Review: Het licht van de zee, M.L. Stedman

Het licht van de zee M.L. StedmanIn 1918, after four harrowing years on the Western Front, Tom Sherbourne returns to Australia to take a job as the lighthouse keeper on remote Janus Rock. To this isolated island, where the supply boat comes only four times a year and shore leaves are granted every other year at best, Tom brings a young, bold, and loving wife, Isabel. Three years later, after two miscarriages and one stillbirth, the grieving Isabel is tending the grave of her newly lost infant when she hears a baby’s cries on the wind. A boat has washed up on shore carrying a dead man and a living baby. Tom, whose records as a lighthouse keeper are meticulous and whose moral principles have withstood a horrific war, wants to report the dead man and the infant immediately. But Isabel has taken the tiny baby to her breast. Against Tom’s judgment, they claim the child as their own and name her Lucy, but a rift begins to grow between them. When Lucy is two, Tom and Isabel return to the mainland and are reminded that there are other people in the world…and one of them is desperate to find her lost baby.

Margot L. Stedman was born and raised in Perth, Western Australia and now lives in London where she worked as a lawyer. At some point she decided she wanted to do something with creative writing and went on a creative-writing holiday in Greece. From there she followed a part-time creative-writing study at the University of London.

I first saw this book at the movers and shakers list on Goodreads and added it immediately to my to read shelf. As I still had enough to read I decided that it had to be read at some point but not now. When I was browsing in a bookstore I picked up the Dutch title and read the synopsis thinking I have to add this to my GR shelf. I was not really surprised when I found out I added the English title to my list already but did think I might had to move it up if I was grabbing it twice in a short time now. On Twitter I saw a few reviews about this book and everybody was impressed. That is when I decided to get the book and just read it now.
And I am glad I did cause this book is one of those books you pick up and cannot let go until you are done, and even after that it still comes back. The story describes so many ways a person can loose things in life, how this influences choices people make. Usually I find books dealing with so many sad things disturbing but the author found a way to avoid a depressing undertone making it a story about surviving, hope and love.
This book is worth all the praise it gets.
Why still 4 stars... The timeline of the story. The story is not written in chronological order and at points it is disturbing when you are in one period and emotionally involved and you have to jump to a totally different era or story which sometimes breaks the magic.

Het licht van de zee (original title: The Light Between Oceans)
Auteur: M.L. Stedman
Publisher : Uitgeverij Boekerij
ISBN-13: 9789022562307 
Pages: 352

4 stars
Next Post »