On a recent trip to Augusta, I was delighted to combine my love of travel with my love of books – especially those written by fellow Australians.
Here at the most Southern westerly tip of Australia, where the Indian and Southern Oceans meet, stands a solitary sentinel known as the Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse. It is one of the many lighthouses, author M.L. Stedman, based her research for her debut novel The Light Between Oceans. In this beautiful, wild and windswept place, I found her novel in one of the surrounding old buildings, which boasts a bustling ticket and souvenir shop.
This really is a mesmerizing novel of love, loss and unbearable choices, which has been sold in 31 territories and is due to be made into a film. In 2012, it was voted ‘Best Historical Novel’ by 1.5 million voters on the Goodreads website. Stedman has also been longlisted for the 2013 Women’s Prize for Fiction – The Light Between Oceans won the Indie Book of the Year in the Debut Fiction category at the Australian Independent Bookseller’s Indie Awards.
1926. Tom Sherbourne is a young lighthouse keeper on a remote island off Western Australia. The only inhabitants of Janus Rock, he and his wife Isabel live a quiet life, cocooned from the rest of the world. One April morning a boat washes ashore carrying a dead man and a crying infant – and the path of the couple’s lives hits an unthinkable crossroads. Only years later do they discover the devastating consequences of the decision they make that day – as the baby’s real story unfolds…
This is a must-read book that will touch your soul. Its well crafted prose is a credit to Stedman’s ability to weave a fine story. Don’t forget to keep the tissues handy!