I love to read a good book, not only does it take my mind off myself, it can take me to another place in space and time. I have just finished reading M. L. Stedman’s first novel, “The Light Between Oceans”. What a marvellous story. It begins with the unlikely event of a rowboat containing a dead man and a live baby, washed up on a beach on a remote island whose only inhabitants are the Lightkeeper and his wife.
The book took me to that island, even though it is a fictitious one. Stedman’s descriptive style creates a mental image that is so vivid. Her description of the workings of the lighthouse are so realistic that I wonder if she herself has been “on the lights”.
I liked her use of the present tense in her writings. It made me feel that I was there, a hidden observer as the characters struggle with a series of moral dilemmas that kept me wanting to read more. I could hardly put it down! She has created such believable characters that I now feel that I know them.
The ending of the book brought a lump to my throat and a tear to my eye. You will have to read it for yourself as I have no wish to give it away.
Interestingly, the book was first published on my birthday in 2012! I congratulate Ms Stedman on her first novel and I look forward to reading more of her works.
Photo: Byron Bay Lighthouse, which features briefly in the book. Maatsuyker Lighthouse at the bottom of Tasmania also features. I have seen the “character” (the flash sequence) of both of these from out at sea! Such good memories help make life worth living….