was a pleasure to read and be a part of feeling the characters sadness.
Date published: 2016-04-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Highly recommended Excellent novel; well written; couldn't stop reading it
Date published: 2016-01-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great book Really enjoyed this book and it's very thought provoking.
Date published: 2015-10-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Intriguing read Very well written and loved the internal struggles of the main characters. Begs the question, what would you do?
Date published: 2015-10-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I loved every minute of this book. When it comes out as a movie. I will be the first in line. I read it over a year ago, and I still talk about it to people who are looking for a good read. I lived all the characters and I was so sad when the book ended. I highly recommend this book.
Date published: 2015-08-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Light Between Oceans A friend recommended this book to me and I'm really glad I listened. The story and characters were interesting and the book had many twists and turns. I loved this book!
Date published: 2015-07-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Really Enjoyable Book I really enjoyed this book, the story was compelling and really caught me up in their lives.
Date published: 2015-05-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Light Between Oceans A great read. It tugged at my heart. Well written with a story line that kept it moving .Did not want to put it down. Was surprised by the ending!
Date published: 2015-03-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent, thought-provoking read Once you get through the first few chapters, which are filled with very important context and background to the overall story, the book is impossible to put down. A truly heart-wrenching story that blurs the line of what society may see as "right" and "wrong". An amazing book! Would be an excellent read for a book club because of the differences in opinion that I am sure would emerge as to you read and relate to certain characters.
Date published: 2015-03-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great read Tom is a lighthouse keeper off the west coast of Australia. He and his wife Isabel find a baby and a dead man washed up on the beach. They bury the man but keep the baby girl a their own. Years later, back on the mainland, Tom hears of a mother who lost her husband and baby and wants to make it right.
Date published: 2015-03-15
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Very good read A heartbreaking story about the love one has for a child. The author did a great job creating sympathy for characters on both sides. I wasn't sure where I wanted the story to go.
Date published: 2015-02-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great book! Very emotional story. It will definitely tug at your heart strings. I couldn't put this book down!!!!
Date published: 2015-01-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing The first couple of chapters were a little slow, but then it really picked up. It was an incredible read. I even cried toward the end.
Date published: 2014-12-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The light between oceans Beautiful book....loved it
Date published: 2014-11-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Light Between the Oceans Emotional and beautiful.
Date published: 2014-10-27
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Ok read... I think I was expecting a bit more from the book...
Date published: 2014-10-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The light between oceans Excellent, made me cry!
Date published: 2014-10-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The Light Between Oceans. This novel presents an interesting twist on a traditional plot. It is Shakespearian in nature. You at time hate and love each character. Great book. I'll tell others not to miss it.
Date published: 2014-09-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Light Between Oceans Loved it....started out a bit slow though...
Date published: 2014-09-08
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Light Between Oceans Loved it....started out a bit slow though...
Date published: 2014-09-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Must read! Awesome book, makes you think about the decisions we make that shape our lives.
Date published: 2014-09-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from poignant This is the kind of book you want to find on a holiday. The characters are so well defined that you sympathize with all of them.
Date published: 2014-08-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The light between two oceans An "I can't put it down read"!!! Nicely done.
Date published: 2014-08-21
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Satisfying. A good read. Couldn't put it down.
Date published: 2014-08-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Such a perfect read! A must read! You really become a part of each character.. feeling their feelings, and so much more! What a lovely tale!
Date published: 2014-08-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent read This novel is rexquisitelt written, full of love and raw emotion and difficult choices. Both a well-worn story and full of new twists, it compels the reader to reflect on the many "what ifs" it evocatively insists cannot, must not be explored. When right and wrong are so intricately interwoven that one is the underbelly of the other, the choices we make seem ineffectual and powerless to make any difference. But they do, and despite the seeming vortex of hopelessness, the currents flow true and straight in the end. A most deserving read.
Date published: 2014-08-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Light Between Oceans This is a beautifully written and incredibly tragic story. Anyone who has ever loved a child, even if she has never lost a child,can identify with the mothers in this story. Each wanting to believe that she knows what is best for the child but in reality, each is looking to the child to complete something in themselves. I will read it again.
Date published: 2014-07-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Light Between Oceans A great book if you're a period piece fan. A balance of ethical duty and passion of the heart: you'll put yourself in the characters' positions over and over again to ask yourself what the right path really is.....
Date published: 2014-07-14
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A quick and interesting read. At first I found it hard to believe I would like this novel but once getting into it I found I had a hard time putting it down. As with many novels I end up enjoying the overall scenery and history of it swept me away. In addition to the scenery and culture though I found I became emotionally linked to the characters. I found myself struggling between Isabel's wants and needs and tom's, which at times seemed in line and at others, totally at odds. It was a slow start for me but once I got a couple of chapters in I couldn't set it down.
Date published: 2014-03-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Magnificent novel What a great gift author ML Stedman has given to readers all over the world with this contribution to English literature. The author's wisdom and emotional intelligence displayed in this novel are only paralleled by her unique ability to bring it to the page with such imagination and an inspired craft of words.  Stedman's literary artistry and her gift to create such vivid imagery with the printed word is truly remarkable.  It is an unforgettable reading experience.
Date published: 2013-12-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Easy reading and beautiful. Once you start, it is hard to put this book away.  You feel like Janus island cornered between two powerful oceans full of emotions.
Date published: 2013-11-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great Story! This book was great. Very visual and appealing. At times it could get slow, but none the less I would recommend it.
Date published: 2013-08-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Light Between Oceans This was one of the best book I have read. A woman who desperately wants to raise kids get the opportunity of rescuing a baby at the ocean. She feels that it was Gods gift and enjoys her motherhood days. But to her dismay she finds that the baby's real mother is alive and struggles to accept that it is not her own child. The author deserves much praise for giving vivid descriptions. It was a poignant and compelling story to read.
Date published: 2013-06-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Moving! The author does a fantastic job of blurring the lines of morality in this tragic tale of two families struggling with loss and longing. A woman desperate to have a child rescues a baby lost at sea and suddenly realizes her dreams of motherhood. Years later when she learns the baby’s mother is alive, she is forced to make a gruelling decision. It will tug at your heart.
