The Light Between Oceans: A Novel

Written by:
M.L. Stedman
Narrated by:
Noah Taylor

Unabridged Audiobook

Release Date
July 2012
10 hours 21 minutes
The years-long New York Times bestseller and major motion picture from Spielberg’s Dreamworks is “irresistible…seductive…with a high concept plot that keeps you riveted from the first page” (O, The Oprah Magazine).

After four harrowing years on the Western Front, Tom Sherbourne returns to Australia and takes 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, 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, who keeps meticulous records and whose moral principles have withstood a horrific war, wants to report the man and infant immediately. But Isabel insists the baby is a “gift from God,” and 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.
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Jess F.

A beautifully written, heartbreaking story. Felt very authentic and held true to the follies of human nature, right to the very end. Audio quality, however, was not great and narrator was difficult to understand at times, but overall, a very enjoyable listen.

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Janice G.

Really liked the plot as it was complicated. Began the hardback and switched to this audio book and enjoyed it

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Emily W

Interesting storyline. The historical period and context is not something I would typically read or listen to but I decided to try something new. There were points where I lost interest but it is hard to know whether it was just the storyline or if it was more to do with the narrator. I think the main character was meant to come off as kind of dry and that was expressed via the narrator. I would maybe recommend this book to someone who likes period, crime, love stories.

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Ann G

I liked the story, in fact I selected it for our bookclub. I listen to audiobooks, during my work commute. I found the narrator very difficult to listen to. He constantly speaks loud and then super quiet, so you have to quickly adjust the volume, over and over. It was very annoying.

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Peg K

Enjoyed the book but did not like the reading style of narrator. I had to constantly turn up the volume. He lowered his voice so much at the end of a sentence I couldn't hear or understand him. Then when he read normal, I'd have to turn volume down.

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kylin f

This was a great book! It just took awhile for me to realize that. I had a hard time understanding the narrator's voice at the beginning so I almost quit the book. Strong accent and fluctuates the words to a whisper at times. I'm so glad I stuck with it though! It was a beautiful and painful story to listen to and when it was over I was so sad. Heartbreaking and gut wrenching and so special. I can't wait to see the movie play out in front of me. Once the story started turning and you could see the main plot form the narrator's voice fit perfectly. Tender and loving and you could tell the strength the main male character had through the narrator's voice.

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Shonna Dudar

I found the first 2/3's pretty slow, until the plot development nearer to the end, that's when it finally gripped me.

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Jennifer Ferguson

I thought I was safe picking a book that was being made into a movie. It was just okay. But I enjoy more plot twists and not so much sad realism.

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Hilary Sheaves

I cannot get used to the narrator. His sentences fall off at the end. It is really hard to get into. I need to read this with my own eyes.

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Janet Flores

I have tried to get into this book repeatedly, but I cannot! The narrator has a heavy accent and really puts me to sleep. I love listening to books, but with this one I find my mind wandering. I have to stop and replay only to find myself again thinking about other random things simply because it is not captivating.

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Francisca Sandoval

This was a really good story. However the narrator had a heavy Australian accent and I had to listen very carefully, but still worth it.

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Carol Vaneman

I enjoyed this story of love, basic emotions and commitment.

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Ann Masullo

What a beautiful, well written story. However I did not care for the narrator. He was difficult to understand at times, mumbling, slow and monotone.

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Beth Olson

Loved the story. I couldn't stop listening! The readers voice was hard to get used to, and at times i had to rewind to hear what he said. Can't wait to see the movie!

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Jeanie Smith

Great book, engaging story. Had to get used to the slow reading however.

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Jackie Schwartz

Loved it. Glad I picked it as my first audiobook. It started a little slow but I hung in there and it got better and better.

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Vanessa Carley

*THIS REVIEW MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS* I added this book to my Wish List and then later noticed that it was turned into a movie so I wanted to hurry up and listen to it before it comes out. The story is slower paced but not at all boring since the emotions are so heartbreaking. This story makes you feel for everyone involved. You root for Isabel and Tom and for the family they created but also know its wrong. Then when Hannah comes into the picture you feel for her too. You want Hannah to have her child back yet at the same time don't want Isabel and Tom to lose her either. Its just like the description says, there is no right answer or right path that doesn't lead to loss. It makes you wonder what you would do in their situation. Great story and now I'm even more excited for the movie when it comes out.

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Laurie Budash

Good story with an ending that brings a realistic closure to the series of events. Narrator accent is authentic but drops voice at end of sentences that sometimes made it hard to hear what was said.

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April Ryan

This book surprised me. I purchased it on a whim... Was not expecting much. Wow, it was very good. The story is quickly sucks you in. It is very well written with amazing character development. As a reader (listener) you begin to care for and empathize with the characters - ALL of them, making it obvious that there are no clear amswers in life. The narration was also very good. He has a very natural cadence and rhythm. Overall one of the better books I have purchased this year.

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Holly Harrison

The big question of this book is basically “how far would you go for someone you love?” Would you give up your own morals and go against everything you know if the woman you loved asked for it? Faced with keeping or returning a lost baby Stedman does a wonderful job of not influencing your decision over whom to side with: she never gives you a clear-cut “bad guy” or “good guy”. A perfect book if you want to spark a debate about love, marriage and honor.

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This book makes for a great book club book because there's lots of issues to talk about--mental health, family, justice--but at the end of the day, it's 10+ hours of a bunch of people all making really bad decisions.

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Cindy Millard

Wonderful story. It was not the sort of book I read but tried it because of a recommendation. The narration was with an Australian accent which was perfect.

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Sarah Haque

Stedman's first novel, The Light Between Oceans is a compelling read that explores tragic decisions made by good people. While the tone and melancholy quality of the narrators voice required a little getting used to, the emotional complexity of the story engages readers in the heart-wrenching moral dilemma from from beginning to end.

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