Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:4-7

23 April 2014

The Light Between Oceans

I read a wonderful novel over the Easter weekend.  I was hooked by the end of the first page.  A third of the way through I was racing though and I just couldn't put it down.  By two thirds of the way through I'd slowed the pace right down because I didn't want it to end.  It joins the genre that I've called the "gentle page turner" which has been defined elsewhere on this blog.

A book that moves along slowly and yet is a page turner.
A book that is quiet and gentle but not light weight by any stretch of the imagination.
Full of peace, compassion, deep love, honour and loyalty portrayed through clean, beautiful writing.
That is a gentle page turner.

It's the genre which includes Gilead, Crossing to Safety and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.

This latest discovery tells of life after World War One - what it was like for those who didn't go away to war and what it was like for those who returned from the fighting to try and resume normal life.  It tells of the life of those brave men and women who were lighthouse keepers before it all became automated.  It's the story of a returned service man, his new bride and their new life as the lighthouse keeper and wife on a tiny island just off the Australian mainland.  And then there is the mystery of the row boat that comes to shore on the island with a dead man and a tiny baby, very much alive.

The Light Between Oceans is the debut novel for ML Stedman.  It gets five stars from me.  And I'd give it some more if there were more to give on the standard star rating.


And lest you think I LOVE every book I read, after this (and I guess it was always going to be a hard act to follow) I started The Book Thief.  I got about a hundred pages in and have put it aside.  Despite the rave reviews that abound, this is not the book for me, at least at this time.  And so I have gone back to the classics.  North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell.  I know every inch of the BBC mini-series.  It's nice to be reading the words now.


Libby said...

Sounds great - thanks for the review!

Karen said...

Thanks for your review Meredith, I commented on your facebook post about this book :) I think what I struggled with in reading it was that it maybe did feel a bit too much on the lighter weight side to me. But you are right, compared with many books out there these days, the writing was very clean!

Meredith said...

I hope you love it Libby.

Thanks your thoughts Karen. I was interested to hear what you thought, especially from one who loves lighthouses. I've replied to your FB comment. In terms of the lighter weight thing, interesting. Bits of life here are quite heavy weight at the moment so I perhaps didn't notice the lighter weight of this book...and maybe that is why The Book Thief is not working for me at the moment. And I'm not giving up on The Book Thief. I was finding it interesting and can imagine that at some stage down the track I will want to get my teeth into it. Have you read it?