Book vs Film #4 The Light Between Oceans

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, 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.

A couple of years ago I read a beautiful book called The Light Between Oceans and I still think about it today. It was a historical fiction novel and I hadn’t read anything quite like it. The book had a classic touch and it felt like something that could’ve been written fifty years ago. It was quite an emotional read and it made me cry not once or twice but actually several times. Plus, I love stories where a dilemma is presented and good people make mistakes. This is one of those. I just couldn’t hate the characters even if I didn’t always agree with their decisions. I understood everyone.

The film wasn’t super different in terms of story (not like Practical Magic or Brooklyn) but it changed some aspects of the book and I think it made it harder to connect with the main character because the suffering wasn’t as extreme as I had experienced when reading the novel. Nevertheless, I still enjoyed (maybe that isn’t the right word) the film because of the wonderful setting, the emotional performances by Alicia Vikander, Michael Fassbender and Rachel Weisz and the way it made me feel. Plus, it was only the second film where I’ve seen my boyfriend cry, so there’s that. And believe me, we watch A LOT of films. I cry at like 60% of them, so you don’t have to trust my tears. But you should trust his 😉

 

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8 thoughts on “Book vs Film #4 The Light Between Oceans

  1. So odd, I have both the book and the movie, and I have not read or watched either one! I really need to! They both sound like I would enjoy them so much. And if your boyfriend cried during the movie, I really should watch it-I love that he did! I cry over almost everything, so my tears really can’t be trusted either. Great book vs film pick this week 🙂

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  2. The movie wasn’t bad but your right the suffering didn’t come across as well as the book. The book is so good, I’m not sure that anyone would have been able to completely do it justice.

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