Customer Reviews for

The Light Between Oceans

Average Rating 4.5
( 1603 )
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(909)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

220 out of 247 people found this review helpful.

Tom Sherbourne finds peace as a light house keeper on a seclude


Tom Sherbourne finds peace as a light house keeper on a secluded island after the brutality he witnessed in war. The routine and distance helps him sort out his emotions and brings him peace. He couldn’t imagine sharing his life with anyone until he marries Isa...

Tom Sherbourne finds peace as a light house keeper on a secluded island after the brutality he witnessed in war. The routine and distance helps him sort out his emotions and brings him peace. He couldn’t imagine sharing his life with anyone until he marries Isabel and she makes their rock feel like home. Their secluded life has its share of happiness but heartbreak soon sets in after several miscarriages making the seclusion feel suffocating for Isabel. When a boat washes up in their little world carrying a dead man and a living baby, life seems to take a wonderful turn. Isabel has never been happier but Tom is plagued with unease and when a trip back to the mainland brings troubling facts to light he yearns to do what is just.
An emotional rollercoaster doesn’t begin to describe what it felt like to read this. With each page I questioned what I had felt while reading the previous page. The characters are amazingly real with such humanity that I wanted to talk to them or yell at them. There are a couple of characters that I hated to love and one that I loved to hate so that made it very hard to decide where I stood with each individual story line. I have no complaints about this one. I am already recommending it and will continue to do so for a long time to come.

posted by shayrp76 on August 2, 2012

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Most Helpful Critical Review

59 out of 109 people found this review helpful.

I read this book in a day, interesting and compelling story, fai

I read this book in a day, interesting and compelling story, fair character development.

posted by 2060674 on August 2, 2012

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Page 1 of 81
  • Posted August 2, 2012

    Tom Sherbourne finds peace as a light house keeper on a seclude


    Tom Sherbourne finds peace as a light house keeper on a secluded island after the brutality he witnessed in war. The routine and distance helps him sort out his emotions and brings him peace. He couldn’t imagine sharing his life with anyone until he marries Isabel and she makes their rock feel like home. Their secluded life has its share of happiness but heartbreak soon sets in after several miscarriages making the seclusion feel suffocating for Isabel. When a boat washes up in their little world carrying a dead man and a living baby, life seems to take a wonderful turn. Isabel has never been happier but Tom is plagued with unease and when a trip back to the mainland brings troubling facts to light he yearns to do what is just.
    An emotional rollercoaster doesn’t begin to describe what it felt like to read this. With each page I questioned what I had felt while reading the previous page. The characters are amazingly real with such humanity that I wanted to talk to them or yell at them. There are a couple of characters that I hated to love and one that I loved to hate so that made it very hard to decide where I stood with each individual story line. I have no complaints about this one. I am already recommending it and will continue to do so for a long time to come.

    220 out of 247 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 12, 2012

    Amazing!

    Great book, beautifully written. In a time where Fifty Shades of Grey and other such rubbish get rave reviews it's nice to read a book worthy of the accolades it has received. I am looking forward to more books from this author.

    149 out of 166 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2012

    Loved it...couldn't put it down. The story is heartbreakingly be

    Loved it...couldn't put it down. The story is heartbreakingly beautiful and while the ending acknowledges the pain, it also offers hope. This book is in my top 10 of all time. I'll be thinking about the story for quite a while.

    104 out of 120 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 7, 2012

    Must read!

    I have never before felt the desire to rate or reccomend a book. This time however, it was different. I was trappped in this beautifully well written story from page one. Fell in love with the characters, suffered with them, wept for them. Read the book in three days and it definetly goes to my "top five" list.

    79 out of 82 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2012

    I read this book in a day, interesting and compelling story, fai

    I read this book in a day, interesting and compelling story, fair character development.

    59 out of 109 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2012

    Fairly easy read, but worth it!

    I had a hard time putting it down. Characters were pretty well developed and the author does a decent job of taking you to a different place in time. I'd love to visit Janus for a month or so.... just the idea of it being just you and the wind and sea; like you are part of something, another world entirely. One can dream.

    49 out of 60 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 12, 2012

    After the handful of e-mails I received promoting this book, I d

    After the handful of e-mails I received promoting this book, I decided to pick it up. All I can say is: WOW! What a truly beautiful tale of tragic love. I couldn't put the book down. I found myself completely in love with the characters, their story, and felt my heart ache for them. I cried my way through the last chapter. I don't even want to pick up another book because I'm still so wrapped up in Tom and Isabel's lives. Definitely one of my Top 10 books!

    46 out of 48 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 5, 2012

    I loved this book. Read it in one day. The characters were wel

    I loved this book. Read it in one day. The characters were well developed and very real. I had such mixed emotions about the two women in the story who loved the little girl. My heart went out to both of them. They were all very coureageous people, the women and the men. In the end, each of them lost something. A good book for book club. Lots of discussions.

