The light between oceans | Book review

The light between oceans | Book review

There is nothing but the sound of rain. I don’t notice how hard it is to breathe until I look out and take the first deep breath after who knows how long. I feel the warmth of my wet face and I close my eyes to listen to the rain. I’m instantly on a little island with the lighthouse, listening to the raging sea and wondering how long the storm will take to calm down.

The life I knew before, doesn’t exist anymore after the boundaries between right and wrong have been challenged over and over again in the past few days.

Title: The light between oceans
Author: M. L. Steadman
Genre: Historical fiction
Length: Novel, 461 pages
Published: May 9th 2013 by Black Swan
ISBN: 0552778478
Language: English

”Tom Sherbourne, released from the horrors of the First World War, is now a lighthouse keeper, cocooned on a remote island with his young wife Izzy, who is content in everything but her failure to have a child.

One April morning, a boat washes ashore carrying a dead man – and a crying baby. Safe from the real world, Tom and Izzy break the rules and follow their hearts.

It is a decision with devastating consequences.” – Goodreads

The short description of the book on Goodreads doesn’t even give you a glimpse of the story that is about to unfold before you if you decide to read it.

M. L. Steadman’s first novel The light between oceans is a truly heartbreaking story about the fine line between good or bad, and how sometimes they feel almost the same. It tells the story of Tom and Izzy, about the choices they made, and how these choices impacted their lives and lives of the other people. It gave me a lot to think about two things … forgiveness and choices.

Hence the favorite quotes:

”How can you just get over these things, darling?” she asked him. ”You’ve had so much strife but you’re always happy. How do you do it?”

”I choose to,“ he said. ”I can leave myself to rot in the past, spend my time hating people for what happened, like my father did, or I can forgive, and forget.”

”But it’s not that easy.”

He smiled that Frank smile. ”Oh, but my treasure, it is so much less exhausting. You only have to forgive once. To resent, you have to do it all day, every day. You have to keep remembering all the bad things.”

It is so incredible how we can chew on things over and over again, make ourselves miserable over the things that should be left in the past, and a lot of times about the things that others don’t give a second thought about.

”We always have a choice.”

How easy it is to forget that. To forget that everything in our lives is actually a reaction to a choice we made in the past, it is a result of a choice or series of choices we’ve made. But taking the responsibility is sometimes harder then hell. It wouldn’t mean just accepting the consequence, but also looking at our own soul, and seeing who we really are. 

”Izz, I’ve learned the hard way that to have any kind of a future you’ve got to give up hope of ever changing your past.”

And yes, holding on to the past is never going to give us anything good. I’ve learned that the hard way too. I had to move to another country to finally let go of the past, to start living again. I’ve missed my teenage years when my life was exactly as I wanted it to be that I couldn’t move on.

”…the man who makes the journey has been shaped by every day and every person along the way. Scars are just another kind of memory.”

If you are thinking about buying this book, don’t hesitate to do so. It shows that this is author’s first novel, but the story is good enough to make it up for the few times the writing dragged or when the characters could be more believable. It will challenge you to think about your own decisions, it will make you question what is right and what isn’t, it will make you think about the past and the future, about the impact we have on people’s lives and their impact on ours.

Learn more about M. L. Stedman.
Find Light between the oceans on Goodreads.

Until next time, have fun and read a book or two.


  1. Nives Vrečič 1 year ago

    Predstavljena knjiga zveni zanimivo, vredno si jo je zapomnit in jo uvrstit na listo počitniškega branja.

    • Author
      Buterflie 1 year ago

      Zanimiva je ja. Ni lih 5 zvezdic, ampak solid 4 pa tko, da ti da mislit. 🙂

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