The Light Between the Oceans kept popping up as “recommended” for me so I finally gave in and read it. And it’s not a bad book, it’s just not my kind of book. The circumstances and setting are fascinating but ultimately I was more than happy to move on to my next read. Good for someone, not for me.
The primary characters of this book are a lighthouse keeper, Tom, and his young wife, Isabelle. He has taken the posting on Janus Island, a hundred miles of the western coast of Australia (this Janus Island is fictional. A quick google search, though, tells me that there is a real Janus Island off Antarctica, toward the tip of South America). He’s a survivor of the Great War and she lives in the town that is the last stop before the island. They meet, quickly fall in love, and, after a series of letters during his first “tour” at the island, are married. They fall into a happy rhythm offset only by their inability to bring a child to term. After a sad series of miscarriages and stillborns, a dingy washes up onshore – inside are a dead man and a live baby. Isabelle, having very recently delivered a stillborn child, decides that they should not report this and raise the child as their own. Desperate to make her happy after all her sadness, Tom relents.
Of course their happiness with baby Lucy can only last so long, even a hundred miles offshore civilization and the truth will find them. It isn’t a badly written book – and as my title suggests, the end almost moved me to tears – I just felt like I stayed on the surface of it the whole time.