I love a good depiction of an ethical dilemma, you know that kind of situation where harm will be done regardless of the decisions made by those facing/involved in said dilemma. This book presents the epitome of such a dilemma!
Tom and Isabel have tried and failed to have a child of their own. Two later term miscarriages and a still birth have Isabel distraught and Tom struggling to find a way to help his grieving wife. One night, shortly after the still-birth, a boat washes ashore on the remote island (a light station) where Tom and Isabel live. Inside the small boat is a dead man,a screaming baby girl, a woman's sweater and a silver rattle.
Tom, the ever meticulous light keeper, wants to report the finding but Isabel, grieving her losses and desperate for a child of her own, convinces him to keep the baby using the argument that the Mother would have been lost at sea, as no self-respecting mother would let her child be taken in a boat without her. Better they would be to keep the baby and raise her as their own.
Inevitably, the truth about baby Lucy is discovered by Tom and Isabel. This is where the story really picks up and takes the reader on an incredible and emotional journey.
I loved how the story played out. I believe that Ms. Stedman has captured the reality of what emotions would be like if such a situation had truly happened. And, considering the period in which the novel is set (post WW I Australia) and the fact that Tom and Isabel lived on such a remote island, the story is quite plausible in all aspects.
I liked at the book wrapped up as well and, I must say, my eyes got a bit leaky! I loved the book and highly recommend it to all!!!
As a footnote, I love this quote from the book...
"I can leave myself to rot in the past, spend my time hating people for what happened, like my father did, or I can forgive and forget."
"But that's not easy"
He smiled that Frank smile. "Oh, but my treasure, it is so much less exhausting. You only have to forgive once. To resent, you have to do it all day, every day. You have to keep remembering all the bad things."... "we all have a choice. All of us."