Australia, 1926. After four harrowing years fighting on the Western Front, Tom Sherbourne returns home to take a job as the lighthouse keeper on Janus Rock, nearly half a day’s journey from the coast. To this isolated island 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, where they are reminded that there are other people in the world. Their choice has devastated one of them.
“Moving… prepare to weep.” —The New York Times
“Beautifully drawn. By letting neither her readers nor her characters off the hook easily, Stedman creates a bond that makes her book tough to shake off.”
“Lyrical..Stedman’s debut signals a career certain to deliver future treasures.”
"Extraordinary and heart-rending." —Markus Zusak, author of The Book Thief
“Gets into your heart stealthily. . . . Stunning.”
—Maile Meloy, author of Both Ways Is the Only Way I Want It
“Moral dilemmas don’t come more exquisite.”—Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“Captivates the reader and moves her through a myriad of emotions, from sorrow to joy, from peacefulness to suspense, from anger to acceptance...An amazing debut.”
“I'm still shaking my head that this is a debut novel. What a debut. Sensational. Brilliant.”
— Goodreads.com (five stars)
New York Times Bestseller
WINNER, Best Historical Novel, Goodreads Choice Awards 2012
#1 INDIE NEXT Pick
Barnes & Noble Recommends Selection
An Amazon Best Book of the Month (August 2012)
A Book-of-the-Month Club® National Blue Ribbon Selection
"Irresistible...seductive...a high concept plot that keeps you riveted from the first page."
- Sara Nelson, O, the Oprah Magazine
N O W I N P A P E R B A C K