Monday, June 2, 2014

Book Club - The Light Between Oceans


This month’s book for Bon’s Book Club was The Light Between Oceans byM.L. Stedman. Here is the description of the book from Amazon:

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.”

My official stance on this book is that it was….decent. It took a bit of time for me to get into it, but once I did I enjoyed the story.  The end wasn’t really my favorite either though, it just kind of ended.  No feeling or resolution for me. Just that the book was now over.

Based on the description, the book goes pretty much the way you expect it to.  I’m glad I didn’t read the above though, it made the story more of a surprise to me. 

I found myself sympathizing with both women in the story.  The one who found a baby and the one who lost a baby. I could picture myself in either situation, which I like when I read a book.  I like to feel how the characters feel.  

I liked Isabel until the middle of the story when she really turned on her husband.  She was really the one that forced the situation, and then when they were found out she acted like everything was all his fault and made she her took the fall. I know she was angry, but it was surprising to me how quickly she turned on him.

I never really liked Hannah for some reason.  I hurt for her loss, but I hated how she acted when Lucy came back.  She seemed so winey and expectant that everything would magically be perfect again.  I mean, she started calling Lucy Grace right away, any young child would be completely confused by that!

I thought the writing style was a bit too descriptive for my taste. At least, I think.  I can’t put my finger on it, but there was just something that wasn’t “me” in the way the author wrote.  
Overall I guess the book was ok.  I didn’t love it, but I also didn’t hate it.  I think there are plenty of books I would suggest in its place to people, but I am glad I read it.

Next up for Bon’s Book Club is Matilda by Roald Dahl.  I can’t wait!  I re-read the BFG (Big Friendly Giant) a few years ago and loved it.  I am sure I will like this one too.  I have a feeling I will be imagining the little girl from the movie the entire time! 

Have you read The Light Between Oceans? What are your thoughts?

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