Cannonball Read V: The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman
Three miscarriages/stillbirths later, Isabel is suffering the isolation and depression. And that's when a rowboat washes up on the shore of their rocky island, bearing the corpse of a man and a very much alive infant girl whom Isabel takes into her heart. Tom wants to immediately report the incident and turn the child over to authorities, but Isabel forces him to delay and, ultimately, to bury the man unreported and take the baby as their own. As Lucy grows into a remarkably happy and imaginative child, Isabel is ecstatic and only Tom suffers the pangs of conscience while simultaneously adoring his wife and daughter. When they learn six years later of a half-mad mother still awaiting the return of her husband and baby, their world begins to shockingly unravel.
As many reviewers have commented, this is a sad tale. But it is a riveting one, forcing us to reflect on the morally ambiguous choices good people-like ourselves-make every day without thought of the consequences. Stedman's writing is compelling, her settings gorgeously described, and her characters have histories and embody all the strengths and weaknesses, beauty and ugliness of everyman. The Light Between Oceans is a love story, a tragedy, and a morality play wrapped into one beautiful debut novel.
(Note: Any revenue generated from purchases made through the amazon.com affiliate links in this review will be donated in entirety to the American Cancer Society.)
(Header Image: Pigeon Point Lighthouse, © Creative Expressions.)