The Light Between Oceans

  • by M. L. Stedman
  • Narrated by Noah Taylor
  • 10 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

A captivating, beautiful, and stunningly accomplished debut novel - the story of a lighthouse keeper and his wife who make one devastating choice that forever changes two worlds.
In 1918, after four harrowing years on the Western Front, Tom Sherbourne returns to Australia to take a job as the lighthouse keeper on remote Janus Rock. To this isolated island, where the supply boat comes only four times a year and shore leaves are granted every other year at best, Tom brings a young, bold, and loving wife, Isabel. Three years later, after two miscarriages and one stillbirth, the grieving Isabel is tending the grave of her newly lost infant when she hears a baby’s cries on the wind. A boat has washed up on shore carrying a dead man and a living baby. Tom, whose records as a lighthouse keeper are meticulous and whose moral principles have withstood a horrific war, wants to report the dead man and the infant immediately. But Isabel has taken the tiny baby to her breast. Against Tom’s judgment, they claim the child as their own and name her Lucy, but a rift begins to grow between them. When Lucy is two, Tom and Isabel return to the mainland and are reminded that there are other people in the world…and one of them is desperate to find her lost baby.
M.L. Stedman’s extraordinarily compelling characters, still trying to make sense of life in the wake of so much death in the war, are imperfect people seeking to find their north star in a world of incomprehensible complexity.

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What the Critics Say

“M.L. Stedman’s The Light Between Oceans is a beautiful novel about isolation and courage in the face of enormous loss. It gets into your heart stealthily, until you stop hoping the characters will make different choices and find you can only watch, transfixed, as every conceivable choice becomes an impossible one. I couldn’t look away from the page and then I couldn’t see it, through tears. It’s a stunning debut.” (Maile Meloy, author of Both Ways Is the Only Way I Want It)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Wonderful story.....terrible narrator.

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Loved, loved the story.


What was one of the most memorable moments of The Light Between Oceans?

The decision........


What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

The reader spoke too loudly at the beginning of each sentence and ended in a whisper. I could never get my sound adjusted to listen to the book. It absolutely drove me crazy!


If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Torn.......


Any additional comments?

Remake with a different narrator.

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- Sandra

A Touching Story told and read with great insight.

What made the experience of listening to The Light Between Oceans the most enjoyable?

A great read. I highly recommend.


Who was your favorite character and why?

Tom was my favorite character. His perseverance and overall sense of personal responsibility is remarkable. He is the kind of person that I have always strived to be. He makes very difficult choices because of his morality,and tries to protect those around him. Most people like to believe that they are like Tom, but few are able to make the tough choices. The author writes his characters carefully, but does not reveal information until needed.


What does Noah Taylor bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

The story is set in Australia and is read by an Australian. The tone of the reader is distinctive - never too rapid, nor did it drag.


Any additional comments?

The 3 main characters have lived through very difficult times and circumstances. When a dead man and an infant show up on the island where Tom, the light keeper, and his wife Izzy live, the couple rescue the child, and bury the man. Persuaded by Izzy to keep the baby and raise her as their own, Tom is conflicted by guilt. How each person lives, loves, and make choices is the real point of the story. I could not help but be touched.

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- Deborah

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-31-2012
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio