5 of 5 stars!
The Light Between Oceans is a phenomenal story about a lighthouse keeper and his wife. The book starts with the fateful event where a boat washes up with a dead man and live baby girl. Then the story skips back (Part 1) and tells about Tom’s life before he met Isabel and shows their love story leading up to the “main event”. Some people say the book started off slow for them, but I felt like the beginning was necessary because you really get to know Tom and Isabel – Tom is a genuine, gentle, determined man who has been through hard times and would do anything for his wife, and Isabel is a very lively, stubborn woman who would do anything for a child after having trouble with miscarriages and stillbirth.
It almost feels like fate that a baby washed up, but Tom always feels an uneasiness about going along with Isabel’s wish to keep her. Part 2 of the book concentrates on Tom trying to reconcile his love for the child with his inner turmoil. Then Part 3 describes the drama after they are found out and the consequences for all involved.
The story is very steady and extremely well written. There are so many profound quotes.. I found myself having to get up and find another book mark quite often. Here are some of my favorites:
You could kill a bloke with rules… And yet sometimes they are what stood between a man and savagery, between man and monster.
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.
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.
The character development is just oozing with goodness. I found myself so frustrated and angry with Isabel at times but realized that it’s because the writing is so great. You just get so invested in the characters and so drawn into the story. The plot is so constantly unfolding that it’s hard to put down.
I didn’t agree with every decision that the characters made, but that’s the point of this story.. that the lines between right and wrong are not always clear, and that good people don’t always do good things- and regardless there are consequences. Therefore, I thought the ending was perfectly chosen.
Sidenote: I feel like this book completely embodies the story of the song The Lighthouse’s Tale by Nickel Creek. I can’t help wondering if that could be where the author found some inspiration.
I am a lighthouse, worn by the weather and the waves.
I keep my lamp lit, to warn the sailors on their way.
I’ll tell a story, paint you a picture from my past.
I was so happy, but joy on this life seldom lasts.
And the waves crashing around me, the sand slips out to sea.
And the winds that blow remind me, of what has been, and what can never be.
And since I’m wholeheartedly obsessed with Nickel Creek, this being my favorite song of theirs, it makes me love this book even more.
I ABSOLUTELTY cannot wait for M.L. Stedman’s next book!