Monday, 14 May 2012

The Light Between Oceans by M. L. Stedman

The Light Between Oceans is the debut novel of M. L. Stedman, published a few weeks ago on the 26th April.

The novel is set in 1920s Australia, after the First World War. The war is a catalyst for many of the novel's events, everything is finely interwoven, as the reader witnesses mistake after mistake, tragedy after tragedy. Despite the tragedies, however, there are so many beautiful aspects to the relationships within the pages. The way the characters are explored brings them to life in such a way that you can't help but fall in love with them, sympathise with them, and mix your tears with theirs.

I so desperately wanted to reach the happy ending. It didn't happen. It is one of the most tragic and beautiful novels I have come across.

If one thing is certain, it is that this book is certainly not light-hearted. While I encourage my viewers to read it, I do so with the caveat that they should not be expecting to 'enjoy' it as such. It is a wonderful, well-crafted, well-written novel, but it's just too sad to 'enjoy'. It rips you open at the heart and runs you down as you hope against hope alongside the characters. There is no happy ending, as such, except in that everyone settles and accepts their place, and strives to make the most of their lives and be happy as they are. The only chance of a happy ending comes late, and only causes more tears because of this.

Read it, love it, be rendered helpless and tear-stained.

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