Reading...The Light Between Oceans
I loved so many things about the book, except the sad, sad, sadness. Don't get me wrong, every emotion in this book was realistic and plausible and grounded -- exactly why I liked it. But, like one of my favorite heroines Fair Finley, I prefer everyone to win and no one to be sad. Unfortunately, I know life doesn't generally turn out that way.
Back to Light Between Oceans -- the writing was beautiful and evoked a tremendous sense of place for me. I've never been to Australia, but now I feel like I have. I could imagine the sounds and smells of Janus and the lighthouse, and feel the wild, desolate beauty of it. The characters were so real and genuine -- this is part of why the heartbreak of the story struck so spot-on, because every action and emotion felt genuine. I felt like the events were happening to people I knew. I appreciated that while the author told a messy story, it felt grounded to me, rather than melodromatic (fully realizing that some people may dissagree with me).
This was a book club pick, and while I haven't read any reviews of this, I'm curious to get the reaction of other readers, especially parents. I'm aware enough to realize that my reading experience as a non-parent is probably going to be a lot different. This book made me think about everything that goes into informing our choices as individuals, and the heartbreak of feeling like you have to choose between two bad things, especially when the choices involve other people. And really, that's another point to the story, I think: we like to imagine that our choices only affect us; but they rarely do. And I like that in the end, the story is as much about not just making choices but about what happens after, and about learning to keep going and live with the choices you've made.