Tom is the new lighthouse keeper on the remote Janus Island off the shore of Australia. When he marries Isabel they live a solitary existence on the Island only getting leave every three years. The only blight on their relationship is Isabel’s desperation for a child. One morning a small boat washes up on the shore, the man is dead but a small baby is still alive. Tom knows he should let someone know but Isabel sees it as a gift from God and wants to keep the baby. Their decision sets off ripples of consequences that not only effects them but also her family in Partaguese and with Hannah, the baby’s real mother. This is a novel of decisions, consequences human nature, and the blurred lines between what is wrong and right.
This a haunting read that will stay with you long after you finish the book. I found that it made me question what I would have done in that situation. This would make it an ideal book for a book club as I think there will be many different opinions as to what people would do. I have to say I read this is part of a book club I am in, and I’m glad I chose it.
The storyline is innovative and intelligent. It is very atmospheric in it the descriptive writing with a lot of historical detail of the early twentieth century and how the lighthouses were run. There is a lot of scope for the development of the characters that are well drawn with attention to their history that helps us understand why they do what they do and why; their attract the empathy of the reader.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, its one of those where you are desperate to get to the end to see what happens but at the same time you don’t want the book to end. I have to say I was left bereft by the time I finished, with a mix of emotions and thoughts going through my head. It really does get to your heart. I know the film is coming out soon and I hope it does the book justice. I will go and see the film and will have a huge box of tissues at the ready.