January: Book/Movie Club Reviews “The Light Between Oceans”

January’s 2017 Book and Movie Review Theme: Australia

Book/Movie Club Set Up:

Each member of our group (women ages 24-48) draws a month and a genre/theme. Whosever month it is, gets to choose a book and movie in their category. (They do not have to be one in the same.)

The group has approximately 3 weeks to read the book and then we get together to eat, discuss the book, and then watch the movie.



Quick Book Summary (from Amazon): by M.L. Stedman, published July 31, 2012  Tom returns to Australia and takes a job as the lighthouse keeper and brings a 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.



Quick Movie Summary (from IMDB): 2016 directed and screenplay written by Derek Cianfrance  Starring: Michael Fassbender, Alicia Vikander, Rachel Weisz  –  A lighthouse keeper and his wife living off the coast of Western Australia raise a baby they rescue from a drifting rowing boat.


The Itinerary:

light-between-oceans-food2We met at Sydney’s house this month. Since the theme was Australia, she ordered “Aussie-tizers” from Outback Steak House. We had Bloomin’ Onion® petals, Steakhouse Mac & Cheese bites, and cheesy fries. Wine, beer, and Australian cookies were brought by others.


Thoughts about the Book:

The opinions were split this month. Some people absolutely loved the book and some people hated the book. Out of six of us, three of us finished.

I was one of the people not to finish the book and was actually in the middle of loving and hating the book. I didn’t mind the writing; I actually enjoyed part I. I thought it was not the kind of book you read in a hurry but the type of book for a lazy afternoon. However, once I got to the more serious subject matter (I’m a sensitive reader when it comes to children), I couldn’t read it any longer. I wasn’t alone on this, even discussing the book made some of us tear-up.

Others hated/loved the book because of the writing style and details. One of us (I’m not naming any names) admitted to throwing her book across the room at one point because of the storyline.

Thoughts about the Movie:

Again, we were split down the middle. Here were some of the comments about the movie:

“The movie was really toned down. The most traumatic parts were not nearly as heart wrenching as the book.”

“I only stayed for half of it, and I was on my phone the whole time.”

“Loved the book and the movie was good, but I agree, it was toned down and it lost some of the drama because of it.”

“I thought it was super boring, and I didn’t like any of the characters.”

Girly Discussion:

Some thought the lead actress Alicia Vikander was gorgeous.book-club-peeps

We also pondered as to if we would be able to stay alone in a lighthouse like the characters had. How long would you be able to stay on an island with no other people – except your spouse?

Interesting Discoveries:

Five people portrayed the character, Lucy/Grace.

The Group’s Average ratings (out of 5):

Book: 3.4 Bloomin’ Onions

Movie: 2.8 Bloomin’ Onions

The bottom line:


This one is difficult to say. Personally, I thought the book was well-written and so if you don’t mind a non-feel-good tear-jerker, you should read it. But it did have a lot of flowery prose, so if you’d rather just get on with the story, this one might not be for you.

And if you were to pick just one, I would recommend the movie over the book (even though overall it received a lower rating) because you will actually get to see all the beautiful scenery instead of just reading about it.



Next month’s Book and Movie Theme: Looking Back.

Book: Before I go to Sleep by S.J. Watson

Love and Laughter,







  1. Loretta

    I enjoyed reading the diverse opinions. I’d wondered about seeing the movie, and this decided me. I’m waiting for the release on Direct TV 🙂 I don’t know if the author of the book is Australian or not, but if so, I found your opinion of the writing style to be how I often felt if I read one of their authors. Most write as though it is a lazy summer afternoon, with a bee droning in a nearby bush. 🙂 Exactly how I often described their literary writing style. They do have some authors that can deliver a punch, though, especially in the suspense line 🙂 Interesting read, gals! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks! I just read where she was born and raised in Western Australia


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