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The Light Between Oceans

by M.L.Stedman

Reviewed by Merridy Rady on March 17, 2013

M.L. Stedman has written a captivating first novel. The evocative setting on a lighthouse island off the coast of Western Australia sets the scene for an intriguing drama where decisions made in a moment, lead to tragic and devastating consequences for the characters and those living in the coastal township of Partageuse.
Tom Sherbourne has returned from the war physically unscathed but the churning memories remain of his time in the trenches and of the men who died there. He is a strong, quiet man who is looking for release and a new start. A position as lighthouse keeper on Janus Rock seems like a Godsend to him. This windswept, isolated island offers Tom the ideal place to recoup and build a new life. Isabel lives in Partageuse with her parents. The two are drawn to each other after a chance meeting and despite a ten year age difference, they marry and move to the Rock. They love their years on the island but tragic events alter the course of their lives forever. The author explores through her characters, how the decisions that we make have wide reaching effects and can cause heartbreak and misery for those around us. It is a well constructed and interesting story that captures a time in our history when people’s lives have been turned upside down and everyone has had to make adjustments. Stedman’s study of decisions we make based on our emotional responses to the events in our lives, provides a strong basis for this book and alludes to our human frailties and vulnerability.

Publisher: Random House Australia
Year published: 2012
Merridy Rady‘s rating: 9 out of 10

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