About the Book
Two people. One choice. What if?
Every love story has a beginning…
11th September 2001. Lucy and Gabe meet in New York on a day that will change their lives – and the world – forever. As the city burns behind them, they kiss for the very first time.
Over the next thirteen years they are torn apart, then brought back together, time and time again. It’s a journey of dreams, of desires, of jealousy, of forgiveness – and above all, love.
And as Lucy is faced with a devastating choice, she wonders whether their love is a matter of destiny or chance.
…what if this is how their story ends?
The cover of The Light We Lost caught my eye first, and then when I read the synopsis I knew I had to get hold of this book. I was so happy when NetGalley approved me to read it.
The Light We Lost begins with two people, Lucy and Gabe, who meet on 11th September 2001 in New York. They experience that day together just a few miles away from where the twin towers fell, and the instant attraction they had to one another was heightened by being so close to such an horrific event. The book is then told from the viewpoint of Lucy, in short chapters as she looks over her relationship with Gabe, and all the things that have happened in their lives since that day.
‘The air was clear, the sky was blue – and everything had changed. We just didn’t know it yet’.
There is a real sense running through this book of fate and destiny. Lucy and Gabe do get together after a false start and everything in their relationship is passionate, every emotion is heightened and they fall so hard for each other. There was a sense of everything being on fast forward and it made me wonder about the nature of how we meet our partners. The idea that meeting on such a tragic and distressing day could give a real sense of needing to live in the now, of not being able to wait and see. Everyone remembers where they were on 9/11 so clearly, it’s seared into all of our memories so it’s entirely possible to see the affect it would have on two young people who met on that day, who saw it from their rooftop.
‘There is an element of peace in believing that we’re only players on a stage, acting out stories directed by someone else.’
There was such a sense of yearning running through this book and from very early on it gave me the feeling that something awful was going to happen. The way it is told, with Lucy going back and forth in time in the way she tells her story, gives the feeling that something has already happened and we, the reader, just don’t know what it is yet. This book made me feel so many emotions – it made me feel hopeful and happy, it reminded me of that awful day in 2001, it made me cry, and it made me want to reach out through the pages to give Lucy and Gabe some advice, to make them see what is important in life.
There is so much love between Gabe and Lucy but it’s often so raw, and intense it’s still complicated and messy and not always how they want it to be. The novel explores how we have different relationships with different partners over the years, and there is a real sense of how it must be if you feel that you met the right person for you at the wrong time in your life.
This book is beautifully written, and it’s gorgeous to read. It’s one of those books that you want to read slowly and savour but at the same time you don’t want to be pulled out of this world. I felt such a connection to this novel, and I feel really quite bereft now I’ve finished reading it. I think this is a story that will stay with me, and this is one of those rare books that I’m sure I will re-read in the future.
The Light We Lost is out now!
I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
About the AuthorJill Santopolo received a BA in English literature from Columbia University and an MFA in writing from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. She’s the author of three successful children’s and young-adult series and works as the editorial director of Philomel Books, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers group. An adjunct professor in The New School’s MFA program, Jill travels the world to speak about writing and storytelling. She lives in New York City.
(Bio taken from: penguinrandomhouse.com)
18 thoughts on “#BookReview: The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo @HQstories @JillSantopolo”
Great review! I love it when a books makes you so many emotions.
Thank you 🙂 This book really did bring out so many emotions and I loved every second I spent reading it.
Interesting idea for a love story! Thanks for a great review!
Thank you 🙂 It was a great read, I really did enjoy it.
This sounds like a very powerful love story. And love stories can be up-and-down and messy, so I’m glad this one shows that. Glad you enjoyed it.
I found it to be a powerful love story, and really enjoyed reading it. Thank you.
This is such a brilliant and beautiful review. I don’t tend to read things like this usually, but I’ve just added it to my Amazon list. Thanks!
Thank you so much 🙂 It’s lovely to know you added the book to your wish list because of my review – I really hope that you enjoy the book as much as I did when you read it.
It sounds like something I’ll enjoy so thanks!
Beautiful! There is nothing like a book that makes you want to slow down and prolong the enjoyment ❤
It really is a gorgeous novel, I enjoyed every minute that I spent reading it 🙂 x
Goodness, very powerful. I still don’t seem ready to read books featuring 9/11 in a central way, even though I wasn’t directly affected by it (apart from realising I was in love with my friend Matthew when I thought he was at risk because he worked in Canary Wharf and there was a rumour; I’m married to him now).
I spent a while trying to work out what the cover image was … because I was looking at the dark space between the figures. D’oh!
I found it to be a powerful novel. 9/11 is how the book opens but the characters are removed from it, then as the book goes on there are references to the scene, and later to the Freedom Tower being built but it’s not the main focus. I can understand your fear on that day – there were so many news reports and rumours. I’m so pleased that Matthew was ok and that it ended up that you got together after that.
I actually preferred the cover to the proof copy, which is very similar but it is easier to see the couple.
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