I know this book got really popular when the movie was announced and came out, so when I got the chance, I snagged a copy so I could see what the buzz was all about.
The book begins with Tom and Isabel Sherbourne discovering a dinghy washed ashore with a dead man and a baby inside. Having lost a third baby only weeks before, Isabel convinces her husband to keep the child. Lightkeepers on a remote island and committed to three-year stints, Isabel and Tom say the baby is theirs, knowing it will be some time before they get shore leave and anyone meets the baby.
From there, the story floats back in time, establishing Tom as a military man who served in World War I and showing his upstanding character. When Tom and Isabel meet, they are instantly drawn to each other, and end up marrying.
The story then picks up where it left off in the beginning, and we see them raising the baby–a little girl they name Lucy. But while life on the island is wonderful, when they return for shore leave, things get more complicated, and thus starts a string of events that takes them down a painful and unintended road, and they must face the consequences of having kept the baby, and consider whether their actions were right.
The story starts out kind of slow and it isn’t an action-packed, dramatic story. Instead, as is fitting with its themes, it is a methodical story that establishes its characters and gives reasoning behind their actions. This story largely deals in grey areas of motives, and it challenges readers to deeper thought. Although readers can understand and sympathize with the Sherbournes in the beginning, as the story progresses, you second guess, and you find yourself caught up in the same questions all the characters wrestle with: what is best for Lucy?
This book deals with some heavy stuff, and it hits you right in the heart, for sure. But it’s a good read and a good story, and worth the time to read.