Through the years I have often written about reading as a form of mediation and healing for me so each summer I try to offer a book recommendation to my followers. This year I have two recommendations. My first one is The Light Between Oceans by M. L. Stedman, an Australian writer. It is a beautifully written book that has been made into a movie and will release in September. (I must admit that I saw the trailer and it looks quite good.)This is the story of Isabel who marries Tom, a lighthouse keeper, far off the coast of Australia on the solitary island of Janus Rock. They live alone and only receive visits for supplies twice a year and a visit home every three years. During their initial time there Isabel suffers two miscarriages and a stillbirth.
“The labor was quick as it was early, and Tom watched helpless as a baby-it was unmistakably a baby, his baby- emerged from Isabel’s body. It was bloody and small: a mocking scale of the infant they had been so long waiting for drowned in a wash of blood and tissue and mess from the woman so unprepared for its arrival… no heavier than a bag of sugar...it made no movement, uttered no sound. He held it in his hands torn between wonder and horror, not knowing what he was supposed to do or feel… “A little boy,” was all Tom could think to say. (Page 90)Soon after this stillbirth, a boat washes ashore with a dead man and a healthy baby girl. Isabel and Tom, in their combined and desperate grief, decide to keep the baby, but Tom is haunted by this choice. Like many grieving men, he wants to help heal his wife first and then worry about his own grief so he allows her to keep the child. After bonding has occurred between them and this child that they name Lucy, Lucy’s real mother re-enters the picture. The story is both an aching portrayal of maternal and paternal desire and grief and an artistic, informative look at the important, yet lonely and tedious job of a being a light house keeper at that time. It is for these reasons that during this difficult Father’s Day season, I recommend this book to both moms and dads of loss and it will appeal to the general adult audience as well.
My second recommendation is to read Mine. Mine is the debut novel written by MY OWN SISTER, KATIE CRAWFORD! It is the story of two sisters who endure the loss of a stillborn sister and later another significant loss. Both losses follow them throughout their intertwined lives.“When Daddy did come out, he was ashen, his handsome boasting face transformed. He told them all to sit at the table and bow their heads. The good Lord took her. She is in heaven now with the other angels.” (Page 3, Mine)
I know when composting life stories for this book, my sister, Katie, felt the loss of Margaret and other deep losses in our family as well. Those seeds of sadness and many other seeds sprouted towards this eloquent, heart wrenching, page turner of a novel. Read the reviews for yourself and purchase it at: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=mine+katie+Crawford
Happy summer and let me know via facebook or email how you liked each book. xo