A Shining Debut

M.L. Stedman's debut novel, The Light Between Oceans, is at once touching, tragic, and full of hope. After returning from four traumatic years on the Western Front, Tom Sherbourne takes up the post as lighthouse keeper on Janus Rock, a remote island off the coast of Australia. On his way to the island he stays in a small coastal town and meets and marries Isabel – vivacious, beautiful and impulsive. Years later, after suffering two miscarriages and a stillbirth, Isabel is lost in grief.

One morning, Isabel hears a baby's cry and she and Tom find a small boat carrying a dead man and a baby girl. Tom wishes to report the boat, but Isabel is reluctant. She convinces Tom to "adopt" the baby as their own daughter. Two years later, the Sherbourne family – Tom, Isabel and little Lucy – return to the mainland to find that Lucy’s birth mother has been searching for her missing husband and daughter since their disappearance.

The Light Between Oceans is a haunting and heartbreaking novel of a couple's struggle for the healing power of family, and a mother's unwavering devotion in a world where one person's fortuitous "find" can mean another person's catastrophic loss.