|Image from amazon.com|
I marvel at the ironies (or coincidences, I'm not sure what the difference is) that occur in my life. I had this book on my iPad and decided I would start it on the long bus ride to Pennsylvania. Right before I started reading the book, I had a conversation with my mother about whether or not I would accompany her on a trip to Australia in April (I won't).
Then I settled in to read the book, only to discover that it is set in a remote place off the coast of Australia. Did it change my mind about going on the trip? Almost. But not quite.
This description comes from Amazon.com:
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 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.
I can't tell you how gripping I found this book. It is emotionally powerful, one of those where it's difficult to condemn ANY of the characters for their behavior, no matter how conflicting and contradictory it is.
This book has a spot on my top-ten list of favorite books ever. Possibly top-five material. I fully intend to read it again. Not only does it have a compelling plot with marvelous characters, the writing is beautiful, poignant, flowing, and thought-provoking.
I wish I wish I wish I wish I wish I had a book club with whom to discuss this book. Please read it so we can discuss it virtually. Thank you!