The Light Between Oceans: A Novel by M.L. StedmanThe Light Between Oceans: A Novel by M.L. Stedmansticker-burst

The Light Between Oceans: A Novel

byM.L. Stedman

Paperback | March 5, 2013

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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.
Originally from Western Australia, M L Stedman has lived in London for many years, where she worked as a lawyer. She first decided to try creative writing in 1997. In the years that followed she did a few writing courses, and some of her short stories were published in anthologies. The Light Between Oceans is M L Stedman's debut novel,...
Title:The Light Between Oceans: A NovelFormat:PaperbackDimensions:352 pages, 8 × 5.25 × 0.8 inPublished:March 5, 2013Publisher:ScribnerLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1476738084

ISBN - 13:9781476738086

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Date published: 2017-11-09
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Date published: 2017-07-12
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Date published: 2017-07-03
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Date published: 2017-06-26
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Date published: 2017-06-15
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Date published: 2017-05-15
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Date published: 2017-05-15
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Date published: 2017-05-09
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Date published: 2017-05-06
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Disappointed Originally caught my interest as it was self-described as "Harry Potter for adults", but it is really a poor echo of Chronicles of Narnia and Harry Potter combined. I personally think that it tries too hard to be edgy, which backfires and comes off as forced and ridiculous. The characters are flat and the tempo of the story arc feels off, but perhaps some of that can be attributed to its longer timeline as the first of a trilogy. However I will not be continuing with the series.
Date published: 2017-05-06
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A very sad story I felt very emotional for the main characters in this book. Though I accepted the ending, I still felt very sad. Must be read with a box of Kleenex!
Date published: 2017-05-02
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Date published: 2017-04-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Incredible This book was phenomenal, I couldn't put it down, the heart wrenching journey of the characters really envelopes you. I was not ready when I finished the book, I wanted more, though it ended fantasically.
Date published: 2017-04-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A difficult Line... You really feel sorry for the main characters in this story. Half is of you is rooting for the outcome to go in their favour regardless at the expense of another's feelings. And the other half of you, while reading knows that the main character has to "do the right thing". I can't wait to see the movie edition and see if it holds up too this very good book
Date published: 2017-04-05
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Depressing, really, really depressing... I keep waffling between 3 or 4 stars for this.... It is definitely a very interesting book, but holy hell is it ever depressing. Almost too depressing. I think it would have been less depressing if someone would have committed suicide, or if there had been a murder... instead you just have a collection of people faced with truly shitty circumstances. Their perseverance doesn't even inspire you, because even as they carry on living it just feels like giving up. The world they live in is interesting, and I appreciate the insight into post-world-war-one Australia and the impact the war had on people. The life of a lighthouse keeper in that era was also interesting to get a glimpse into, especially such a remote location. Hard to imagine having to live a life of such isolation - no internet, no telephone, no mail really - just very limited means of contacting the mainland in cases of emergency/importance via telegraph I guess and certainly no awareness of what was generally happening with the rest of the world. Get your news every few months with the supply boat, most of it will be old news by then. It is a well written book, and certainly some interesting characters and a thought provoking exploration of human nature and what great emotional trauma can lead a person to. I definitely like the book... but I suppose I can't say I "really like it", since I don't think I could handle reading it again.
Date published: 2017-04-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Heartbreaking Tale This unique story really had me examining how we drift along the continuum of right and wrong in life and can so easily slip past a point we never thought we would cross.
Date published: 2017-03-31
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Really touching A little slow at the beginning but the story is really interesting. Trying to do the right thing in this situation is not always that easy.
Date published: 2017-03-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from wow! I loved it Sometimes its quite hard to write a review for the book. I would say the book didn't capture my interest in the beginning. There were some chapters about the early life of Tom which I found boring but then he met Islabel and together they made their own haven. It is a wonderful story of parent-child relationship and love between husband and a wife - Tom actually stuck to his sickness and in health...he was such a wonderful man. The decisions he made, the sacrifices he did, it all showed how perfect he was. I felt bad for Islabel since she faced so many tragedies and if I were to put myself in her shoes, I would have done same what she did. It kills to see your child slip away from your hands before even coming into the world. The ending was tragic--it had to be because there could be no other ending but I would highly recommend this book.
Date published: 2017-03-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Tissue box needed If you watched the movie, you'll love the book. I read the book and the movie didn't do this justice. Be prepared to cry
Date published: 2017-03-18
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Date published: 2017-03-16
Rated 4 out of 5 by from I loved this! One of the best books i've read!!
