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Expat Living (Singapore) - - Arts & Leisure -

The Light Be­tween Oceans Genre?


What’s it about?

hu­mans into gods.

What do you think of it so far? This is Harari’s sec­ond book af­ter his New York Times best­seller, Sapi­ens: A Brief His­tory of Hu­mankind. The first 200 pages feel a bit repet­i­tive, but the last 200 are orig­i­nal and provoca­tive, pro­vid­ing food for thought on the fu­ture of hu­man­ity.

Would you rec­om­mend it?

have read Genre? It’s not easy to de­fine – a novel that’s some­where be­tween a tragedy and drama.

How did you get hold of it? It was a book club rec­om­men­da­tion – I down­loaded it onto my Kin­dle.

How far have you got?


What’s it about? The story is told from the per­spec­tive of var­i­ous nar­ra­tors, most no­tably Tom, a World War I vet­eran who takes up a po­si­tion as light­house-keeper on a re­mote is­land off the Aus­tralian coast, with his young wife Is­abel. Af­ter try­ing but fail­ing to have a child, they find a baby washed ashore and de­cide to raise her as their own. The dev­as­tat­ing con­se­quences im­pact not only them, but also the lives of their fam­i­lies and the towns­folk they left be­hind.

While the book is an easy read, it’s com­pelling, and it in­vites you to look more deeply into its key themes: moral­ity, truth, self-delu­sion and the al­lo­ca­tion of blame. It looks at how peo­ple of­ten do the wrong things for the right rea­sons, and how these ac­tions (like the light­house me­taphor) can re­fract, mag­nify and project far be­yond the in­di­vid­ual, af­fect­ing ev­ery­one around them.

Through­out the book, the in­dif­fer­ence of the ruggedly beau­ti­ful land­scape and the stars that “have been around since be­fore there were peo­ple” re­lay the per­spec­tive that, no mat­ter how stormy our lives, we are but flecks in the ocean of time.

Would you rec­om­mend it? The novel is beau­ti­fully writ­ten and stays with you af­ter you’ve put it down. It got a thumbs-up from our book club, for any­one who likes a good, girly read with a bit of sub­stance. For those who like Michael Fass­ben­der, they say the movie is good, too. To tell us what’s piled up on your bed­side ta­ble, or what you’ve re­cently down­loaded to your Kin­dle, dash off an email to ed­i­to­rial@ex­patliv­ing.sg. It won’t take long!

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