Book Review: The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman

About the Book:

The Light Between Oceans

AFTER FOUR HARROWING YEARS ON THE WESTERN FRONT, Tom Sherbourne returns to Australia and takes 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, 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, who keeps meticulous records and whose moral principles have withstood a horrific war, wants to report the man and infant immediately. But Isabel insists the baby is a “gift from God,” and 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.

My Thoughts:

Both heart-warming and heart-wrenching, The Light Between Oceans tells a tale of love, hope, sorrow and how decisions taken affect lives. The story follows Tom Sherbourne’s life as he spends time as the lighthouse keeper on Janus Rock, an island off the coast. Having given up any hope of finding love and peace, Tom is pleasantly surprised to find that Isabel is not only interested in him, but would love to marry him and move to Janus Rock with him.

As the story unfolds, we are first introduced to life on Janus, away from the rest of the world. The beauty of the place and the peace are something to only be wondered about. At first I found it a little difficult to get into the book, but as it progressed, I became engrossed in the lives of our characters and their journey. The author describes in detail the anguish that wrenches through Isabel during her miscarriages, and the emptiness she feels at this loss. This sets the path towards understanding what drives the couple to take certain decisions. At the base of it all is unconditional and deep love.

The child, Lucy/Grace is lively and charming, bringing light to the world and lives of the people she touches. She finds herself torn between the parents who adopt her and her own mother. The strength of the child and how she grows are wonderful to read about. The questions of right and wrong come up as the story unfolds and the truth behind who Lucy’s parents are comes to light. It is all a grey area and the author brings out the actions of people in desperate situations, and shows us how grief comes in many forms. For Isabel it is a result of her miscarriages and stillbirth. For Hannah, it is the loss of her husband and child with no idea of whether they are dead or alive. For Tom, it is the horrors of the war that he has seen that are never far from his mind. Everyone’s idea of redemption is different and we see how each person’s decision affects so many other lives.

As the story progresses, it becomes darker and darker, forcing the reader on an emotional roller coaster until the very end. Who will stand by your side in times of need and who will turn their backs to you? What is the meaning of family. A must read, this story shows us the nature of people when forced into situations and how they act even against people they once knew very well. This story is compelling and gripping until the very last page and I would not be surprised if the reader sheds a tear at some point.

Book Blitz : I Owed You One by Madhu Vajpayee

About the Book:

Publisher:
LiFi Publications Pvt. Ltd.
ISBN:
978-9386191281
Format:
Paperback
Pages:
258 pages

Price: 275/-



 

Dev Khanna has a perfect life with his loving wife Radhika and son Neel in Melbourne, Australia. But there is something from his past that keeps gnawing him, an open wound that is a reminder of a debt. His present is very flourishing and future promising but what happens when the past comes knocking? As the skeletons begin to tumble one after other from the cupboard it is now threating his present.

Join Dev on a journey that spans across the tall skylines of Melbourne, the royal Dilwalo ki Dilli to the dingy streets of Moradabad as he battles love, religion, politics and fear questioning his own beliefs at every step. Will he be able to make peace with his past and save his future? Will humanity lose this battle against everything else?


Book Links:
Goodreads * Amazon


Feedback for the Book:

5 Stars “With an intriguing and powerful theme, the author has chosen a realistic and suspenseful plot with
all its subplots tied very well. The characters are realistic and believable. Descriptive writing style along with the confident tone of narration with the extremely good use of vocabulary made it easier for understanding. The suspense that starts building up in the midway is being handled with utmost care and is taken care that it does not loses its grip and holds the capacity to keep the readers engrossed till the last page.” ~ Nikita onAmazon

5 Stars – “Entwined in the backdrop of a courageous young man who let go his turmoiled past and commits
himself to love and fulfill his duty without self-interest to be an ultimate winner, the author constantly reminds and beautifully conveys that secularism means humanism and peaceful coexistence. The book has all the makings of a Bollywood blockbuster. A must read for everyone…” ~ Namita Dimrion Amazon
4 Stars “The story line is no less than a thriller. It has all the elements for a perfect entertaining read. Romance, action, drama, mystery, socio-political angle and lots of thriller. Thoroughly enjoyed reading this unpredictable tale of Dev and travelling across continents with him to witness what is the extent one can go
for a loved one. There are some scenes that left me goose bumps, because of how real it all felt.” ~ PrivyTrifles
 
About the Author:
Dr. Madhu Vajpayee- the writer is born somewhere in those hospital corridors where she has spent the last two decades of her life. Witnessing life at such close quarters pushed her to capture the enigma of life in her words and slowly it became her passion. After writing several medical papers and chapters in books, she started her journey in the literary world. Seeking Redemption was her first fiction book which is now followed by I Owed You One.
 
