Thursday, April 25, 2013

"The Light Between Oceans" by M.L. Stedman

This is the second book I have read in my part of contributing to the Australian Literature Month promoted on the "Reading Matters" blog. M.L. Stedman is a female Australian writer, and this is her first novel. I had not heard of this author before, but a friend recommended this book to me a couple of weeks ago and I thought I would give it a go immediately so I could hopefully finish it during April.

The book "The Light Between Oceans" is set in Western Australia, starting in the 1920s. The main character introduced is Tom - a decorated (and emotionally somewhat scarred) returned soldier from the First World War, who starts a new peacetime life as a Lighthouse Keeper. He is posted to a remote island situated between the Southern and Indian Oceans. Just before he is posted to the island, he meets and later marries a young woman, Izzy, who seems to represent the complete opposite in nature to Tom - vibrant, carefree, vs quiet and measured. I don't want to give away any more of the story line, except to say that the book is the story of their life together on this island, isolated for the most part from mainland civilisation, and how their relationship and life develops and then is completely ripped apart by a single shared secret.

The novel is well written, extremely sad, in fact has elements of a classical tragedy - reminding me at times of how I felt when I first read Shakespeare's "King Lear" or "Othello" - although the storyline and characters are completely unique.It deals with issues of trust, ethics/morality, right/wrong and the strength of the bond between mother and child.

I read this book on my Kindle from 9th April - 24th April 2013.
My score is 8/10

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