I've been hearing about The Light Between Oceans by M. L. Stedman for awhile, so I was very excited to stumble across a hardback copy for $4.98 at Barnes & Noble back in August. I enjoyed the book, but I'm not sure if it's because I can relate as a parent or if others may find it slow moving. Let me explain.
Set in Australia with the backdrop of a recently ended WWI, the premise of the book is that Tom and Isabel Sherbourne, the couple who run the Lighthouse on Janus (an island), find a dead man and an infant in a washed up rowboat. Not having any contact with the mainland for months and years at a time, the couple decides to keep the baby as their own and bury the man. It is at this point the reader starts waiting. There is no way any good can come from this. Years pass before events conspire to bring about the unfolding the reader knows is coming.
This is where I wonder how much audience experience and/or sensibilities play into the book. As a mother of three, I had no problem reading through parts with less action, because I understood the feelings of the couple's situation and the potential problem. And when the problem hit full force, I could grasp the whirlwind of emotion that rips through everyone. I wonder if someone without kids or who doesn't work with kids would be a little bored with the years between the start and the end, where life just goes on. I'm not suggesting people without kids are heartless, just wondering if the identifying makes the book better. I don't know, just a thought.
What I really liked about the ending is the show of mercy, forgiveness, and love displayed between characters who have no earthly reason to do so. No, it's not the norm, but I think mercy, forgiveness, and love should be our aim. I enjoyed this story very much.
Also, there's a movie in the works! Here's the one little article I glimpsed of it. Have you read it? Would it make a good movie?