Having done her graduation, MBBS from King Georges Medical University (KGMU), Lucknow she went ahead to pursue her post-graduation, MD from AIIMS, New Delhi. She was a faculty at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi having been associated with management of patients living with HIV/AIDS. She is now settled in Melbourne, Australia with her family, where she is devoting most of her time to writing, the passion that she couldn’t pursue earlier because of the demands of medical profession and commitment it requires.
 
When not creating stories, Madhu enjoys reading and traveling.
 
Contact the Author:
 
 

Book Spotlight: You Came Like Hope by Jyoti Arora

 About the Book:

Peehu:
“I heard them mourn my death. I lay in the next room. Motionless, silent, and staring at the ceiling.”
 
Adih:
“Whenit comes to a broken person, some of them are expert at blinding you. Spend an entire evening with such a person, but you may still not know how he iscrushing inside.”
 
Uday:
“Who would say no to him? He is smart, intelligent, super handsome, rich, suave and sophisticated. He’s perfect!”
 
Pooja:
“Pooja gave no explanation. She asked no forgiveness. She just arrived in his home, resenting him for being her husband.”
 
Arunav:
“He had smiled as if nothing was wrong. He had behaved as if he still had his dreams and hopes. He had pretended as if it didn’t hurt. But it did.”
 
Does Destiny hold the key to our happiness?
Is it always the feeble that is the victim?
Love can be the embrace of heaven. But what happens when it unleashes hellfire?
 
Lose yourself in the intense narrative of You Came Like Hope as it unleashes a rollercoaster of emotions, uncovers some bitter truths, challenges widespread prejudices, and forces you to reconsider your beliefs.
 
Check out the Free Sample of the novel
 
Book Trailer:


Book Links:


Read an Excerpt:

  Prologue
The trouble with me is that I forget all caution, when I need it the most.

I knew I was not supposed to set foot inside his house. I had already done one blunder. The result of that was wrapping its web around me. Suffocating me. It was foolishness to be stepping into yet another mistake.

But there I was.

‘It doesn’t matter. I’ll leave soon. He’s not here anyway,’ I excused myself, taking a deep breath of the pleasant lemon-scented air of the place.

The room was simply furnished. There was an oval centre table topped with a black glass. Pencil scrapes fluttered on half of it and school books and notebooks covered the other half. An almost empty school bag lay huddled on the grey couch next to it. There were matching single-seaters on the other side of the table. A square dining table stood on one side of the room. It had only two chairs. Besides this sombre furniture, there were three Disney cushions on the grey couch, artificial sunflowers with smiley faces in a vase, a flower-shaped wall clock, and a cute flower and bee shaped perfume dispenser in a corner. These childish whims and fancies served well to add cheer to otherwise too plain a room.

My eyes brushed past all these things, only to be arrested by a photo hanging on a wall. It showed a girl child holding the hand of a tall man. He was dressed in blue jeans and grey t-shirt. The attire suited his height and strong built well. The child was grinning at the camera. Her companion was looking down and smiling at her. It was a smile that could have forced any woman to become rude and stare with desire. I was glad it was just a picture that I was staring at.

The owner of that smile had moved to Delhi four months ago, renting a house very close to my cousin sister Rajni’s house. This was the first time I had come to stay at my cousin’s home since then. My mother had let me come. But she worried that he was too near, the son of a defamed family.

‘You know what his family history is. Stay away from him, no matter what Rajni tells you,’ she had ordered.

‘Too late,’ I murmured, staring at his picture and wondering what mother would say if she found out. But then, there were far worse things that I had hidden. Things that, I knew, would hurt my parents more. Far more.

 

About the Author:

 

Jyoti Arora is a novelist and blogger from Ghaziabad. You Came Like Hope is her third novel, coming after Dream’s Sake and Lemon Girl. She is Post Graduate in English Literature and Applied Psychology.

Jyoti has over five years of experience working as a freelance writer. This experience includes abridging over 24 famous English classics like Jane Eyre, Moby Dick etc.

Jyoti Arora is a patient of Thalassemia Major. But she does not let this stop or discourage her. For her determination and achievements, Jyoti has received appreciation from Ms Sheila Dixit, Ms Maneka Gandhi and the  Ghaziabad wing of BJP. Her life story has been covered in various local and national TV shows, radio programs, newspapers, magazines and websites like YourStory and Inspire India. She was also one of the ‘100 Women Achievers of India’ that were invited to witness the Republic Day parade of India (2016) as special guests. Besides reading and writing novels, Jyoti also enjoys blogging and has won several blogging competitions. She loves checking out latest technological innovations, watching movies, and listening to old Bollywood songs.
Reach her at jyotiarora.com.
 
