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The Light Between Oceans by M. L. Stedman

December 1918, and Tom Sherbourne returns to Australia, traumatised by his experiences in the trenches and suffering from survivors’ guilt. Seeking a job with purpose, structure and little contact with others, he takes a job as a lighthouse keeper on the remote island of Janus Rock, finding solace in the regimented procedures and the solitude of his existence. Whilst on the mainland he meets his wife Isobel, and together they return to the isolation of the island to build a life for themselves. Consumed by an unfulfilled longing for a child, their prayers appear to be answered when a boat washes ashore with the body of a man and a small baby that needs to be cared for. What follows next, the decisions they make and the consequences of their choices will shape their relationship and their lives for ever.  A page-turner which is emotionally charged yet never sentimental, laden with sadness, love and moral dilemmas, rooted in the events and ripples of the War and set in the brilliantly evoked, remote and wild landscape of the island and the ocean. A highly accomplished, if heart-breaking, debut novel. 

Overall score: 8.3

Range: 7.5 – 9

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