April 2014 Club

The Light Between Oceans

The Light Between Oceans by M. L. Stedman is a compelling tale which mostly takes place on a remote rocky outcrop called Janus Rock situated where the Pacific Ocean meets the Indian Ocean off the western point of Australia.

The life of a lighthouse keeper suits Tom Sherbourne who has recently returned from the horrific events of the Great War. He finds comfort in solitude and in the accurate keeping of paperwork demanded by the Commonwealth Lighthouse Service.

However, during a rare trip to the mainland, he meets the spirited Isabel who has also experienced great loss in her family, and after a couple of meetings, they decide to marry and Isabel moves to Janus to become the lighthouse keeper's wife.

The Sherbournes decide to try for a family but Isabel experiences three most heartbreaking miscarriages on the rock. A few days after the third loss, a boat washes up on the shoreline containing a dead man and lively baby, only a couple of weeks old.

Tom is well aware that regulations require him to report the event, but Isabel is reluctant to give up the baby, so he uncomfortably decides to delay. Hours become days, and he makes the decision to bury the man's body.
The couple surmise that the mother must have fallen overboard and drowned and convince themselves that the baby is better off with them than in an orphanage on the mainland.

But what will happen when they discover that the baby's mother is still alive on the mainland and intensely missing her daughter?

Although much of the story takes place on Janus Rock, with wonderful descriptions of slate skies, granite cliffs, sea mists and the turquoise ocean, Stedman also paints a detailed picture of the small town on the mainland, Point Partageuse, including captivating descriptions of the local flora and fauna.

This debut novel took me by surprise. I was utterly enthralled by the characters and the edge-of-your-seat exploration of right and wrong and felt a bit overcome by emotion at the end. Also loved the numerous references to knitting and wool and the fact that the previous lighthouse keeper was a knitter. A thoroughly recommended read.

Colourway inspiration

The Light Between Oceans was brimming with colour inspiration, from the ocean scenes to the floral backyards of the residents of Point Partageuse. I was spoilt for choice.

For the semi-solid colourway, it had to reflect the ocean-theme of the book, so I went for a seagrass colour to glimmer on the silk/merino yarn base. Because it's the surprise club, you may receive a paler or darker version of the colour, perhaps with random spatters of deeper blue.

For the variegated colourway, I wanted to reflect a certain lightness, so used the seagrass colour and added the soft lavender of the mother's cardigan, the silvery grey of the crucial silver rattle, some rosemary green for the rosemary bushes on the island and some pale sky blue.

The yarn base is Lustrous merino/silk.