10 Nov 2019

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The Light Between Oceans by M L Stedman

A captivating, beautiful, and stunningly accomplished debut novel that opens in 1918 Australia - the story of a lighthouse keeper and his wife who make one devastating choice that forever changes two worlds.

Australia, 1926. After four harrowing years fighting on the Western Front, Tom Sherbourne returns home to take a job as the lighthouse keeper on Janus Rock, nearly half a day's journey from the coast. To this isolated island, where the supply boat comes once a season and shore leaves are granted every other year at best, Tom brings a young, bold, and loving wife, Isabel. Years later, after two miscarriages and one stillbirth, the grieving Isabel hears a baby's cries on the wind. A boat has washed up onshore carrying a dead man and a living baby.

Tom, whose records as a lighthouse keeper are meticulous and whose moral principles have withstood a horrific war, wants to report the man and infant immediately. But Isabel has taken the tiny baby to her breast. Against Tom's judgment, they claim her as their own and name her Lucy. When she is two, Tom and Isabel return to the mainland and are reminded that there are other people in the world. Their choice has devastated one of them.

Published:     31st July 2012
Publisher:  Scribner
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone
Source:  Owned


In complete contrast to what I have just read (The Night Circus) I thought it would pick up another novel that has been on my shelf for ages, since 2012 when it first came out.  I am going to be honest and say that this novel made me nervous to pick up.  Not only was it that most reviews I have read and seen about this book were very highly rated but the movie was too.   I think I had such high expectations for this novel that I did not think it would live up to that.  Well, it did and then some more.

This story centres around Tom and Isabel.  Tom is a lighthouse keeper and he and his wife live on this tiny island, all by themselves.  One day a boat washes up on shore which has a dead man and a baby who is still alive.  For their own personal reasons, they decide not to report this but to raise the baby as their own.  What follows is seeing the consequences of the choices that they make and how they deal with that.

This story blew me away.  The start of the novel you have the introduction to the world and the main characters together with issues that they have and are facing.  Honestly, the middle part of this book was a bit slow and I did struggle a little bit to concentrate but it soon picked up again after they have 'settled' into their new lives.

A tragic but beautiful story that really focuses on moral obligations and personal obligations. 

Continue reading The Light Between Oceans by M L Stedman

3 Nov 2019

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Book Review / The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des RĂªves, and it is only open at night.

But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway—a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love—a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.

True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus performers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.

Written in rich, seductive prose, this spell-casting novel is a feast for the senses and the heart.

Published:     13th September 2011
Publisher:  Doubleday
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand Alone
Source:  Owned


Now this book really surprised me!  Not only has this been on my shelf since it came out back in 2011 but it has been a book that I have picked up time and time again ready to read but for one reason or another never got around to it.  Now was the time and I am so happy that I did decide to read this.  The writing was beautiful and the plot and characters were even more wonderful. 

We start off being introduced to this circus that just appears overnight.  You have two ageing characters who agree to a competition/duel between two individuals who do not know they are taking part or know who each other is.  There's a lot they have to figure out.   You also have some many wonderful characters that are not lost in the plot, they all stand out and are unforgettable.    Where the story can go one way it can also go in the complete opposite and it is up to the participants of the competition to decide which way they are going to go. 

I just could not put this down!  I loved every minute of it.  This was not one of those books that you can just pick up and devour in an afternoon.  It needs to be savoured and read slowly.  That way you can truly take in all the information, characters, descriptions and all that good stuff that this book has to offer. 

Continue reading Book Review / The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern