“You don’t think ahead in years or months: you think about this hour, and maybe the next. Anything else is speculation.”
Synopsis taken from Amazon:
A boat washes up on the shore of a remote lighthouse keeper’s island. It holds a dead man – and a crying baby. The only two islanders, Tom and his wife Izzy, are about to make a devastating decision.
They break the rules and follow their hearts. What happens next will break yours.
Wow, I adored this book. An absolutely fantastic read that kept me wondering the whole way through. A story of moral values and decision making, deciding between right and wrong, struggling with grief and finding hope. Strong female characters adorn this book, even through all their trials and tribulations.
The story, set in Australia, follows Tom Sherbourne, an ex-soldier – resilient, methodical, moral, loyal, a stickler for the rules, a true gentleman. Shortly after taking on a post at Janus Rock looking after a lighthouse he meets Isabel Graysmark – headstrong, outgoing, loveable, independent. After a whirlwind romance they marry and live on Janus, looking after the light. The story follows their plight to becoming a family and the devastating affect that this can have on people, if things don’t quite work out the way they had first planned.
I do not want to give too much of the storyline away, so instead I will talk about the book in general. The author incorporates a lot of characters into this novel, using an omniscient narrator. Moving backwards and forwards from the past to the present, Stedman writes a believable plot, that questions all of your own moral values. There were many times when I asked myself “What would I do?”. Even though the novel had a lot of characters to follow, there was not one point when it became hard to follow. All of the characters were well developed, with their own unique personalities and values.
The book is split into three parts; the final part is definitely the most gripping in my opinion. There was a point in which the content, along with Stedman’s beautiful prose, left me on the verge of tears. The story builds gradually from the start. I love how this was done, I really got a sense of completion – I was satisfied with the ending, although it would have been interesting to see what would have happened if the story had taken a different route.
I loved this book and it will definitely be staying on my shelves. I already have a few friends in mind to whom I will recommend this book. I am absolutely blown away by the fact that this is Stedman’s first novel, I cannot wait to read more from her. Read this book now, you will not be disappointed.
Source: Paperback First Published: 9 May 2013
Pages: 464 Score: 5 out of 5
‘An absolute gem of a book. Tender, heart-breaking and gripping – a book you will find hard to put down. A true love story that encompasses pain, grief, trust, betrayal and hope.’