Contact the Author:
 

Book Review: Christmas at Mistletoe Cove (Hope Island #3) by Holly Martin

About the Book:

Christmas at Mistletoe Cove

Growing up on Hope Island, Eden Lancaster always believed that if you wished hard enough for something, dreams really could come true. But Eden’s greatest wish is also her biggest secret: she has been completely in love with her childhood friend, the charming and attractive Dougie Harrison, for as long as she can remember. And he has no idea.

When Dougie leaves his successful life in New York to return home to Hope Island for good, Eden can’t escape her feelings. Her heart is full of hope that her romantic dreams are finally, at long last, going to come true…

This Christmas could change everything. But can a lifelong friendship really turn into the perfect romance? And will Eden get the happily ever after she’s always wished for?

My Thoughts:

 Christmas at Mistletoe Cove is the story of childhood friends Eden and Dougie, who have always loved each other but don’t realize that the other has the same feelings until much later. They both shy away from telling the other about their feelings which seems quite clear to everyone else around them. As much as I enjoyed the concept of magic and hope at the time of the holidays, the romance did not do much for me. It all felt rushed and sudden and then quite over the top. All of a sudden everything just works out and is perfect with a lot of over the top gestures to prove that dreams can come true. It seemed a bit too easy for me and thus I ended up skimming through some parts of the story that didn’t hold my attention. The characters are nice, but everyone seems to be rather perfect in how they are and their lives.

The concept of a happily ever after and finding love at the time of Christmas is wonderful and I am sure that fans of romance will enjoy this story!

A Prayer Series by Samreen Ahsan

About the Books:

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Adam Gibson is a young and powerful Toronto millionaire. Despite his many blessings, he is an atheist, though he has an altruistic soul. He denies there is a God—until he meets a beautiful stranger in a place that does not exist for anyone but him.

Rania Ahmed strongly believes in God, but has lost hope she will ever find her soul mate. Endowed with hypnotic beauty and cursed by a brutal past, Rania has no idea she has cast a spell on Adam, who has never received more from a woman than physical pleasure. As Adam slowly discovers the true meaning of love from Rania, he begins to face his demons and reconsider his beliefs. He learns to love, forgive and repent. But as Adam grows closer to Rania, a series of strange, unexplained events threatens to drive them apart. To keep her from being destroyed by her past, he must persuade her to trust him with her deepest secrets.

In this spiritual romance, an atheist embarks on a path of enlightenment with a tormented soul who may just have the power to change everything he has ever believed to be true.

 

My Thoughts:

This series is a most compelling read. Once started, it is difficult to put down even for a second. A story of love and religion and belief, this series is full of twists. Set against the backdrop of the modern day, the reader is drawn into a story with supernatural  occurrences and strong beliefs. The protagonist, Rania is a strong believer in God and assumes that everything that happens is for a reason. She believes that all you need to do is have faith and pray and that at some point God will answer those prayers. Adam on the other hand is the true definition of an atheist. His experiences since childhood have moulded him that way and rendered him heartless.

Rania brings faith into his life as he learns to love and face his demons. The reader is given insights into the Islamic culture but the overall message is the same, have faith and believe. Rania on the other hand learns to trust Adam and allows him to slowly break through her defenses. Every situation in this story is a result of some circumstance or someone’s reactions. A lot of insight is given into each of the characters in this story and they are built up well.

Rania and Adam develop a relationship and as it progresses, she learns to trust him enough to share her secrets and he learns to be patient. Being a very wealthy man, Adam tries to shower Rania with gifts but all she wants is his heart and soul. This story focuses on how each character is ultimately forced to face their demons and come to terms with their relationships, be it Adam with his mother or Rania with her father. Some amount of supernatural existence is brought into the story with demons and angels and jinn as explained by Rania. The author shows us that there is more to religion than just blind faith. There is a lot of understanding and patience as well as some amount of trust. Everything happens for a reason and that is reinforced in so many ways throughtout the series.

The stories are split into chapters which tell the story from different points of view. It is sometimes from Rania’s and at other times from Adam’s point of view giving us an insight into the thoughts and feelings of each of the principal characters.

The readers are also reminded that relationships built on trust and faith last longer. I would not say that atheists are wrong, it is just how they think, but reading this story will ensure the reader will stop and re-evaluate their ideas and beliefs. All this has been rendered without the author sounding preachy. A wonderfully written series, this is a brilliant set of books to read which will keep the reader hooked till the end. I am afraid that if I continue raving I will end up letting out most of the story. To avoid that I strongly suggest that everyone should grab copies of the books and bury themselves in the story.