The Light Between Oceans
My review -
The book is set in Australia after the first World War. Tom, who has had a difficult war, takes up the job of lighthouse keeper as he feel he wants to save lives now. He marries the bright and lively Isobel and they settled on the remote island of Janus – the light between oceans of the title. After two devastating miscarriages and a stillbirth, Izzy is burying her latest dead child when she hears the cry of a baby. A little girl washes up in a small boat with her dead father and her mother’s cardigan and Tom, slave to duty, wants to log it. Izzy wants to bury the father and keep the baby, seeing it as a gift from God. After their three year term, when they get shore leave, they discover that the mother didn’t drown. The choice they made has fulfilled their lives but devastated hers.
This is the most fantastic book and will be one of my books of the year, for which I thank my local book group who chose it. It’s so beautifully written that the reader’s opinion swings from one person’s view to another. The characters are real and their dilemma affects one trusting little girl. It’s a gripping conflict between duty and love, loyalty and honour, and the rights of a blood mother to bring up her own child. Tom and Izzy are in pieces because of their humanitarian choice. It’s a stunning story and I heartily recommend it.