Date published: 2017-03-14
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Date published: 2017-03-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One of My Faves! I loved this book so much and I want to read it again and again
Date published: 2017-03-11
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Date published: 2017-03-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautiful and Tragic Well written novel. The characters draw you in an illicit sympathy for all sides. Thought provoking and will stay with you for a long time.
Date published: 2017-03-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A Personal Connection There are a few people in these reviews who have struggled to buy into the idea of a woman being desperate enough to pretend someone else's child was her own. I did not have trouble understanding Isabel's pain and her motivation. She was not a villain but a victim of infertility. I connected with Isabel's emotional struggles and the strain on her marriage. I have also lived the pain of miscarriages and the realization I will never be a mother. This book touched me on a deep level and though I know it is a work of fiction, The emotions are truthful.
Date published: 2017-03-07
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Was excited for this.... I'm probably being generous with a rating of 3 stars. Unfortunately, no book about magicians will ever live up to the mighty HP series. This was a bad mix of Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings and The Chronicles of Narnia that tried way too hard. I'll say that I was definitely interested during the school years at Brakebills, but the author just flew through the story. All of the would-be suspenseful moments happened so nonchalantly. Truthfully, I will likely not continue the series.. But may give the TV show a chance.
Date published: 2017-03-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Read I loved this book. It was a beautiful and heart-breaking story that makes you question what your own actions would be in the given situation. It was a moving and emotional journey, putting you in the shoes of the different characters involved, giving you insight into their choices and behaviour. It would be a great book to discuss in a book club.
Date published: 2017-03-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Truly Moving! Do yourself a favour and read this book before you see the movie, you may never feel the need to watch the movie. I read this book a while ago and I remember sobbing, often! My friend read it and she had the same experience.
Date published: 2017-03-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I loved it!! This was such a great novel, it's a bit more dark than Harry Potter but still interesting.
Date published: 2017-03-01
Rated 3 out of 5 by from I was unsympathetic I enjoyed the quality of writing, which kept me reading. I found the concept of keeping someone else's baby unforgivable and offensive, especially when the main characters became aware of the identity and the suffering of the biological mother.
Date published: 2017-02-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Better than the movie What an amazing heart wrenching story. Enjoyed the book more than the movie!
Date published: 2017-02-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from LOVE I just finished this book and it was GREAT. I would recommend this to anyone and everyone.
Date published: 2017-02-26
Rated 3 out of 5 by from not lasting impression I read this book 6 years ago and now I am watching the tv series... the book didn't give me any lasting impression... I didn't even remotely remember reading while watching the story unfold on the screen... so the writing was a bit flat...
Date published: 2017-02-26
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Great Magic System, Awful Execution of Story I was really intrigued by the magic system of this trilogy. The idea of Material magic I have never seen before. the main character "folds" paper (aka origami) which can be then breathed to life in it's new shape. That's where the good ends. Ceony (what kind of a name is that) is annoying and doesn't have normal reactions to situations (ie attempted murder). I think the idea behind the story was good, but I just couldn't identify with the main character at. all.
Date published: 2017-02-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A classic must-read book! This book lives up to the all the hype. The story is meticulously thought provoking as each character learns about love and loss.
Date published: 2017-02-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Beautiful Sad Story This book made me cry but it was beautiful and a touching, heartbreaking read.
Date published: 2017-02-21
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good but slow The start of the book was very slow and I was tempted to stop reading it because of that. As the book progressed it did pick up and get more intriguing. The concept was interested but overall it was decent.
Date published: 2017-02-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A must read! This is such a great novel, I highly recommend it!
Date published: 2017-02-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Awesome First Book I originally bought this book, for my mother, for Christmas. With the promise of course, that I get to read it after. She said it was a "tear jerker". Yes, I shed many tears at the end. The true emotional journey of this book was breathtaking! We all make difficult decisions in our lives, but this couple had the most difficult of all. M. L. Stedman's characters were so real, you felt like they were long lost relatives by the end. I am so thankful I've read the book, before the movie. My only wish at the end was for a "epilogue". Truly a book you cannot put down!
