Friday, October 20, 2017

A Lightkeeper’s Lifestyle*


WHAT would you do if what seemed like the answer to your prayers landed on your lap, quite inexplicably? Would you embrace it without a second thought or view it with a measure of trepidation?

In The Light Between Oceans by ML Stedman, we meet Tom Sherbourne and his wife Isabel. The couple move to Janus Rock off the coast of Australia where Tom takes up his position as lightkeeper. The newlyweds live a solitary lifestyle, far away from family and friends and the rest of civilisation. But Isabel’s greatest desire is to have a child. After suffering two miscarriages and a still birth, she finds herself locked in a cycle of desperation and despair. Then one day, out of the blue, she hears the cries of a newborn. Upon further discovery the couple find a boat washed ashore containing a dead man and a baby. Tom is apprehensive, he knows he ought to tell someone of their find but as far as Isabel is concerned the baby is a godsend, an answer to her prayers. Against their better judgement, Tom and Isabel keep the baby and bring her up as their own and keep the circumstances under which they found her a secret from the rest of the world.

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