Having read a number of glowing reviews I was really expecting to be blown away by this debut novel. Unfortunately by the end I was left feeling rather let down, which isn’t to say I didn’t enjoy some of it but I was certainly not as impressed as others have been so far. The story is set just after WW1 on the remote Janus Rock where ex-soldier Tom works as the lighthouse keeper. Before long he meets and then marries the feisty Isabel and despite the isolation the couple forge a happy life together. But the happiness does not last and the marriage begins to suffer after Isabel loses 3 babies to miscarriage. One windy afternoon Isabel hears a baby’s cry and when a little infant girl is found in a boat along with a dead man she believes the baby has been sent from God for her and her husband to love and raise. What she didn’t plan on was that the baby’s mother is living on the mainland and grieving for the loss of her husband and child.


As you can see this is one of those books with a moral dilemma as the central theme and I’m sure many a book club will enjoy discussing what they would do in this situation. For me it just seems like a ridiculous dilemma that you just wouldn’t find yourself in (ok I know it's fiction) and even if you did there is no way anyone would just keep a baby without knowing that there would be consequences. I found I couldn’t really empathise with Isabel even though the author seemed be saying that in her situation what she did was ok. I'm sure this will be a popular book and maybe a film one day but for me it just didn't quite work.

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I agree, Merilyn. The ending seemed too rushed and neatly tied up with the fast-forward to the future. The author really did fail to create the moral dilemma I think would have made this a better book, and I couldn't help thinking how stupid the characters Tom and Isabel were.



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