Date published: 2017-02-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Awesome First Book I originally bought this book, for my mother, for Christmas. With the promise of course, that I get to read it after. She said it was a "tear jerker". Yes, I shed many tears at the end. The true emotional journey of this book was breathtaking! We all make difficult decisions in our lives, but this couple had the most difficult of all. M. L. Stedman's characters were so real, you felt like they were long lost relatives by the end. I am so thankful I've read the book, before the movie. My only wish at the end was for a "epilogue". Truly a book you cannot put down!
Date published: 2017-02-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Awesome First Book I originally bought this book, for my mother, for Christmas. With the promise of course, that I get to read it after. She said it was a "tear jerker". Yes, I shed many tears at the end. The true emotional journey of this book was breathtaking! We all make difficult decisions in our lives, but this couple had the most difficult of all. M. L. Stedman's characters were so real, you felt like they were long lost relatives by the end. I am so thankful I've read the book, before the movie. My only wish at the end was for a "epilogue". Truly a book you cannot put down!
Date published: 2017-02-17
Rated 3 out of 5 by from slow read Not just fan of this book. Don't understand all the fuss about it.
Date published: 2017-02-15
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Slow read I don't like this book. I get the story and how nice it is but it is not just for me.
Date published: 2017-02-15
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Worth the effort. Starkly beautiful of both landscape and prose, this is a lovely book. Haunting and memorable.
Date published: 2017-02-11
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Great plot The story line was intriguing but I still found myself at a loss sometimes as to why a character behaved as they did. It could've used more character development rather than the repetitive reasoning of 'the war.'
Date published: 2017-02-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Book is way better than the movie This book was wonderful. It's a beautiful but sad story that ends up so slow and boring in the movie version, but I never felt that way while reading the book. I loved the main character and the internal struggles he dealt with.
Date published: 2017-02-09
Rated 3 out of 5 by from good read enjoyed this... just skimmed thru this... will one day read more indepth...
Date published: 2017-02-09
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good story This is a really nice story that is well written, it just felt a little lacking, I cannot put my finger on precisely what it was that left me feeling unsatisfied.
Date published: 2017-02-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great book to read I got through the first 2 chapters and i couldnt go on. I stopped reading it( couldn't get into it at all) about a month later i picked it back up and started again. Got through the first couple of chapters and started to get into the book. By the end i was hooked.. It turned out to be a very great book
Date published: 2017-02-06
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Subpar Read this book a few months ago with some high expectations after reading some reviews, the book didn't live up to those expectations as I didn't enjoy it at all really. There wasn't a real connection to the characters and the story was uninspiring.
Date published: 2017-02-05
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Great idea, sloppy execution It's possible that what I was just looking for the wrong thing from this book. I wanted to love it because the magic of this world could have been so good. It could have been glorious. But the writing of the story was sloppy and it took away from the enjoyment of the book. Nevertheless, it was entertaining. Read it on a day you're too tired for anything remotely intense, or while zoning out an 8am lecture (as I was).
Date published: 2017-02-02
Rated 3 out of 5 by from the light between oceans I liked it a lot in the beginning, but then the narrative started getting a bit repetitive. It's a beautiful story, but I think I had my expectations set too high for it
Date published: 2017-02-02
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Predictable and flimsy plot with flat, boring characters I was so excited to read this due to the reviews and synopsis that made it sound like a good mystery-meets-drama novel. In reality, it was neither of those things. The "mystery" was completely predictable, the characters were flat, boring, annoying and had zero development, and the entire plot was implausible and ridiculous (the ending was just flat-out not realistic). The author tried too hard to make this a "period piece", and it missed the mark by a long shot. The only enjoyable aspect was the setting, which was more developed than the characters or even the storyline. In sum: a real disappointment.
Date published: 2017-02-01
Rated 1 out of 5 by from BOOO after all the amazing reviews I was so excited to read this book.... it was such a let down.. I was anger most of the time I was reading it
Date published: 2017-01-31
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Really enjoyed I found this book very interesting , a little unusual. I like the fact that it as not predictable.
Date published: 2017-01-27
Rated 3 out of 5 by from I found it a struggle When asked what I thought about this book I am always hesitant on an answer. I spent most of my time reading it angry and frustrated with the characters. I think it was our conflicting morals that made this book such a struggle for me. That being said it was a book that made me feel something. Gave me the chance to look at myself, my morals, and my beliefs, and come away with a better sense of Me. Though I wont be adding this book to my re-read list, I do have to say that the mark of a good book isn't always one of "I Loved It!" but sometimes just something that resonates with you. And this book did that.