Date published: 2013-04-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Incredible Read I absolutely LOVED this book. It drew me in and I could not put it down. The storyline is captivating and thought provoking. Made me think of what I would do if I were put in Tom and Isabel's position. One of the best books I have read recently and I would highly recommend it! It is currently making the rounds at my office because I want everyone to read it!
Date published: 2013-02-27
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Lucy full of Grace I thoroughly enjoyed this story. It was for the most part sad, with some uplifting moments, a story of consequence and conscience, and I cried at the end. What more could you ask for?! This is 100% of what I have come to expect from "Heather's Picks" and I was not disappointed. Tom is a humble and fiercly loyal character; Isabel is at once sassy, strong and intensely protective yet vulnerable; and Hanna is both pitiful and heroic. But the "star" is Lucy, and she is a delight of a character, everyone's motivation, and a treasure. Beautifully written, this is a recommended read!
Date published: 2013-01-25
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Compelling This is a book about the tragedy of loss and how decisions you make can affect others in unimaginable ways. A lighthouse keeper and his wife find a baby in a lifeboat alongside a dead man. They have recently suffered through a third miscarriage and decide to keep the baby as their own, assuming the parents must both be dead. When they take shore leave 2 years later, they learn the truth about the situation and how their decision has affected so many lives. Not the best read this year, but compelling. I did not care for Isabel, but not being a mother myself, I find it difficult to put myself in her shoes.
Date published: 2013-01-16
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A wonderful debut! The Light between Oceans, a debut novel by ML Stedman, takes a look at life in Australia after the First World War. Tom Sherbourne has returned from the Western Front, a shell of the man he once was. Trapped in his loneliness, he takes a position as a Lighthouse Keeper on a remote island called Janus Rock. As the sole inhabitant of the island, he receives seasonal visits from a cargo supply ship, and he travels to Australia’s coast – and to the world of other humans – once every few years. On one such journey, he meets Isabel. She is young and bold, and she decides she wants Tom. Isabel awakens life in Tom, and they quietly marry and return to Janus. But, isolation has its rewards and its greatest price. After three miscarriages, Isabel is desolate and stricken with grief. Until she hears a baby’s cry coming from the beaches below. Could loving a baby, who is not your own, cause any harm? Isabel and Tom will find out. This story touches on themes of love, betrayal, redemption, and sacrifice, and it is the perfect read for historical fiction lovers who like a bit of suspense. Readers who enjoy figuring out what they might do, and who have strong beliefs about what is right and what is wrong will feel Isabel and Tom’s plight.
Date published: 2013-01-10
Rated out of 5 by from Excellent book! Definitely one of the best books I've read in a long time. Could not put this one down. The story really draws you in and raises lots of interesting issues. The characters are excellently written. Would strongly recommend.
Date published: 2013-01-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Highly Recommended The Light Between Oceans is a romance in the truest sense of the word. It is also a novel about choices, loss, lonliness, fear, redemption and forgiveness. It has been a long time since I have enjoyed a novel this much. I think it was the purity of the story that attracted me the most. The author doesn't stoop to sensationalism, sex or violence but rather writes a story that is intreguing enough by itself to keep the reader involved. That is the definition of a true story teller. The sweet romance between Tom and his Izzy is the stuff of legends. It is not a perfect love or a perfect relationship but it is real. From them we learn what loyalty in a marriage should look like. They stick together through devistating loss and one really, really bad choice that will haunt them and change the path of their lives forever. What really pulled this novel from four stars to five was the ending. I cried - and that rarely happens.
Date published: 2012-12-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful story, beautifully crafted I loved this book so much, I selected it for our January book club and we have almost 100 women in our club! The story is about what happens when good people make bad choices for the right reasons. The book takes place in Australia after WW1, the main character becomes a lighthouse keeper who needs a job after the war and wants to be alone to heal. I loved learning about running a lighthouse - the light metaphors throughout the book are dreamy. This is a novel that gets under your skin - I thought about the main characters for months after I read the book.
Date published: 2012-12-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful story I loved this book. Read it in one sitting. Brought a lump to my throat and tears to my eyes. Gave a copy to my mother.
Date published: 2012-12-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from An amazingly great read! I loved this book and could not put it down. From the beginningI was entranced by Stedman's lyrical prose."The rain is falling more heavily, and in the distance, thunder grumbles at being left behind by the lightning". The characters are so real, their journey so tormented. They teach us that to live in yesterday or beyond today is to live a life unfullfilled.
Date published: 2012-11-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Interesting Storyline... I enjoyed this book. It was heartbreaking at times. My heart was torn between Hannah and Isabel and poor little Lucy. And ofcourse there is the betrayal between Isabel and Tom.....begs the question of what is right and wrong in a story like this. It's a very good book....enjoyed it very much!
Date published: 2012-11-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Wonderful, wonderful story! Excellent dilemma of life and death. Encourages us all to live in the moment. Loved the descriptions of life on Janus Island and the light house. Wonderful book and would recommend it to everyone to read.
Date published: 2012-11-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing I purchased this book out of simple curiosity-After all, who would have enough words to describe life in a lighthouse, much less intrigue and suspense. I was hooked from the very first pages and I love the way the author takes us through the pages at the same rhythm as the waves of the ocean, sometimes soft and romantic and other times raging and destructive. His descriptions are so vivid and realistic, they reach deep in your own beliefs about life, caring and family values. I highly recommend it .
Date published: 2012-10-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved this book! I have not read a book like this in ages. I loved all the characters and the theme of the story. You could not hate anyone in the book but you really felt bad for them. Iloved the way it ended, didn't expect it but I also didn't want it to end. Made me cry. Also made me think if i were in the posistion what would I do? I really recommend the book!
Date published: 2012-09-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from "A wonderful debut novel." This exquisitely written debut novel sweeps you into the lives of Tom and Isabel Sherbourne. After WWI, Tom returns to Australia very much alone and deeply marked by what he has seen and done. It comes as a shock when the beautiful Isabel finds him attractive. A proper courtship ensues and before long it is Isabel herself who boldly declares her love for Tom. She willingly leaves her comfortable life to join him on the remote island of Janus Rock in Western Australia where he takes up the post of lighthouse keeper. Her only wish — and his too — is to have lots of children with whom to share their love. But life does not unfold as it should. Isabel experiences a series of miscarriages and most cruelly — a full-term stillborn. She is devastated and inconsolable. And then, a small miracle: a half-destroyed boat is washed ashore carrying a dead man and a softly crying infant. Tom, ever the serious and honorable professional, wants to immediately report the shipwreck but Isabel convinces him that this was meant to be — that likely the baby's mother has drowned and with the father dead, the baby is truly an orphan. Reluctantly Tom acquiesces and they declare to their friends and family back home that finally they have borne a child. Baby Lucy lights up their world and they shower her with the love they so longed to give. And then… the lie of Lucy's birth begins to unravel and Isabel and Tom are forced to deal with moral choices that no parent should ever have to make. This beautiful debut novel by M.L. Stedman will touch your heart deeply. It will move you to tears and it will keep you riveted from first page to the last.
Date published: 2012-08-29

