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A Writer On Writing: The Light Between Oceans

Iíve just finished reading The Light Between Oceans by M. L. Stedman Ė and it is absolutely fantastic!

It is set on a tiny uninhabited Australian island, Janus, in the years after the first World War. Tom is the lighthouse keeper on Janus and lives there in solitude until his wife, Isabel, joins him. Isabel longs for a child but suffers three miscarriages. Then a baby is washed up on the island, in a boat with a dead man and a decision has to be made. Isabel wants to keep the baby and pass it off as the one she has just lost. Tom knows this isnít the right thing to do but canít bear to upset his grieving wife.

The rest of the novel deals with the fall-out from the decision that is made.

M. L. Stedman was born in Australia but now lives in London. Incredibly, this is her first novel. According to an interview in the Sydney Morning Herald http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/books/interview-ml-stedman-20120322-1vkty.html the book was subject to a bidding war and went for Ďa high six-figure sumí. Stedman has given few interviews which may also explain why I canít find a website for her.

The book is full of detail about lighthouse keeping at the time and must have required an incredible amount of research. But Stedman has such a light touch, so it doesnít feel like the reader is being force-fed facts. Instead Stedman makes it easy for the reader to be there on Janus with Tom and Isabel, experiencing their roller-coaster emotions.

Dpn't miss it.


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