Date published: 2017-01-27
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Definitely recommend this It really is an adult version of Harry Potter - if HP was depressed and drank way too much with his other psychologically unstable friends. Despite that underwhelming statement, it is actually hilarious and ingenious. I would definitely recommend it (and I surprisingly also enjoyed the TV series).
Date published: 2017-01-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Slow to Start, but worth sticking with! I found this book difficult to get into at first, and even put it down for a couple of months before picking it back up. Once I did, I wasn't able to put it down. Definitely worth sticking with to the end!
Date published: 2017-01-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from An Aboslute Must I loved this book. Could not put it down and was so sad when it ended. You could feel both sides of the story and wonder yourself, what would you do?
Date published: 2017-01-16
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Melancholy “He wasn't surprised. He was used to this anticlimactic feeling, where by the time you've done all the work to get something you don't even want it anymore.” I had been recommended this book by a friend who has similar tastes in other forms of entertainment, but not often in books, so I was a little hesitant to start this book. The idea that it was an adult Narnia world gave me this expectation that there would be a lot of magic and wonder, but with adults. What I got was the depressing reality that is Quentin Coldwater's life before he knows about magic, and then the depressing reality that is Quentin's life when he is trying to master magic, and then the depressing reality that is Quentin's life after school. This is one melancholy book! Despite the melancholy, The Magicians creates a magical world right in the midst of the United States, that is separate from the masses, but is essentially just apart of normal life. That is a really cool way of placing the magic in such a tangible sort of way. We get to follow Quentin as he gets accepted to this modern magical school, Brakebills, and navigates love, sex, addiction, and magic. He struggles along until discovering that his childhood fantasy world in the books he loves, is actually real. The contrast of modern wizarding school against the backdrop of Fillory is an interesting addition to story, since it's not as fantastical as Quentin had hoped it to be. The characters are forced to confront darkness and terrible things, and sacrifices are made. The story is compelling and seductive for a time, and then it's back to being depressing and stark. “…and the rest of his life lay in front of him like a barren, meaningless postscript.” I am still interested to know where Lev Grossman will be going with the story, so I wait in anticipation of when I can get book 2!
Date published: 2017-01-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I didn't want it to end! I absolutely loved this book! The main character Tom is such a complex person with so many layers. The love story intertwined with the baby story makes for an emotional read. I read the last quarter in one sitting. The story is beautifully written and moved me to tears.
Date published: 2017-01-14
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Slow burning This book is beautiful. The heartbreak in it is very moving and the actions of characters seems very real. It was very slow and at times I was bored but looking back on a while it was amazing #plumreview
Date published: 2017-01-14
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Wow I enjoyed this book much more than I thought I would after reading the first few chapters. It gets very emotionally intense in its last third, and believably so. The author has amazing psychological insight. It has some profane language, which for me, prevented it from getting 5 stars, along with it's slow beginning.
Date published: 2017-01-14
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Not my thing I'm not entirely sure what I thought. I've never read something quite like this before. I feel like it didn't have a great resolution or ending and, that in the absence of a happy ending, there ought to have been some larger, deeper meaning, but that if there was one, I somehow missed it. It was thought-provoking and entirely new, as well as painstakingly researched and shockingly honest about its subject and world, but I didn't really like it.
Date published: 2017-01-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from i loved this I loved this book so much. I cried at the end.
Date published: 2017-01-11
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Didn't enjoy this The story line for this book was ridiculous. It was the equivalent of a romance movie that I wouldn't watch in book form. It was a silly story line and a sillier ending.
Date published: 2017-01-11
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Beautifully written This book was heartbreaking and sad but so very well written. Well worth the read. #plumreview
Date published: 2017-01-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Heart breaking Received this book as a gift, there's beautiful romances, heartbreaks, an emotional roller coaster, a must read. Was sad about the ending as I myself as a child went though a similar situation.
Date published: 2017-01-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from loving this I haven't finished this one yet but I am loving it. I can not put it down!
Date published: 2017-01-07
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Disappointing ending This book was very enjoyable to read, however I was disappointed with the ending.
Date published: 2017-01-05
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Disappointing I was really disappointed in this book. It has a compelling idea behind it but missing the mark when it comes to an engaging plot. The characters are dull and I found myself not invested in the fate of any of them. #plumreview
Date published: 2017-01-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from good read AMAZING read! a real book you wont be able to put down
Date published: 2017-01-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Just heartbreaking I couldn't put it down, and I didn't want it to end. Just a wonderful read.
