It’s the story of a man returning from World War I, seeking solitude and a chance to understand why he returned when so many of his comrades did not. What better job for someone meticulous and looking for solitude than to be a lighthouse keeper on a remote island that is only visited by the supply ship four times a year? (I don’t know about the meticulous part, but I can understand the appeal of Janus Island.)
But before Tom gets firmly installed for his stay on the island, he meets and falls in love with Isabel, who convinces him to marry her and bring her to Janus Island. The couple suffer two miscarriages and a stillbirth, however, and the loneliness devastates Isabel. So when a dinghy floats onto the shore with a dead man and his still-living infant aboard, Izzy’s desperation convinces Tom not to report the incident.
The rest of the book is the aftermath of their decision. It’s a fascinating premise, and the section on the island was beautifully done. I admit, however, losing some interest once they return to Partageuse. I’m sure I’ll regret deciding to watch, but the movie version is out now and I may give it a look.