Tag Archives: Family

Review: The Light Between Oceans

The Light Between Oceans

The Light Between Oceans
By M.L. Stedman
(Scribner, Hardcover, 9781451681734, July 2012, 352pp.)

The Short of It:

An impossible situation set in a beautiful and captivating setting. A story of love and loss. It left me breathless.

The Rest of It:

After four, very long years fighting on the Western Front, Tom Sherbourne returns to Australia a different man. After what he’s seen, what he needs is a total break from reality and he finds it in a position as a lighthouse keeper on Janus Rock. For a while it’s just him and the lighthouse and he likes it that way. But after being ashore only a few times and his only contact being the supply boat that comes every six months, he begins to wonder what it would be like to share his life with someone else.

Isabel is a bold, adventurous young woman and after a few chance encounters with Tom, it’s clear to both of them that there is more than just a friendship there. But what concerns Tom is life on the island itself. Will Isabel be able to adapt to the harsh weather? Will she be able to deal with the isolation? But she assures Tom that they will be happy, and they are but after two miscarriages and one stillbirth, Isabel’s view of the island shifts. What was once such a happy place, is now a stark reminder of their loneliness.

When a boat washes ashore with a baby inside of it, it’s clear that the events of that day will forever leave their mark.

This was an amazing read for so many reasons that I have to list them out:

  • The setting. Stark, yet beautiful. Stedman did an amazing job at putting me right on the island. 
  • Tom and Isabel are so likable that when their choices cause them to go the other way, somehow I was okay with it even though I knew in my heart that such a decision would do them in.
  • With each chapter, I continued to question what was right and wrong.  I don’t think I ever stopped doing that even when I turned the last page. I so wanted to discuss this with a book club because there is just so much to discuss.
  • The other characters all play significant roles in the decisions that are made and I loved that. Everyone had a purpose and there were times where it truly felt like a community even though it was a community struggling to do the right thing.
  • Not once did I ever question the possibility of such a thing happening. The isolation of the island made it possible and in that sense, played a critical role.
  • Once the story gets going I could not put it down. I needed to know about these people and what was going to happen to them.
  • Tom. God love him. Such a tortured soul. I wanted to scoop that man up and give him a hug.

Honestly, I could go on and on. The Light Between Oceans had me asking myself what I’d do in a similar situation and although putting yourself under a microscope for that kind of scrutiny is uncomfortable, it was also enlightening. How far will a person go to be happy? How does love change that? Apparently, quite a bit.

Loved this one. I wish everyone could stop what they are doing and read it right now. It’s that good.

Source: Sent to me by the publisher via Library Thing.
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

A Post-Christmas Hello

Well, hello there! The holidays are always a bit crazy, but this year they came up too quickly for me. I had planned to be online for most of it and I was for some of it, but then the days got away from me and before I knew it, Christmas was here and then poof, it was over and done with. Isn’t that how it always is?

We did have some fun though.

Leading up to Christmas we went to Disneyland and California Adventure. I love Disneyland at Christmas but the Boy and Hub wanted to see all the new stuff at California Adventure so we did both in one day.

Sleeping Beauty's Castle

We got there before the park opened and stayed for over sixteen hours. Towards the end of the evening, I was hobbled in a big way (like that guy in Misery), but we saw almost everything we wanted to. There is nothing like Disneyland at Christmas! I love the lights, the holiday atmosphere and who am I kidding? Starbucks! California Adventure has a Starbucks now! After sixteen hours of dragging myself all over the park, it felt so good to get a REAL coffee drink instead of the watered-down “tea” they call coffee.

Of course, there were other treats to be had such as the caramel apple and turkey leg I sucked down but I digress.

It was an amazing day. Bliss! I am a bit OCD when it comes to making sure we do stuff but all in all, it was a great day. Tons of people but our fast passes (strategically obtained) came in handy. I don’t think I’ve ever seen the Boy move so fast but he used those cross-country skills to get us passes for Radiator Springs Racers and it paid off because they were sold out by 11am.

On the Saturday before Christmas, we met-up with our friends for a driving tour of the Christmas lights in our neighborhood. We do this every year and have been doing it for well over fourteen years, if you can believe it. Anyway, I didn’t capture any pics because it was raining, but it was still fun to drive around and check out all of the lights. I made my giant ginger cookies and two kinds of fudge and we sipped hot chocolate while driving around. It was great to see everyone again.

On the Sunday before Christmas, we went to my Mother-in-law’s house. We got there a little late because I had a laundry faux pas but let me tell you… it was nice to be late for a change. We are always the first ones there and the party was in full swing when we got there. Felt good to arrive to a crowd of happy, smiling people. The food was great and everything was very casual and relaxed. A perfect evening.

Christmas day, I made cinnamon rolls and a pile of bacon. We watched movies at home and then headed to a restaurant for Christmas dinner. I ALWAYS cook and usually enjoy it but I was just sick of making stuff so this year, I made reservations instead. We like this one restaurant that is right next to the airport and they offered a Christmas buffet this year so I thought, why not?

The Girl and Boy at Christmas Dinner 2012

I think each kid ate their weight in food. The sun was setting in this pic but that’s the air field right there! We got to watch the planes take-off and land while we ate. It was perfect and a lot of fun. I especially liked the fact that there was nothing for me to clean-up afterward!

After dinner, we drove home and watched It’s a Wonderful Life. A perfect end to a perfect evening.

I think everyone on the planet was watching this movie though:

Les Miserables

My son got to see it with friends but I seriously feel as if I need to get myself to a theater to see it.

Anyway, that’s it from me. I just started my last book of the year, Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World (Murakami) and tomorrow, I plan to just lounge around and do nothing. I do have two reviews to write-up. We’ll see if that happens.