Date published: 2017-01-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from must read From start to finish this book draws you in and leaves you emotionally attached
Date published: 2017-01-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Love it! I love this book, can not wait to see the movie!
Date published: 2017-01-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great story! Beautiful story.....draws you into their lives and causes you to really think about why people make the choices they make.
Date published: 2017-01-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Good Story, Bittersweet You'll get emotionally caught up in this book. Couldn't put it down.
Date published: 2017-01-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Heart Wrenching Loved this story. Not your average read, SO interesting. Leaves you not knowing how to feel.
Date published: 2017-01-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Such a good read! This book makes you understand how people can make choices that you wouldn't understand if just told about it.
Date published: 2016-12-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Get the tissue A great story of why people sometimes make the choices they do. You probably won't agree but you will defiantly sympathize with them. #plumreview
Date published: 2016-12-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Sometimes getting your heart broken is a beautiful thing. This novel was stunning from beginning to end. It was compelling, emotional and nearly infuriating. Sometimes a book makes you wonder why you put yourself through so much heartache, this is one of those books. Still, masochist or not, it's a worthy read.
Date published: 2016-12-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Standout Novel! Great novel with a heartbreaking story. I'm really looking forward to seeing the movie and highly recommend the novel as well!
Date published: 2016-12-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Beautiful imagery, Heartbreaking story This took me so long to read as I kept putting it down throughout the end of this hectic semester but I'm very glad I found the time to read this novel. The Light Between Oceans was an incredibly beautiful and heartbreaking story about love and loss and it constantly had me rethinking my own morality. Stedman's debut novel was filled with so much beautiful imagery I found myself transported to Janus with the characters and all the stunning corners of the island and sea. The only thing that truly haltered my experience with this book was that it had a lack of flow, continuity and commitment to past or present tense. Because of that, it was not a novel I couldn't put down but whenever I picked it up I was happy to be reintroduced to the wonderful characters and absolutely tragic story.
Date published: 2016-12-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from As good as everyone says! Though I love reading, I'm not too good with words. Nevertheless, this book deserves the effort. As many others have said, the beginning is quite slow. I almost decided not to go forward with the rest of it, but there were too many good reviews and the little blurb on the flap was too tempting to put it down. So I plowed through it and, as I suspected, it got very interesting and engaging. There are very few books that keep me thinking about them and agonizing over them well after I'm done reading, but this book did exactly there. All of the characters are likable, in some aspect, and you find yourself sympathizing with them all, especially the poor little girl caught in the middle. Definitely heart-wrenching all the way to the end. There was no obvious way the story would go and, though I kind of hoped it would end another way, I completely understand why it ended the way it did. Didn't keep it from tearing apart my heart, though. Absolutely brilliant read, once you get past the slow beginning, with so many marvelous characters and so many possibilities of how the story will go. You will become very emotionally invested in this one, be prepared to think about it a lot afterwards.
Date published: 2016-12-21
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great read As others have said it was a bit slow in the beginning but once the story began to unravel, was hard to put down.
Date published: 2016-12-21
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Just okay- A bit Boring This book was really weird. It's essentially a mix of Harry Potter and Narnia, but a more darker version. It was pretty good but it was just way too long.I understand how this book follows Q throughout his college life and after that but it didn't have to be this long. Plus the tiny font was annoying. This book was also trying to make Julia seem more important than she is (atleast in the first book) , I liked Alice better.
Date published: 2016-12-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Years later, I am still thinking about this book! So well written with so much authenticity given to each character that though each character makes some eye-popping choices, as a reader, you understand exactly why each one felt the need to do that. Their actions are true to their character. A gripping, heart-wrenching, lovely story about love, loss and family. It will have you thinking long after you close the cover.
Date published: 2016-12-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Interesting The beginning was kind of slow going for me as I kept putting the book down. But it soon turned interesting and I really liked it
Date published: 2016-12-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Slow start but loved it I bought this before going to Australia on holiday, and actually was in the area that the book discusses, so that was really cool! I found the beginning boring and hard to get into, but after some more things happen, I found it really interesting and thought a lot about what I would do in these situations. Overall I really liked it!
