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M.L. Stedman Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Light Between Oceans (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Instaread Summary Books

Summary of The Pearl That Broke Its Shell (By: Nadia Hashimi,Instaread Summaries) (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
Summary of A Little Life (By: Hanya Yanagihara,Instaread Summaries) (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
Summary of The Children Act (By: Ian McEwan,Instaread Summaries) (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
Summary of The Light Between Oceans (With: Instaread Summaries) (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
Summary of The Boston Girl (By: Anita Diamant,Instaread Summaries) (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
Summary of The Invention of Wings (By: Sue Monk Kidd,Instaread Summaries) (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
Summary, Analysis & Review of A Gentleman in Moscow (By: Amor Towles,Instaread Summaries) (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
Summary of Vinegar Girl (By: Anne Tyler,Instaread Summaries) (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon

About M.L. Stedman

M.L. Stedman hails from Western Australia, and she has now made London her permanent abode. A hallmark of her writing career, ‘The Light Between Oceans,’ is her first foray into the world of novels. It is interesting to note that this book has surpassed the 3 million mark in sales in English alone and is widely circulated in 45 countries around the world. This sales milestone attests to her captivating storytelling skills that keep readers hooked to her narrative.

If that’s not impressive enough, the year 2016 saw the transformation of this international bestseller into a big-screen production by none other than Dreamworks. The widely recognized actors, Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander, were cast in the leading roles, further emphasizing the impact of Stedman’s work. With Heyday Films taking charge of the production, the film reached even more audiences, attributing to Stedman’s wider recognition and acclaim.

Stedman’s beautifully crafted characters and gripping narratives are some of the reasons her works are not just entertaining but also immersive. The award-winning success of ‘The Light Between Oceans’ pays homage to her rare gift of creating compelling stories. Her finely honed skills as a writer showcase her ability to weave tales that not only entertain but are also relatable, making her a noteworthy figure in the literary world.

Early and Personal Life

Born and brought up in Perth, Margot Louise Watts, also known as M.L. Stedman, always had a strong affection for the magic of words. Even as a child, she was captivated by the rhythm and musicality of language, developing an early love for reading and writing. This love followed her across the world, eventually paving her journey towards becoming a successful novelist.

While practicing law in London in 1997, she experienced a sudden burst of inspiration, deciding to explore the world of creative writing. This marked a significant turning point in her career — she hired a writing coach, enrolled in a creative writing course at the University of London, and even journeyed to Greece on a creative-writing sojourn. These experiences led her to write her first published short story, ‘Flight,’ and subsequently pen three novellas that appeared in ‘Desperate Remedies,’ a now out-of-print anthology, in 2008.

Stedman’s much-celebrated novel, “The Light Between Oceans”, initially came to life as a short story of 15,000 words penned over a period of three months. After being advised that the story had the potential to become a novel, she embarked on extensive archival research, delving into the lives of lighthouse keepers and even visiting Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse for inspiration. Frequently, she would find a quiet corner amid the vintage charm of the British Library, drawing from her vivid recollections of her homeland to transport readers to Australia with her compelling narrative.

Writing Career

M.L. Stedman catapulted into the literary world with the release of her debut novel, “The Light Between Oceans”. Published in 2012 by Random House, the novel became an international sensation, securing a spot on the New York Times Bestsellers list for well over a year.

Not only was it well-received by the reading community, but it was also admired by the literary world, with translations available in nearly forty languages. The novel fetched several nominations, including the prestigious Miles Franklin Award, the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction, and the Women’s Prize for Literature. It also bagged multiple renowned accolades such as Best Newcomer, Best Literary Fiction, and Book of the Year at the Australian Book Industry Awards, as well as the Australian Indie Awards for Best Debut Novel and Book of the Year.

The Light Between Oceans

A historical fiction novel written by M. L. Stedman, this debut was first made available to readers on March 20, 2012. Published by Vintage Australia, the book quickly gained attention and appreciation from the literary world. A testament to its quality and Stedman’s exceptional storytelling, the book won the ‘Australian Indie Book Award’ in 2013, a year after its release.

