REVIEW: The Light Between Oceans by ML Stedman

When Izzy marries Tom she is prepared to live on a distant island, where Tom will run the lighthouse and she will be a house wife. Tom has returned from war when many didn’t and Izzy is young, naive and optimistic but also still recovering from the loss of her two brothers. Life on Janus, the uninhabited island, is lonely and simplistic and all Izzy now wants is a child. But Izzy miscarries three babies and becomes certain she can’t have any more. Then a boat washes up on Janus and inside is a dead man and a crying baby.
The Light Between Oceans is a beautifully descriptive and highly unique novel. However, it is so heart breaking that I found it difficult to read at times. The plot reaches a level of hopelessness that I almost didn’t want to read on. However, it is a really well crafted novel which gives a sense of what it would be like to live on an island and work on a lighthouse. The opening section of the novel where Izzy and Tom are newly married and enjoying Janus was my favourite part of the book.

The ending is very well done but continues to be very upsetting, there was no good way for this to end for all of the characters. What I think is particularly impressive about this book is the way I felt sympathetic towards all of the characters, I was torn between the different scenarios and that was why this was such a good book but also very difficult to read.

This novel is descriptive, romantic, intriguing and emotionally very difficult. I would definitely recommend it as it is unlike any other novel and shows very cleverly how the boundary between right and wrong can sometimes be blurred.

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