– More About This Product –

The Light Between Oceans: A Novel

The Light Between Oceans: A Novel

by M.L. Stedman

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 352 pages, 8 × 5.25 × 0.8 in

Published: March 5, 2013

Publisher: Scribner

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 1476738084

ISBN - 13: 9781476738086

Read from the Book

Thousands of miles away on the west coast, Janus Rock was the furthest place on the continent from Tom’s childhood home in Sydney. But Janus Light was the last sign of Australia he had seen as his troopship steamed for Egypt in 1915. The smell of the eucalypts had wafted for miles offshore from Albany, and when the scent faded away he was suddenly sick at the loss of something he didn’t know he could miss. Then, hours later, true and steady, the light, with its five-second flash, came into view—his homeland’s furthest reach—and its memory stayed with him through the years of hell that followed, like a farewell kiss. When, in June 1920, he got news of an urgent vacancy going on Janus, it was as though the light there were calling to him.Teetering on the edge of the continental shelf, Janus was not a popular posting. Though its Grade One hardship rating meant a slightly higher salary, the old hands said it wasn’t worth the money, which was meager all the same. The keeper Tom replaced on Janus was Trimble Docherty, who had caused a stir by reporting that his wife was signaling to passing ships by stringing up messages in the colored flags of the International Code. This was unsatisfactory to the authorities for two reasons: first, because the Deputy Director of Lighthouses had some years previously forbidden signaling by flags on Janus, as vessels put themselves at risk by sailing close enough to decipher them; and secondly, because the wife in question was recently deceased.Con
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From the Publisher

This months-long New York Times bestseller 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.

Editorial Reviews

“Sublimely written, poetic in its intensity and frailty…This is a simply beautiful story that deserves the praise and wide audience it’s receiving. A stunning debut from a new voice that I can’t wait to hear again.”