I’d heard so many good things about this novel, and I really love a book that makes me feel something, so when this was on a multi-buy offer at Smiths I couldn’t resist. Nor could I leave it sitting on the shelf for ages waiting for me to pick it up.
It’s one of those rare books too that had me thinking about it when I couldn’t read it. Great for my reading experience, very bad for working life!
Short Synopsis: Tom is a soldier returned from WW1 to live off the coast of Western Australia where he is a lighthouse keeper. He marries Isabel and they’re madly in love and desperately sad that they haven’t been able to have children, so when a rowing boat containing a baby and a man’s body wash up on the shores of the lighthouse they make a decision that will change many lives forever.
The story is wonderfully written and draws you into Tom and Isabel’s world until you feel what they feel. When they struggle with the decisions they’ve made I felt for each of them, and when faced with harder and harder choices my heart just ached. The ending was beautifully handled and you will need a book of tissues close to hand.
What I liked most: The setting, the emotional drama, the characterisation.
What I liked least: There were a couple of moments that I felt the story could have moved a little faster, but that might be my impatience to resolve the pain everyone is going through.