Isabel looks over the edge of the cliff and slightly swoons at the vastness that is her view. She loves the little island and her life, but the loneliness and sadness sometimes takes her for a brief moment only to be released as the feelings crash on the rocks.
Tom was also watching the same waves from the above tower. “The water sloshed like white paint, milky-thick, the foam occasionally scraped off long enough to reveal a deep blue undercoat. At the other end of the island, a row of immense boulders created a break against the surf and left the water inside it as calm as a bath.”
“He had the impression he was hanging from the sky, not rising from the earth. Very slowly, he turned a full circle, taking in the nothingness of it all. It seemed his lungs could never be large enough to breathe in this much air, his eyes could never see this much space, nor could he hear the full extent of the rolling, roaring ocean. For the briefest moment, he had no edges.”
Isabel turns to walk down the hill, her path leading straight to the new driftwood cross and rosemary bush she planted last week. In her hands she carried a watering can left by a previous light keeper. It was a fine April day and she hummed a little tune as she drew closer.
The island’s graveyard had three little plots Isabel tended daily. She remained a happy soul even though her losses were beginning to mount. Tom was wary. He felt she portrayed one thing with her smile but worried her feelings jagged, lying beneath unseen like an undertow.
Isabel heard it after watering the bush and standing the cross upright. At first she thought it her imagination. Hearing an infant’s cry 100 miles away from civilization was not possible, but she stood.
Looking towards the mainland of Australia, she yells, “On the beach – a boat!” Tom makes great haste and is at her side within seconds having seen the apparition moments earlier on his last scan. “It’s a boat all right and – oh cripes! There’s a bloke, but–”
You will be entranced by M. L. Stedman’s first book, The Light Between Oceans. Set in the early 1900s, this book is destined to become a book club favorite.