The Light Between Oceans

Title: The Light Between Oceans

Author: M.L. Stedman

Genres: Contemporary | Historical Fiction

Length: 362 pages

Source: Gift

Format: Paperback

Rating: 4.25/5

 

Premise:

Tom and his wife live on an almost deserted island, where Tom is the lighthouse’s keeper.
In one April morning, the arrival of a dinghy will force them to make a decision that will change their, and others’, lives forever.

Review:

The Light Between Oceans took me forever to finish because it was a challenge to myself, not something I would normally read. I suppose I am used to more fast paced books so I didn’t find myself looking forward to knowing what came next, more looking forward to seeing what these characters would do with what was dealt to them.

It is most definitely a character driven book, and I have to admit they conquered my heart, particularly Tom. A man with a past that haunts him every step of the way but who always tries to do the right thing. Still, even the more secondary characters had a voice, and their own way of thinking, and their own desires, and I felt compelled by them as well.

Towards the last part of the book, the story takes some twists and turns, and it took my heart along with them. I honestly could not say ‘this is the right thing to do’. I could only suffer alongside with them an hope for good closure, which I got, all things considered.

There isn’t much I can tell you without spoiling the story. It’s one of those that are best savoured if you go into it knowing the least possible, so you can also better understand the characters’ motivations. It will particularly touch you if you are a parent. Just be warned that it broaches extremely difficult subjects, and that sometimes it is nearly impossible to do the right thing, or even tell what it is.

This is an extremely well crafted book and I highly recommend it.

Read from Nov 13th to Dec 27th, 2017
GR Review

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In Bitter Chill (Inspector Francis Sadler #1)

Title: In Bitter Chill (Inspector Francis Sadler #1)

Author: Sarah Ward

Genres: Crime | Mystery | Thriller

Length: 353 pages

Source: Gift

Format: Paperback

Rating: 4.25/5

Premise:

In 1978, two girls were kidnapped. One returned, the other didn’t.
Thirty-six years later, the latter’s mother is found dead in a hotel room, apparently a suicide.
What really happened then and on that faithful day?

Review:

In Bitter Chill engaged me from the beginning. I don’t usually enjoy crime novels because I either don’t have the patience for the procedural aspect or find it lacking, but in this case there was a great balance between story, procedure and characters. I actually found myself shivering when reading this because the cold truly travelled across the pages and I enjoyed meeting all characters. They each had their particularities and they were obviously much better constructed and developed than my previous experiences on the genre.

It was pleasant to see a variety of female characters. Not only were their personalities quite different but there were both big and small ones, which was a very welcome change. Almost overweight women still had appeal and that was amazing.

I felt the book dragged on a bit around the middle and there were a bit too many characters. Also, I could not understand certain characters’ actions, like why to keep some things from the police. It felt like it was done to drag the plot.

Still, things wrapped up very nicely towards the end culminating in a thrilling conclusion. The parallel narrative of 1978 and current day was so nicely done, as well as both stories’ development – there were enough clues laid out to be satisfied everything would fit in if I chose to reread everything, but not too many that I would guess the conclusion.

For the most part, In Bitter Chill enthralled me, and I am looking forward to beginning the sequel, A Deadly Thaw.

Read from Jan 1st to Jan 7th, 2017

GR Review