Set in Australia in 1926, Tom Sherbourne, hardened by four grueling years of service on the Western Front, finds solace in the solitary life as the lighthouse keeper on Janus Rock. Far removed from the mainland, Tom brings his brave and loving wife, Isabel, to this speck of an island. Their joy is tarnished by two miscarriages and a stillbirth that leaves Isabel grieving. Then, to their astonishment, a boat appears on the shore carrying a dead man and a living infant.

Painstakingly conscientious and deeply moral, Tom wants to report the incident. However, Isabel, soothed by the infant’s cries, cradles the baby and claims her as their own, naming her Lucy, against Tom’s better judgment. As Lucy turns two, the couple returns to the mainland, reminded of the world beyond their isolated paradise. Heartbreakingly, their decision to keep Lucy shatters one of them.

M. L. Stedman’s captivating debut novel draws readers in with its splendidly crafted narrative, actually enabling us to understand Isabel’s choice to keep what she perceives as a “gift from God.” The book takes us along on a voyage with profoundly intriguing characters who are on a quest to find their own moral compass in a complex world where answers are never clearly black or white.

In their quest for justice, one person’s victory transforms into a heartbreaking loss for another.

Film Adaption

The captivating novel ‘The Light Between Oceans,’ penned by M. L. Stedman, was adapted into a romantic drama film in 2016. The movie was directed and written by Derek Cianfrance and featured a star-studded cast, including Alicia Vikander, Michael Fassbender, Rachel Weisz, Jack Thompson, and Bryan Brown.

It vividly articulates the tale of a lighthouse keeper and his spouse who bring up a baby girl, discovered adrift at sea, as their own. However, the revelation of the child’s real lineage years later sparks a series of consequences.

This movie marked its world premiere at the prestigious Venice International Film Festival in 2016, was globally released by Entertainment One Films, and went on to gross $26 million worldwide, with international critical acclaim.

Book Series In Order » Authors » M.L. Stedman

12 Responses to “M.L. Stedman”

  1. Lee Morgan: 7 months ago

    Has MLStedman written any other books apart from Light between Oceans?

    • Graeme: 7 months ago


  2. Heather: 1 year ago

    I assume that it was a very deliberate choice to name the lighthouse island Janus after the two faced god. For all the conflicts in this book there are two aspects to them or two solutions. Am I right? The book group to which I belong absolutely loved the book and the ethical dilemmas that it raised.

  3. shauna steadman: 1 year ago

    LOVED YOUR BOOK!!! I ran across it while browsing my local library in West Virginia USA. We could have shared some long ago family pedigree. Dad always said the Stedmans were Jewelers (in SLC) and Steadmans (in Utah) were dairy farmers. But everyone knows through immigration, we probably share some blood. Irregardless, please keep writing as I am an 82 year voracious reader and love English historical (especially WW2 everything) novels from the English perspective. I BELIEVE that you have got something here. Thanks
    (dad’s family was from Kent UK primarily)

  4. Lorein Guillon: 1 year ago

    Just finished this book and watched the movie twice and each time I end up sobbing, such a beautiful story

  5. Hannan Hazel: 2 years ago

    I loved this story it’s a story that you don’t forget it’s wonderfully written work and I recommend it to all reading friends.
    Just searching for another book from her.

  6. Ann Bone: 2 years ago

    Didn’t want the story to end so had to limit myself to a certain number of pages per day!
    Loved, loved, loved it.
    Please write another, please.

  7. Jenny Thomas: 2 years ago

    Discussed book at our club, we all loved it. You have a special gift, thankyou for sharing.

  8. bernadette: 3 years ago

    would love to see her write more books, thoroughly enjoyed this one

  9. Joyce Quinn: 3 years ago

    What else has she written?

    • Graeme: 3 years ago

      M.L. Stedman has only written the one book at this time.

  10. Dani Hitchenson: 6 years ago

    M L Stedman, Sir you have always inspired me to be the best person I can be.


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