I just finished “The Light Between Oceans,” by M.L. Stedman, easily the best book I’ve read this year. Beautifully written. I understand it’s an Oprah Book Club selection.
The book is set in Australia, mostly on Janus Rock, a remote island with a lighthouse–a captivating context. We learn all about lighthouses and how they work. The lighthouse keeper, Tom, is a former soldier in the Great War, a war hero. He meets a woman, Izzy, they marry, and they move to Janus Rock. Then one day a rowboat washes ashore carrying a baby girl. They decide to raise the child as their own…and things get complicated.
I went to the Espresso Gallery coffeeshop to read the last 75 pages. With 5 pages to go, the tears were welling up, and I knew it would only escalate. Being a guy of the old-school variety, I quickly closed my Nook and hustled out of the place. I decided it would be better to drive home and read the final few pages there. It was a good decision.
This is Stedman’s first book. I’ll be looking for future titles by her.
I was trying to think of other novels I’ve read that were set in Australia. I could think of only two: “The Thornbirds” and “On the Beach.” Add “The Light Between Oceans,” and you’ve got a pretty fabulous trio of books.Leave a comment