Book Review: Tom returns from WWI emotionally wounded from the atrocities he has seen and so he takes on the solitary and isolated job as lighthouse keeper on a remote and isolated Australian island where he hopes to find solitude, peace, and healing. Soon he meets Isabel and they fall in love and get married and she joins him on the island where they live a happy, idyllic life until all her pregnancies tragically end in miscarriages or stillbirth, leaving Isabel heartbroken as she longs for children more than anything, until one day a shipwreck brings along a boat washed ashore with a dead man in it and an alive baby…..
Isabel sees the alone, abandoned motherless baby as sent from God, to heal her hurting heart and empty arms following the losses of her own babies and convinces a reluctant Tom to let her keep the baby and to not report the incident, going against maritime law and against his own conscience, but he desperately wants his wife to be happy so he agrees. Time goes on and having a baby to love, cherish,and raise transforms Isabel, who was formerly despairing and is now happy and has a reason to live, and she names the child “Lucy”. Tom, however, continues to be bothered by his decision, and it nags away at him, and even more so later on when he discovers that the baby’s real mother is alive and has been desperately searching for her dead husband and child for YRS.
Due to his conscience, Tom reaches out anonymously to the distraught mother but due to this their secret is eventually found out, and when Lucy is 4 YRS old she is taken away and returned to Hannah, her real mother,and Tom is arrested, and having her child taken away destroys Isabel, and she falls apart and a light in her dies and she blames Tom for betraying her and taking away her entire world. Lucy does not adjust well to living with Hannah as she doesn’t even remember her and it is heartbreaking to all who care about her.
Hannah eventually decided to not charge,wanting to show mercy as her husband would have, Tom, and he served minimum time instead of a life sentence and he had said it was all his idea and his doing, wanting to protect his wife. Lucy continued to stay with Hannah( Lucy’s real name was Grace) and in time adjusted better but never forgot Tom and Isabel, and for YRS Isabel was a shell of her former self as she grieved the loss of Lucy,as desolate as Hannah was when she had lost her as a baby, and decades later she died of cancer, with Tom by her side, and shortly after her death Lucy( now grown up with a child of her own) returns to visit Tom.