In her mesmerizing first novel The Light Between Oceans, M.L. Stedman examines how human longing can lead to heartbreak. In the early 1900s, on a small island off the coast of Australia, lighthouse keeper Tom Sherbourne and his wife Isabel live a quiet, isolated life- until a boat carrying a dead man and an infant washes ashore. Childless, Isabel is determined to keep the baby as her own, so they don' t report the incident. But when Tom and Isabel return to the mainland two years later, dire consequences await.
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"After the grim reality of WWI, Tom Sherbourne signs on with the Australian Lighthouse Service, enjoying the uncomplicated solitude of isolated Janus Rock. Narrator Noah Taylor sounds appropriately depressed and low-key as Tom reveals details of his life. Listeners will grow to like this orderly man who takes comfort in sameness. Tom marries Isabel, and they're happy until Isabel suffers a series of miscarriages. When a boat drifts ashore carrying a dead man and a live infant, Tom and Isabel decide to raise the baby as their own. Taylor does well with the dialogue and character development in Stedman's intriguing debut novel. The author's polished storytelling poses a heart-wrenching moral dilemma for the couple, and Taylor's narration adds color to the otherwise bleak landscape. S.J.H. (c) AudioFile 2012, Portland, Maine"
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