The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo

Posted May 11, 2019 by Debbie in Book Reviews / 0 Comments

The Light We Lost


Jill Santopolo

4 Stars

He was the first person to inspire her, to move her, to truly understand her. Was he meant to be the last?

Lucy is faced with a life-altering choice. But before she can make her decision, she must start her story—their story—at the very beginning.

Lucy and Gabe meet as seniors at Columbia University on a day that changes both of their lives forever. Together, they decide they want their lives to mean something, to matter. When they meet again a year later, it seems fated—perhaps they’ll find life’s meaning in each other. But then Gabe becomes a photojournalist assigned to the Middle East and Lucy pursues a career in New York. What follows is a thirteen-year journey of dreams, desires, jealousies, betrayals, and, ultimately, of love. Was it fate that brought them together? Is it choice that has kept them away? Their journey takes Lucy and Gabe continents apart, but never out of each other’s hearts.

~My Thoughts ~

It might be the way the author wrote and told the story. It could be the way the author infused eloquence into heartbreak. Or it just might be the way the author transferred the intensity of love, devotion and life into the characters. I’m not sure I can exactly pinpoint the exact reason that I found The Light We Lost to be such a magnificent story, perhaps it’s a combination of all that I listed above.

“We’ve known each other for almost half our lives.
I’ve seen you smiling, confident, blissfully happy.
I’ve seen you broken, wounded, lost.
But I’ve never seen you like this.
You taught me to look for beauty. In darkness, in destruction, you always found light.
I don’t know what beauty I’ll find here, what light. But I’ll try. I’ll do it for you. Because I know you would do it for me.
There was so much beauty in our life together.” 

I bought this book because of a recommendation from someone in a group. A person I don’t know, never conversed with, but wrote it was a great story.

I didn’t read the synopsis, and I doubt that if I had it would have prepared me for the story that I read.

Gabe and Lucy are beautifully scripted. You don’t just read about their emotionally being and their physical presence, you feel them deep within yourself. Their actions, their dreams, their desires embed themselves deeply within you. Their relationship is unique, intense and loving to the point of desperation. It is perfect.

“But you were like a drug. When I was high on you, nothing else mattered.” 

Decisions are made, life as you know it takes a turn and the relationship still burns deep within. A brilliant turn of events. A feeling of security with lingering thoughts of is this the right thing to do and this engaging story continues on and as it does you find your commitment to the characters and the story line grow deeper.

I was lost in the characters lives. I felt every breath, emotion and thought these characters felt. I was so entranced that I believed everything the author wrote, taking her words at face value only to feel shocked, mislead and disbelief. With the gentleness of the writing, being so engrossed in the story, I hate to admit the author led me astray. How brilliant that with the ease of the writing, I lost the power to fully comprehend that the author now controlled my thought process.

“I craved the kind of closeness I felt in your embrace… I imagined giving myself over to you, completely, the way I used to, abandoning all control, letting you be in charge. I wanted that. I needed that. I’d been trying so hard to hold everything together, and I was done. I needed someone else to take over. I needed YOU to take over.” 

I didn’t expect a story infused with such realism. I didn’t expect the unexpected. I truly never expected to fall so hard into a story line that I wanted it to continue forever, going in the direction that I thought would be best for the characters. Mostly though, I didn’t expect to have so many questions about the future go unanswered. Perhaps that was the authors plan all along, to let the reader decide how the story ended.

Jill Santopolo is the author of the The Light We Lost, the Alec Flint Mysteries, the Sparkle Spa series, and the Follow Your Heart books. She holds a BA in English Literature from Columbia University, an MFA in Writing for Children from the Vermont College of Fine Arts, and a certificate in Intellectual Property Law from NYU. Jill is also the Editorial Director of Philomel Books, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers Group. When she’s not writing or editing, Jill is a thesis advisor at The New School in their MFA program in Writing for Children and Young Adults and is on the faculty of the Columbia Publishing Course. Jill has traveled all over the U.S.—and to Canada and Europe—to speak about writing and storytelling. She lives in New York City.

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