THE LIGHT WE LOST
by Jill Santopolo
Publication Date: May 9, 2017
Me Before You meets One Day in this passionate debut novel about an epic love story and the heartrending choice one woman must make
Lucy will be faced with a choice. But before she can make her decision, she must start her story–their story–at the very beginning.
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.
Lucy meets Gabe at Columbia University on the morning of September 11, 2001. Their relationship to one another–and to the world–is forged in the crucible of that day. They both decide that they want their lives to mean something, to matter.
What follows is a journey that brings the two of them together and tears them apart, dividing and reuniting them repeatedly over the next thirteen years as Gabe becomes a photojournalist in the Middle East and Lucy pursues a life and career in New York City. Theirs is a journey of dreams, of desires, of jealousy, of betrayal, of apology, of forgiveness–and above all, a journey of love. Throughout this emotional page-turner, Lucy grapples with the ideas of fate and free will: Were their lives destined to intertwine, or did they choose this path? And should they have been living a different life all along?
The Light We Lost is a novel about the inner-workings of the human heart, a heartbreaking ode to the lengths we go to pursue our dreams and the sacrifices we make for love, with a surprising, emotional ending.
“Ordinary days sometimes turn into extraordinary days when you least expect them to.”
All the stars to Jill Santopolo for this gorgeous book!!
“I tried to forget that day, but it was impossible. I couldn’t forget what happened to New York, to America, to the people in the towers. And I couldn’t forget what happened between us. Even now, whenever anyone asks, “Were you in New York when the towers fell?” or “Where were you that day?” or “What was it like here?” the first thing I think of is you.”
This book touched me in ways I can’t even begin to explain! The passion, the love, the choices and the heartbreak left me utterly exhausted. Lucy and Gabe came alive for me at the skilled hands of the brilliant author. Please add this magnificent and soulful book to your TBR list ASAP!
The story of two people and their intertwined lives, ‘The Light We Lost’ captivated me from beginning to end. This is the kind of book you can read over and over again because the characters are simply so real. This story spans years and examines how the choices we make can change the course of our lives forever. Lucy and Gabe – first love and true love, even though time and circumstances keep them apart.
“The moment your body enveloped mine, that’s how I felt—safe, enfolded in the strength and warmth of your arms. Your muscles fluttered against my hands and I buried my fingers in your hair. You wrapped my braid around your palm, tugging it and tipping my head back. And I forgot the world. In that moment, there was only you.”
Lucy and Gabe seem meant for each other, kindred spirits who seem as though they will be together forever. But Gabe is an ambitious photographer who wants to change the world. He feels compelled to follow his dreams beyond New York City, where he and Lucy share a home. And Lucy has her own life and career and refuses to give them up to chase Gabe across the world.
“Was I infatuated with you? Were we infatuated with each other? Can infatuation last this long? Or has it always been love between us? I’d like to think it has.
This story has many twists and turns and once I started, I could not put it down! Even after Lucy and Gabe part ways, and even though she is left utterly heartbroken, she still is there for him through the years, whenever he needs her.
“I saw the sorrow in your eyes, the loneliness. And I wanted to make it better, to be your salve, your bandage, your antidote. I’ve always wanted to fix things for you. I still do. It’s my Achilles’ heel. Or perhaps my pomegranate seed. Like Persephone, it’s what keeps drawing me back.”
Lucy tries to be a friend to Gabe even though he broke her heart. It seems as though she is willing to risk everything for him – her career, her personal life and her friends – all for Gabe. But they truly have a once-in-a-lifetime love that seems to have no boundaries. I want to keep this review purposefully vague so that no spoilers are revealed. Yes this book is a heart-breaker but it is so rich and moving that I cannot recommend it highly enough. Regret, first love, choices, career, family – this book touches all the bases. Simply a breathtaking story that is one of my favorites. A must-read!
“Love does that. It makes you feel infinite and invincible, like the whole world is open to you, anything is achievable, and each day will be filled with wonder.”
About the Author:
Jill Santopolo is the author of 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, where she edits many critically-acclaimed, award-winning, and best-selling books including A Tangle of Knots by Lisa Graff, The Secret Sky by Atia Abawi, Proxy by Alex London, It’s Your World: Get Informed, Get Inspired & Get Going! by Chelsea Clinton, the Nightshade series by Andrea Cremer, A Dance Like Starlight by Kristy Dempsey and Floyd Cooper, and Peanut Butter & Cupcake! by Terry Border. 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. She was formerly an adjunct professor at McDaniel College, where she helped develop the curriculum for their certificate program in Writing for Children. 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.