    35 out of 40 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 4, 2012

    Excellent

    The word pictures are wonderful. The story line unforgettable A must read.

    29 out of 34 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 4, 2012

    Between the Oceans

    One of the most well crafted books I have read in a while. Rich language and a wonderful, emotiinal story.

    29 out of 35 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 3, 2012

    Haunting Novel

    This is a novel I think I may have to read again--I can't quite get it out of my mind. Stedman is a lovely writer; for such a complex story and set of characters this is a rather slim book, for which I'm grateful. I'm sick of overblown novels that needed to be cut at least in half.

    "Oceans" is a grown up, beautifully written story with complex characters. It shows the too often painful consequences of getting what we so desperately want and choices made in the name of love.

    ***The language is lyrical, almost poetic at times. This is not a fast-paced tale for the first 120 pages or so; indeed, at times it tends to drag a bit. BUT when Lucy is discovered and her origins revealed--this becomes taunt and heartbreaking.

    ***While it's impossible not to feel for Tom, Isabel is a harder character to embrace and it wasn't until the last 100 pages that I really did--then the parallels bewteen Isabel and Hannah, their plights and precarious emotional states, converge beautifully. These are two women at odds yet constantly shifting places in the same heartbreaking dance.

    ***The only element, besides the momentary places of slowness is Lucy's eventual situation--[SPOILERISH]--her terror and refusal to accept Hannah is incredibly vivid, yet her final acceptance of Hannah seems to be wrapped up too vaguely and quickly after the more detailed prior events. That did not ring true or balanced for me.

    But this is a novel that if you stay with it--gives you lovely rewards, a story where the characters' ultimate motives can be discussed for a long time. i think it's worth the read and discussion afterward.

    22 out of 27 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 14, 2012

    Anonymous

    This powerful, compelling, beautifull, well written story will capture your attention from the first page down to the last sentence of this book. The characters of Tom and Isabel are so strong, I became immersed in their lives. You will feel the unbelievable love and unbreakable bond between a mother and her child. The authors description of the island was so vivid that I almost felt the wind in my face and force of the ferocious storms that swept through the island. I felt myself standing inside the lighthouse, taking in the sights and smells, and looking out into the immense ocean. Life for Tom and Isabel on the island seemed idylic, when in reality, it was not. It was harsh and lonely, and they had only themselves to rely upon. So when the small boat washed ashore with the live infant and the dead body, to Isabel it was a sign from God. Afer suffering through three miscarriages, the moment that she held the baby in her arms, she was never going to let go. Even after Tom's refusal of accepting the baby and trying to make her understand the damage they might be inflicting upon themselves, Isabel refused to listen to reason. I think she might have been on the verge of a complete mental breakdown had it not been for the baby. It was too much for a woman to bear. Miscarriages, complete isolation for months at a time, and the obligations, and responsibilities, that Tom's job demanded all contributed to Isabel's state of mind. The life altering decision to keep their silence regarding the dead man and deciding to keep the baby and claim it as their own, had terrible consequences, one they never could have imagined, it almost destroyed them. But after reading through all that sorrow, there was a happy ending, with a pleasant surprise. I had time to reflect on who to place the blame for that fateful decision, was it Tom or Isabel. I would place it on a combination of things, but leaning towards Tom.
    Their isolation was a big factor, after all who would know and see what they did on that island.

    This is a great book, by a highly talented author, a must read.

    18 out of 21 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 4, 2012

    Fantastic Book!!

    This is a definite must read. I loved the characters and the storyline. One of the best books I have read in a while!!

    18 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 14, 2012

    Dull

    This book sounded intriguing in the blurb. However, there was entirely too much boring lighthouse data and not nearly enough character development. I actually skipped ahead in the book to see if it improved. Nope. I just found out that not much had happened to make me either like or care about the characters. Too bad because the idea had promise. Not a book i would loan to a friend. Will end up at the used bookstore

    13 out of 30 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 14, 2012

    This is one fantastic book. If I could give it more stars I wou

    This is one fantastic book. If I could give it more stars I would. For a debut novel, It makes you happy and sad all at the same time. I was completely shocked by the ending though. I only hope this author has more books in store for us. Read this one, you will surely love it as I did.

    13 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 13, 2012

    Great book.

    Excellent read.

    13 out of 17 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 14, 2012

    Five stars plus!!

    What a great story!! Will archive to read it again. Will recommend to all my reading friends.

    12 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 6, 2012

    This book was excellent. I felt empathy for all the characters.

    This book was excellent. I felt empathy for all the characters. They were very well developed. His writing is beautifully lyrical but not heavy at all. I will definitely read his next book!

    10 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 13, 2012

    Loved this book!

    This was a great read. I could see it being made into a great movie.

    9 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 9, 2012

    Best Book Summer 2012!

    I could not get enough of this book! It is almost Dickensian in style and plot! M.L. Stedman has made a lifelong fan with this great debut novel!

    9 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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