Date published: 2016-12-15
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Decent satire, messy book So my issues with this: satirizing magical school/fantasy but draws almost exclusively on Narnia/Harry Potter with seemingly no other referentiality, so it leans on those hard (it does decently with them, but still); Quentin is absolutely loathsome as a protagonist, sorry not sorry; has some interesting images/ideas but speeds through time way too quickly. Nah. #plumreview
Date published: 2016-12-12
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Pass on this one #plumreview The whole premise of this book had me so excited, but the delivery kind of fell flat. The second and third books are a bit better but unless you're committed to reading the whole trilogy, I'd avoid this one. It tries a little too hard to be more 'real' than Harry Potter but it loses the magic (not the magic that is in the book, but the magic of being swept away by a tale of fantasy) as a result.
Date published: 2016-12-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great book A great read and such a heartbreaking story for everyone involved.
Date published: 2016-12-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing Read! Could not put down! Was hard to get into it a first, but once i did I was hooked! This book hits you right in the heart.
Date published: 2016-12-06
Rated 4 out of 5 by from So good! An easy read that keeps you wanting to turn page after page.
Date published: 2016-12-03
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Not bad. A different plot that led to an interesting read, but somehow I felt unsatisfied by the end of it. I simply wasn't a fan of the ending.
Date published: 2016-12-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Thoroughly enjoyable After reading this book I am not sure I even want to see a movie based on it so not to ruin the whole impression. Heartbreaking story, hard to take your mind off it, beautifully written.
Date published: 2016-12-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The Light Between Oceans This heart-wrenching story encourages the readers step into the shoes of the characters and ask themselves, "What would I do?". I didn't find this book as achingly slow as others, but it is certainly not a fast-paced novel of action.
Date published: 2016-12-01
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Loved this book I absolutely loved this book. The stories and emotions of each character felt so real, the reader could really feel their joy and anguish.
Date published: 2016-12-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Really good book! I really enjoyed this book!
Date published: 2016-12-01
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Slow Pace Like others have mentioned the story unfolds at a slow pace. The psychology around what people are willing to do for love and the going ons of a small town are interesting. However, I found myself rushing to just see how it would end as the story started to become repetitive with lack of action.
Date published: 2016-11-30
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Mixed Emotions This story was gripping; and definitely played on the heartstrings for a number of different characters. This story also left me frustrated at some points due to the actions of some. In the end, I couldn’t quite get over those frustrations.
Date published: 2016-11-28
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Enjoyable I liked this story and found it enjoyable. It made me wonder what I would do in that situation. Not the greatest book ever, but good!
Date published: 2016-11-27
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Slow and predictable This book was slow and predictable. I felt like I had read 60 pages without much happening. I did not find the characters to be likeable or engaging, which was especially disappointing because I knew how it would end after the initial set-up. Maybe it will translate better to the screen? #plumreview
Date published: 2016-11-23
Rated 3 out of 5 by from devastating This book is haunting. I really was devastated by the love that endured between the two characters. What would you have done??
Date published: 2016-11-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great Book I loved this series and while this book was good the rest of them are better. I found the story and characters were good but that the plot moved very fast. It almost seems like it wanted to just get parts out of the way. It slows down once you get into the next ones.
Date published: 2016-11-22
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Mildly Entertaining This book was just ok. The characters are somewhat interesting, the writing is decent and the world building is pretty good. The romantic aspect is a bit of a cop out.
Date published: 2016-11-21
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Predictable Ending Although the ending was predicting, I enjoyed following their characters as they wrestled with their emotions and morals. I do not agree with many of the decisions the characters made, but it was interesting to see where their initial attitudes and actions would lead them.
Date published: 2016-11-21
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Drawn out Harry Potter/Narnia Satire I bought this book hoping it would get me back into the 'modern fantasy' genre, and while it was entertaining it didn't really live up to the 'Harry Potter for adults' reviews I had read before purchasing. The first book didn't really grab my attention well enough to continue reading the rest of the series. If you like the trope of 'normal guy finds out he has magic powers' then you'll find this book entertaining, however be prepared for it to be contrived in a way that borders on satire of the whole genre.
Date published: 2016-11-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great book! I enjoyed this one. I really felt for the wife character in the story. I haven't seen the movie yet but I don't think it can come close to how much I enjoyed this book. Movies are never as good as their books!
Date published: 2016-11-15
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Heartbreaking This was an enjoyable book - although quite heartbreaking by the end of it. It tells a unique story that allows for discussions with others afterwards as to what you would do in the main couple's situation. With that said, this can be a divisive book if you do not empathize with the main characters' actions - but for most, including myself, it is a good read.
