Title: The Light We Lost
Author: Jill Santopolo
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.
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?
I wasn’t sure what to expect from The Light We Lost – it’s a real change from the many thrillers and crime novels I often read (but not exclusively), focusing on the relationship – and lack thereof – of Lucy and Gabe, the main characters. It’s important to note, though, that other characters play a key part in the novel too, without giving anything away.
The fact that the novel is described as “Me Before You meets One Day”, which are two novels I absolutely love, means I knew I had to read this!
At the beginning I wasn’t sure if I was going to like it; there were parts which felt a bit over the top, but you soon come to realise that this is just Lucy and Gabe’s relationship. They are hugely passionate and they love each other so much that every feeling, every sticking point, is amplified. For this reason – and various others that you’ll see as you read The Light We Lost – I struggled to really gel with the characters. As I continued reading, though, I saw that actually there are reasons for some characters behaving the way they do – and I always enjoy stories that don’t paint one person as perfect. When Lucy is considering various people she can imagine ending up with, she admits that there may not be one person who’d be perfect in every way – because people aren’t perfect! I liked that Lucy was self-aware of the fact that she perhaps expected too much at times.
The story itself absorbed me more and more as it went on. I absolutely loved the way it mapped history from 2001 onwards, with key events that I remember taking place, some like it was only yesterday even though I was quite young, for example, when the Twin Towers went down. It felt very poignant and emotional to read about these events and, with many, remember them, as you see how Lucy, Gabe, and other people experienced it and what they meant to their lives. These events alter the course of history but also Lucy and Gabe’s, and every ‘what if’ that both characters think about is like a pierce through the heart because if one thing or the other hadn’t happen, everything could have been different.
I really enjoyed this novel, and anyone who loves an emotional read is likely to as well. There are parts which are a little cheesy, but hey – this IS, after all, romantic fiction, and I raced through it to the end, where it stayed with me for quite a while after I’d finished it!
Many thanks to HQ and Netgalley for providing a copy of this novel on which I chose to write an honest and unbiased review.
The Light We Lost is released in the UK on 18 May.