I recently finished The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo and I adored it more than any other book I have read this year! It was heartfelt, courageous and it left me crying. So without further ado, here is my review!
The Light We Lost is a warmhearted story about Lucy and Gabe, two people who met on the 11th of September, when the twin towers were destroyed. We follow Lucy and Gabe’s relationship over 13 years, where they weave in and out of one another’s lives and never truly get over each other.
Gabe is determined to become a photojournalist and Lucy wants to work in TV, focusing on children’s programmes. Lucy and Gabe meet in college and from then on, they know there’s a deep connection that will keep them together for a long time.
Gabe comes back into Lucy’s life after college and they become a couple, at least for a few months, until Gabe decides to take a job abroad. It takes Lucy a long time to come to terms with him leaving, but eventually she opens her heart to Darren, who is close minded yet loves her very strongly.
However, Gabe manages to keep coming back to Lucy throughout the rest of their lives and she knows she’ll never truly get over Gabe.
It took me a while to read this as I was struggling to concentrate on anything at the time, but I’m glad I finished it. This book is different to anything I have ever read and is about a relationship that grows up with the people. I bought this book on a whim because I saw it on Instagram and thought it sounded beautiful, especially since it’s set in New York.
My favourite character has got to be Gabe because even though he leaves Lucy, he realizes he can’t live without her, and is willing to give up everything for her. We see Gabe’s character grow throughout the book from a self absorbed photographer, to a loving, devoted artist. He never forgets about Lucy and always comes back for her whenever he’s in New York.
The one character I couldn’t stand was Darren, Lucy’s husband. He’s arrogant, misogynistic and hates the fact Lucy doesn’t want to give up her job to look after their children. I never warmed to him and even though he loved Lucy, it seemed that she never thought she deserved better, that she didn’t deserved her life with Gabe. She didn’t want to break up her family because of her own desires; and while that’s a very motherly thing to do, it’s not within her best interests.
Lucy tells the story of her and Gabe to him and it’s obvious that he’s hurt himself in some way. Jill Santopolo really knows how to keep you gripped to a story, even if you’ve guessed the ending. I don’t warm to Lucy as much as much as I do to Gabe, but I understand her way of thinking, her selflessness and her desires. At first, when she and Darren got acquainted, her excuses for not liking him made my eyes roll, but after a while, once I saw the cracks in the relationship, I understood her reasoning.
I don’t want to give away any more spoilers, so I urge you to read this book! My favourite part is when Santopolo uses fire as a metaphor for love. There are all types of love; wildfires are full of passion and heat and desire. And then there are hearth fires, the safe and comforting kind of love that may not have the spark, but it gives you reassurance.
I rate this book 5/5 ✩ because it really moved me and it’s the kind of book I would usually never pick up, but I’m glad that I did.
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