Genre: Romance, Contemporary
Year Of Publication: 18th May 2017
Pages: 321 (Hardback)
My rating: 4/5
“There’s something about death that makes people want to live. We wanted to live that day, and I don’t blame us for it. Not anymore.”
Lucy meets Gabe as their world is falling apart.
No one could have predicted that in the aftermath of 9/11 two seniors at Columbia University would find love in the most unconventional and unpredictable of circumstances.
But they do, and soon they’re falling for each other in ways they never knew possible…
“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.”
Alas, their paths diverge and their romance is cut short.
Only time will tell if these two will reconnect -their destinies intricately intertwined with each other, or will their love be forever immortalised in the moments of ‘what could’ve been’.
The Light We Lost is a whirlwind of emotion and spans the duration of a couple of years highlighting how the choices we make (whether they are selfless or selfish) have an impact on our lives and those around us in ways that we couldn’t even begin to fathom.
Lucy and Gabe are kindred spirits, complementing each other perfectly, but their aspirations lead them to drift apart and away from each other.
Soon other people fill the void in their lives – but they aren’t satisfied, since it’s not the person they hoped it would be (each other).
Thus begins a spiral of deceit and bitterness that leads them to acknowledge how intense their feelings are towards each other, and whether they’d be willing to risk it all for a moment of the other’s company….
“Some relationships feel like a wildfire-they’re powerful and compelling and majestic and dangerous and have the capability to burn you before you even realize you’ve been consumed…..some relationships feel like a hearth fire-they’re solid and stable and cozy and nourishing.She had other examples—a bonfire relationship, a sparkler—that one was for a one-night…”
While I did enjoy reading the story of Lucy and Gabe – I have to say, that at times I was irritated by Lucy and the decisions she made.
She makes very irrational choices throughout the book just so she can pursue her once in a lifetime relationship with Gabe and be with him. Their relationship is all consuming and often transcends all boundaries of social conduct.
Their dysfunctional relationship is doomed from the start, but maybe that was one of the reasons why I was prompted to read on, even though the story line was at times predictable.
“But you were like a drug. When I was high on you, nothing else mattered.”
Despite the fact that this book is full of clichés, I have to admit that I still enjoyed reading it – especially the part where Lucy goes to the exhibition and sees that Gabe has made her the highlight of his show, with photographs he took of her that show her unfiltered and unconcealed raw emotions.
I think that part was crucial in telling us how Gabe is able to see inside her soul and identifies with her on a cosmic level, seeing her in a way that nobody else does.
I would’ve appreciated more details towards the end so it could afford me closure but, I still believe that Jill Santopolo has done a terrific job at writing a story full of flawed characters, while still succeeding to keep me captivated till the very end.
I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for her work in the future and I can’t wait to recommend this book to everyone who likes reading about romances between very real and very flawed characters.
*I was sent this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review