I wasn’t very many pages into The Light We Lost when I let out a deep breath and knew that this book was going to wreak havoc on my emotions. I wasn’t wrong. This book was so much more than just a casual reading experience or a book to pick up to pass a little bit of time. The Light We Lost is one of those special books that immediately pulls you into the lives of the characters and takes you on an unforgettable journey that is as breathtaking as it is heartbreaking.
The story is told through Lucy’s words and memories. She is reliving the pivotal moments from her past that brought her to where she is in the present day. I loved how Jill Santopolo wrote this book. It is written as though Lucy is telling her story to the man who has always held a piece of her heart. I felt as though I was right there with her, experiencing all of the highs and lows alongside her, not merely reading the words on the pages. It felt personal and realistic. Each chapter was a little piece of Lucy’s life, from the tragic events that brought Gabe Samson into her life to the days, years, and loves that followed. While I wanted nothing more than to take my time and savor every word, I also wanted to read it as fast as I could to see how it would all end.
I will admit that I am a romantic, a true believer in the power of love, and of soulmates. As a romantic, this book spoke to me, but I am not a reader who wants a perfect love story. I don’t believe that the perfect romance exists. I think that’s what I liked so much about this book. The author wrote a story that was difficult, heartfelt, and plausible. The kind of love that Lucy felt for Gabe was that all-consuming, intense, passionate love that people really do feel when they first fall. When it’s good, it’s so good, but when it goes wrong, it feels as though you’ve been kicked in the chest, you’re devastated, and somewhat lost. Lucy and Gabe had a deep connection and feelings that kept them tethered to each other for years, even though life moved on for them separately. These honest feelings were captured perfectly in Santopolo’s words.
The Light We Lost made me question what I would do if I were in a similar situation to these characters. Would I make the same decisions, act selfishly, move on, follow my head or my heart? It’s difficult to say. I would like to believe that I would always make the best, most honorable decision, but I don’t know. While I didn’t agree with every choice, decision, or action that transpired between the characters, I appreciated the fact that they were flawed and normal. They had weaknesses, dreams, goals, passions. They weren’t portrayed as some sort of ideal or exception. They were just living life.
I can easily say that The Light We Lost will be gracing my list of favorite books. It’s a book that I can see myself opening up to read again in a few years, falling completely in love with the story, and letting it break my heart all over again.