Gina’s Review: The Light Between Oceans by M. L. Stedman

The Light Between Oceans

The Light Between Oceans 
written by M. L. Stedman
published by Scribner, 2012

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble (Nook) (print), Amazon, iBooksBook Depository, Goodreads

Did I enjoy this book: Yes.

I started out thinking I would hate it. This book is not fluffy kittens and rainbows; I had a good ugly cry. Any couple that has suffered from infertility and loss of a child, or anyone with a heart, will get emotional reading this book. I sat in bed questioning my parenting and myself. Would I do the same things? Is it wrong? Is it right? Ultimately what I got out of this novel is that love drives us to do all sorts of things. Loss can cause us to feel pain like we have never felt and drive us to live a life we never thought possible.



“When it comes to their kids, parents are all just instinct and hope. And fear.”



Would I recommend it: Yes, I would.


About the book – from Goodreads: 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 and shore leaves are granted every other year at best, 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, whose records as a lighthouse keeper are meticulous and whose moral principles have withstood a horrific war, wants to report the man and infant immediately. But Isabel has taken the tiny baby to her breast. 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.

M. L. Stedman’s mesmerizing, beautifully written novel seduces us into accommodating Isabel’s decision to keep this “gift from God.” And we are swept into a story about extraordinarily compelling characters seeking to find their North Star in a world where there is no right answer, where justice for one person is another’s tragic loss.

The Light Between Oceans is exquisite and unforgettable, a deeply moving novel.




  1. I loved this book, too. It resonated as few books do. Mesmerizing is a perfect way to describe the author’s writing.

    • It makes you think about life and the legacy you leave behind. The pressure sometimes of being a woman and the pressure to have children. It’s also a look at how guilt makes us reason with ourselves. This book has so many layers. I’m so glad that you enjoyed the book.

  2. Read this for my book club. We were debating about various things. I liked the book though.

  3. This book has been on my kindle for quite a while–I seriously need to read it. Your review is edging it ever closer…I love these kind of novels!


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