After four harrowing years on the Western Front, Tom Sherbourne returns to Australia and takes a job as the lighthouse keeper on Janus Rock, nearly half a day’s journey from the coast. To this isolated island, where the supply boat comes once a season and shore leaves are granted every other year at best, Tom brings a young, bold, and loving wife, Isabel. Years later, after two miscarriages and one stillbirth, the grieving Isabel hears a baby’s cries on the wind. A boat has washed up onshore carrying a dead man and a living baby.
Tom, whose records as a lighthouse keeper are meticulous and whose moral principles have withstood a horrific war, wants to report the man and infant immediately. But Isabel has taken the tiny baby to her breast. Against Tom’s judgment, they claim her as their own and name her Lucy. When she is two, Tom and Isabel return to the mainland and are reminded that there are other people in the world. Their choice has devastated one of them.
The thought of living in such isolation is both intriguing and horrifying. I would go absolutely stir crazy. Add to that the loss of three children and only your husband to help carry the burden of your sorrow, it would be too much to bear. But could I keep a baby that wasn't mine and not report it to the authorities? I don't think so? But I could feel Isabel's pain and I just wanted her to have the happiness she deserved. This book takes you through the pain and turmoil that their decision to keep Lucy has on them when they return to shore and find out that a life has gone on in pain because of their choice.
This is a great debut novel and it is beautifully written. Add this to your list of books to read. It will stay with you long after you finish it.