This is a 1st book for M. L. Stedman and takes place after the first World War in Australia where many men have been lost-both literally and mentally. Tom, thinks that there's not much to life and that he wants to be a light house keeper for the remainder of his days and applies for post at one of the most remote light houses in the country, Janus. Upon reaching the main land city which will service him, he unexpectedly meets an intriguing young girl, Isabel, who then writes to him while he is alone on the island and in a very short time decide to get married.
Life is both exactly what Isabel has hoped for on the isolated island, but also nothing like it as well. Struggling with trying to have a baby-the only thing she truly wants in a family life-while all alone with no pre-natal care, she becomes devastated with miscarriages. One day a boat washes up on shore carrying what they least expect.....a deceased man and a baby. What will they do?
This book explores the nature/nurture and the love between husband/wife, parent/child-especially mother/child, grandparent/grandchild, and birthparent/foster parent relationships, as they were viewed at that time in history. It also explores if it is ever truly ok to tell a lie or omit the truth. Heart wrenching, beautiful, agonizing at times, this book is very well written. Slightly slow in the middle, it picks up and is a page turner by the end.
Biggest lesson learned: Honesty is the best policy. Even when it hurts to do it, even if it means sacrificing things you would like in order to be honest, it will usually end up being in everyone's best interests in the end.