Date published: 2016-11-15
Rated 2 out of 5 by from So mad! I so wanted to enjoy this book, but found that I was angry the entire time i was reading it. poor choices all around Ugh
Date published: 2016-11-15
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Tough read Tough read because of the decisions made and consequences. Was slow moving and at times lost interest.
Date published: 2016-11-14
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Hard Choices I read this because the movie was being released this year and I wanted to see what all the hype was about. This is a very sad, yet wonderful novel about the choices we make and how it impacts others. The pain these characters felt was almost unbearable at times, but it shows that the "right" decision may not be easiest, but in order to move forward, the only option for everyone.
Date published: 2016-11-14
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Started off slow but turned into a heartbreaking but good read. Wow! This book started off really slow and I was close to putting it down without planning to finish it but I am so, so, so glad that I did not give up on this wonderful, beautiful, heartbreaking story. The predicament of this story and the lives it affects is massively tragic and highly unfortunate and that is an understatement in my eyes. All the people that it affects are good and innocent and yet they are forced to make such hard and devastating decisions and live in such suffering. It's an intriguing and heartbreaking insight into our decisions, how mysterious and seemingly unforgiving life can be, and how those decisions affect other people; other good people. It is one of those stories involving a situation where if I or someone I knew were in it in any of these characters' positions, I wouldn't know what to do. At all. I felt for all of the characters and wondered what the ending to this book could possibly be as I did not see a happy ending for all of them no matter what way it turned out. My personal opinion on how it ended is a bit uncertain; I think I'm leaning towards bitter sweet. It didn't make me angry but it did make my heart clench with such sadness.
Date published: 2016-11-13
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Interesting #plumreview The characters were interesting and came together in different ways. Unique story.
Date published: 2016-11-12
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Heartbreaking, yet beautful I bought this book thinking I could save some money over having to buy a ticket to the movie. Well, now I'm spending money on the ticket because I loved this book! While slow to start, I really became involved with the characters and their hardships. It has been a long while since a book made me feel the emotions I felt while reading this.
Date published: 2016-11-10
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Slow to start Almost gave up on this book. It was very slow to start and a bit boring but stuck with it and it turned around just about 1/4 way through. Good story overall. #plumreview
Date published: 2016-11-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Not bad for a Romance It was hard to get into and it took too long to move onto the next story. The story is quite nice, the setting descriptions could have been better.
Date published: 2016-11-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Different This book was in my opinion a little hard to start up, I didn't find much action at the beginning. But once the story line picked up, it was hard not to know what would happen. Great way to see the 2 different perspective!
Date published: 2016-11-09
Rated 3 out of 5 by from It Gets Better I really struggled to like this book at first, my boyfriend listened to the audio book and absolutely loved it. I didn't pick it up until it was chosen for my bookclub and I had a really hard time with the first half of it. I didnt really like the main character (Quentin) - I found him very annoying and I found the book jumped around a lot, it covers almost 5 years in like 300 pages - huge gaps. I almost gave up on it but my boyfriend convinced me to finish it and read the other two in the trilogy and I am glad I did. I recommend this book if only so you can get to the third one. #plumreview
Date published: 2016-11-09

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.Considerable correspondence on the subject was generated in triplicate between Fremantle and Melbourne, with the Deputy Director in Fremantle putting the case for Docherty and his years of excellent service, to a Head Office concerned strictly with efficiency and cost and obeying the rules. A compromise was reached by which a temporary keeper would be engaged while Docherty was given six months’ medical leave.