I finished up The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman over the weekend. Like! I really wish I would have purchased this as a Nook book, but I was too cheap this time around. Instead, I supported my local library by borrowing it from them!
Honestly, I didn’t know if I would like this book. My friends all said it took them some time to actually get into it. Yes, it did start off a bit slow. But it didn’t bother me because it had just enough pull to keep me interested.
It’s a love story between a girl who seems to want to fall in love because she’s young and carefree and an older boy who doesn’t believe that he deserves to find love or happiness. We learn along the way that he does deserve happiness. The girl, Izzy, eventually manages to convince the boy, Tom, that they are just right for each other.
My take on the title: Tom comes back from war and finds work as a lighthouse keeper. The lighthouse to which he’s eventually assigned is one on a quiet island that separates two oceans. At night, the only thing keeping ships from losing their way in that part of the blue ocean world is the light from the lighthouse that Tom maintains.
Tom never seems lonely, and when he goes stateside to marry Izzy, she doesn’t seem lonely on the island either. It’s almost like their souls were destined to be pulled together. I don’t know if I could live on a deserted island (with or without my husband) and tend house like Laura Ingalls Wilder.
Tom and Izzy can only get back to civilization a few times a year, if that. But again, they seem happy and content with one another — alone. Shortly after being married and living together, Izzy becomes pregnant. They seem even happier! However, Izzy loses the baby. They get along, but it takes Izzy some time to bounce back emotionally. We learn that Izzy loses two more babies. Then it happens.
A boat washes up on shore with a dead man. Inside is a healthy little baby girl swaddled in blankets with a silver rattle. Izzy just lost her third baby! Tom sees that she is wonderful with the little girl. They eventually decide to keep the baby; they do not disclose the fact that it was most likely the little girl’s father in the boat and that her mother could be lost at sea or, worse yet, worried to death about the safety of her baby.
Time passes. The little girl becomes a toddler and recognizes Tom and Izzy as her mamma and dadda. Izzy recognizes the little girl, Lucy, as her own flesh and blood. Tom, on the other hand, is in anguish at keeping this secret from family and friends and eventually the little girl’s real mother.
In the end, Tom does what he believes is right. He admits that it was he who convinced Izzy to keep the baby since she couldn’t give him children. Izzy had nothing to do with the man’s death, and neither did he. They were only guilty of loving the girl as if she were their own — at least that’s how Tom wants to play it. Izzy can’t give Lucy up though. It pains her when Lucy is taken from her arms and brought to live with her biological mother.
It’s pure heartache to read how Lucy is taken away from the only parents she’s ever known and thrust into a completely new world with new people who are her family. How does she act? It’s also hard on her real mother. It’s hard to convince Lucy, whom she named Grace, to accept this new family, this new life, new house, new toys, new everything.
Eventually, Izzy realizes that Lucy-Grace will never be hers. Tom has already accepted that fact. But he hasn’t given up on Izzy. Has she given up on Tom? Perhaps a bit. There’s an emptiness in her heart that will never be filled with children. They do move on though. It certainly doesn’t seem like the path that Izzy would have taken for herself if Lucy-Grace were still with her. But I believe she holds on to Tom because he’s the only connection that she’ll ever have to Lucy-Grace. I believe Tom holds on to Izzy because she is his beacon. There is love; I do also believe that.
I didn’t give you every little detail! My hope is that this is enough to satisfy your curiosity of the book. Now it’s your turn to read! Enjoy!