A few quick thoughts on The Light Between Oceans:
The Light Between Oceans centers on Tom and Isabel, a young married couple who are living in isolation on an island in Australia following World War I. Their lives are fairly mundane until a boat washes up on the shore containing a dead man and a baby.
Before I read the book, I always confused it with All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. As you will see, they have very similar covers (okay, they’re both blue) and both books were receiving a lot of attention around the same time. So when I was invited to read TLBO, I actually thought I was reading the other book!
I didn’t discover until I read TLBO that not only was this M.L. Stedman’s debut novel, but M.L. was a woman! I don’t know why I had the impression the book was written by a man. But then I began to wonder why the author was hiding her name and wondered if this was a case of a female writer not wanting their work to be judged because of their gender. However, after reading some of M.L. Stedman’s interviews where she has a lawyer present and chooses very carefully what to answer, I think the author is just trying to protect her privacy.
What I loved about the story is how the author transports you to the island and describes what it’s like to live in such isolated and idyllic beauty, a place I think I would personally enjoy. The lighthouse and its surroundings are practically an additional character, as readers intimately get to know the island from top to bottom.
THIS IS WHERE MY MOVIE/CELEBRITY OBSESSION COMES IN
The movie adaptation starring Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander comes out this weekend and I’m looking forward to comparing the movie to the book. I’m also very interested because Michael and Alicia began dating during filming and I want to see if their chemistry lights up the screen and brings a little something extra to the movie.
A FINE BALANCE
An elegantly balanced novel is how I would describe The Light Between Oceans, as it driven both by plot and the characters who find themselves tangled up in an impossible situation. I couldn’t help becoming immersed in the story and putting myself in the shoes of the characters, thinking about what I would do, the choices I would make. I agonized over it and truly felt heartbroken for Tom and Isabel. The moral dilemma they face is all the more tragic because there is NO good answer, all choices lead to tragedy and that’s what makes this book so brilliant.
Thanks again to Simon and Schuster Canada for inviting me to join the Goodreads read-along.