GOODREADS SYNOPSIS: After four harrowing years on the Western Front, Tom Sherbourne returns to Australia and takes a job as the lighthouse keeper on Janus Rock, nearly half a day’s journey from the coast. To this isolated island, where the supply boat comes once a season and shore leaves are granted every other year at best, Tom brings a young, bold, and loving wife, Isabel. Years later, after two miscarriages and one stillbirth, the grieving Isabel hears a baby’s cries on the wind. A boat has washed up onshore 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 man and infant immediately. But Isabel has taken the tiny baby to her breast. Against Tom’s judgment, they claim her as their own and name her Lucy. When she is two, Tom and Isabel return to the mainland and are reminded that there are other people in the world. Their choice has devastated one of them.
M. L. Stedman’s mesmerizing, beautifully written novel seduces us into accommodating Isabel’s decision to keep this “gift from God.” And we are swept into a story about extraordinarily compelling characters seeking to find their North Star in a world where there is no right answer, where justice for one person is another’s tragic loss.
When this movie came to the cinema, I wasn’t all that interested in it from what the previews showed and so I didn’t go to see it or even want to read the book.
But then I was given the book as a gift and figured I might as well see what it’s like.
I found the first few chapters to be very slow and couldn’t quite grasp the story. This could be because the story was set in the early 1900’s, I’m not sure. But I kept at it and was happy to find that the story got a lot better when Tom and Izzy met and moved to Janus together. That’s basically where the story begins and starts to get interesting anyway.
It was a story like no other I’ve read before and a great first novel for M L Stedman.
It’s a touching story. I wouldn’t say it’s sad or an emotional read (well it wasn’t for me) but I felt sad mostly for the little girl Lucy/ Grace. She is the one that was caught up in the middle of it all and it was just a hard situation for all involved to be in. It makes you wonder what you would do yourself if put in that same situation.
I look forward to watching the movie adaption to this book!
What did you think of this novel?