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  • ML Stedman

The light between oceans-review

This wonderfully told novel was a heart wrenching story that puts decision making into its biggest form.

Tom and Izzy live in a lighthouse, deserted from the rest of the world. They are madly in love and all they want is another part of their family, a child that they can love. But, when Isabel has her third miscarriage, they lose all hope.

Until a dead man and a crying baby wash up on the shore.

They love the baby Lucy as their own, and quickly they fall in love with it, and are not only falling others that it is their child. The miracle is too good to be true. But, then they find out that the mother, Hannah, is alive, and distraught about the idea that her husband and baby is dead.

The guilt felt for both Isabel and Tom is huge, and soon Tom writes a letter to her letting her know the baby is ok and alive.

The police find them, and Tom takes all the blame. Tom is taken to prison, and Lucy is taken away, from what she thinks is her real parents.

Lucy spends her days wondering why she has been taken way, Tom spends his days in prison, full of regret, Isabel spends her days angry and distraught.

Hannah realises that the baby she had is no longer the same as the baby she has now, she's changed and does not remember her. Lucy does not think of Hannah as her mum, and Hannah is not sure if she knows her daughter Lucy.

This novel has so many aspects to it, teachings, wisdom and sadness all told through a wonderful story.

It makes you cry of happiness and sadness, laugh, and makes you want to live as much as you can, for as how long you can. Incorporating people who have lived, but are now dead in the book teaches you that although you die, you still lived, and you still exist in other peoples lives, as you are part of them.

What was really clever about the book is as the reader, I couldn't see the difference between right and wrong. I didn't know who was doing the right thing, what character I was routing for, and who was owed forgiveness and punishment.

The book exclaimed that babies love, thats their job. They love whoever and whatever takes care of them, which I think is an important message that everyone should take after babies.

The book had many different characters, the bad and the good, the wise and the stupid, and the alive and the dead. Although the book was written in 3rd person, the characters thoughts were often written in the story, so you really got to see inside there head, there bad and good thoughts. I found myself wondering what I would do if I was in all of the characters shoes.

The story was realistic as some characters had much worse things thrown at them than others, which is what happens in life. But the characters from the book taught me that no one else will live the life you have, and to live is a privilege itself.

You learn that the dead man from the boat was a very wise person. Hannah's thoughts about her beloved husband often revert to how he got through life happily, which taught her to. This displayed that what you say does affect other peoples lives, even if it's the smallest little thing.

The descriptions made the book even more special, making me even more sympathetic towards the characters and imagining the setting of it vividly.

The book used a wide range of ages for the characters, which gave it a unique way of seeing how different generations look at life. From a baby to an old man, they all had different ways of living, but also similarities.

Overall, this is a read which will grip you to the end and make you very sad when you finish it. It teaches you how important love is and what it does to people, good and bad. It taught me that you don't have to be related to love something, and that life will end, but it will also carry on. The book creates you to realise that every day is completely different, although you may not realise it, and your sadness, happiness, forgiveness and boldness not from your personality, but from what you do, makes you who you are. I recommend it to ages 13+, it is an adult fiction book but I would encourage teens to read it too.

Buy it:

Favourite quote of the book: 'You only have to forgive once. To resent, you have to do it all day, every day, all the time. You have to keep remembering the bad things. It's too much work.' Hannahs' husband once said this, which I think it is such an honest quote which all the characters tried to to, and after I read this book, I will too.

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