Wednesday, November 26, 2014


Book Review

‘The Light Between Oceans’ helps readers see the light

3/5/2014

book 030614Courtesy of Beaverdale Books

Review by Shirley Shiffler

Scribner Book Company

4/2/13

$16

DM Art Center

352 pp.

If you are like me, you get a little thrill when a book you’ve read stands out as something extraordinary. The “Light Between Oceans” is one such book, captivating me with its strongly developed characters, beautiful descriptions and ultimately heartbreaking storyline.

Tom Sherbourne returns to Australia a decorated WWI hero. His experiences have left him seeking solitude, and the chance to become a lighthouse keeper holds a strong appeal. His life changes when he meets and marries the charming and bold Isabel and brings her to his island. Even though their only contact with the mainland is the seasonal supply boat, they create a happy life together, longing only to add a child to their family.

After Isabel suffers through several miscarriages, she one day hears a baby crying and discovers a boat has washed up onto their island. Inside the boat are a dead man and a living baby. Against his better judgment, Tom agrees to Isabel’s plan to claim the baby as theirs. They come face to face with the devastating result of their lie when they return to the mainland several years later and realize the pain they have caused by their rash decision.

The story lays bare an unimaginable situation where a basically good person makes a bad choice, leading to other good people making bad choices, and how quickly a number of lives can be ruined. A happy ending is seemingly impossible, but the outcome of the story is the best I could have expected. CV               

Shirley Shiffler grew up in Urbandale, graduated from Drake University, and now lives in Beaverdale.

Best of DM