“We wouldn’t normally send a single man to Janus—it’s pretty remote and a wife and family can be a great practical help, not just a comfort,” the District Officer had said to Tom. “But seeing it’s only temporary… You’ll leave for Partageuse in two days,” he said, and signed him up for six months.There wasn’t much to organize. No one to farewell. Two days later, Tom walked up the gangplank of the boat, armed with a kit bag and not much else. The SS Prometheus worked its way along the southern shores of Australia, stopping at various ports on its run between Sydney and Perth. The few cabins reserved for first-class passengers were on the upper deck, toward the bow. In third class, Tom shared a cabin with an elderly sailor. “Been making this trip for fifty years—they wouldn’t have the cheek to ask me to pay. Bad luck, you know,” the man had said cheerfully, then returned his attention to the large bottle of over-proof rum that kept him occupied. To escape the alcohol fumes, Tom took to walking the deck during the day. Of an evening there’d usually be a card game belowdecks.You could still tell at a glance who’d been over there and who’d sat the war out at home. You could smell it on a man. Each tended to keep to his own kind. Being in the bowels of the vessel brought back memories of the troopships that took them first to the Middle East, and later to France. Within moments of arriving on board, they’d deduced, almost by an animal sense, who was an officer, who was lower ranks; where they’d been.Just like on the troopships, the focus was on finding a bit of sport to liven up the journey. The game settled on was familiar enough: first one to score a souvenir off a first-class passenger was the winner. Not just any souvenir, though. The designated article was a pair of ladies’ drawers. “Prize money’s doubled if she’s wearing them at the time.”The ringleader, a man by the name of McGowan, with a mustache, and fingers yellowed from his Woodbines, said he’d been chatting to one of the stewards about the passenger list: the choice was limited. There were ten cabins in all. A lawyer and his wife—best give them a wide berth; some elderly couples, a pair of old spinsters (promising), but best of all, some toff’s daughter traveling on her own.“I reckon we can climb up the side and in through her window,” he announced. “Who’s with me?”The danger of the enterprise didn’t surprise Tom. He’d heard dozens of such tales since he got back. Men who’d taken to risking their lives on a whim—treating the boom gates at level crossings as a gallop jump; swimming into rips to see if they could get out. So many men who had dodged death over there now seemed addicted to its lure. Still, this lot were free agents now. Probably just full of talk.The following night, when the nightmares were worse than usual, Tom decided to escape them by walking the decks. It was two a.m. He was free to wander wherever he wanted at that hour, so he paced methodically, watching the moonlight leave its wake on the water. He climbed to the upper deck, gripping the stair rail to counter the gentle rolling, and stood a moment at the top, taking in the freshness of the breeze and the steadiness of the stars that showered the night.Out of the corner of his eye, he saw a glimmer come on in one of the cabins. Even first-class passengers had trouble sleeping sometimes, he mused. Then, some sixth sense awoke in him—that familiar, indefinable instinct for trouble. He moved silently toward the cabin, and looked in through the window.In the dim light, he saw a woman flat against the wall, pinned there even though the man before her wasn’t touching her. He was an inch away from her face, with a leer Tom had seen too often. He recognized the man from belowdecks, and remembered the prize. Bloody idiots. He tried the door, and it opened.“Leave her alone,” he said as he stepped into the cabin. He spoke calmly, but left no room for debate.The man spun around to see who it was, and grinned when he recognized Tom. “Christ! Thought you were a steward! You can give me a hand, I was just—”“I said leave her alone! Clear out. Now.”“But I haven’t finished. I was just going to make her day.” He reeked of drink and stale tobacco.Tom put a hand on his shoulder, with a grip so hard that the man cried out. He was a good six inches shorter than Tom, but tried to take a swing at him all the same. Tom seized his wrist and twisted it. “Name and rank!”“McKenzie. Private. 3277.” The unrequested serial number followed like a reflex.“Private, you’ll apologize to this young lady and you’ll get back to your bunk and you won’t show your face on deck until we berth, you understand me?”“Yes, sir!” He turned to the woman. “Beg your pardon, Miss. Didn’t mean any harm.”Still terrified, the woman gave the slightest nod.“Now, out!” Tom said, and the man, deflated by sudden sobriety, shuffled from the cabin.“You all right?” Tom asked the woman.“I—I think so.”“Did he hurt you?”“He didn’t…”—she was saying it to herself as much as to him—“he didn’t actually touch me.”He took in the woman’s face—her gray eyes seemed calmer now. Her dark hair was loose, in waves down to her arms, and her fists still gathered her nightgown to her neck. Tom reached for her dressing gown from a hook on the wall and draped it over her shoulders.“Thank you,” she said.“Must have got an awful fright. I’m afraid some of us aren’t used to civilized company these days.”She didn’t speak.“You won’t get any more trouble from him.” He righted a chair that had been overturned in the encounter. “Up to you whether you report him, Miss. I’d say he’s not the full quid now.”Her eyes asked a question.“Being over there changes a man. Right and wrong don’t look so different any more to some.” He turned to go, but put his head back through the doorway. “You’ve got every right to have him up on charges if you want. But I reckon he’s probably got enough troubles. Like I said—up to you,” and he disappeared through the door.

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.”