Genre: General Fiction
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons
Publication date: May 9th, 2017
Source: Times Reads
Page Count: 328
He was the first person to inspire her, to move her, to truly understand her. Was he meant to be the last?
Lucy is faced with a life-altering choice. But before she can make her decision, she must start her story—their story—at the very beginning.
Lucy and Gabe meet as seniors at Columbia University on a day that changes both of their lives forever. Together, they decide they want their lives to mean something, to matter. When they meet again a year later, it seems fated—perhaps they’ll find life’s meaning in each other. But then Gabe becomes a photojournalist assigned to the Middle East and Lucy pursues a career in New York. What follows is a thirteen-year journey of dreams, desires, jealousies, betrayals, and, ultimately, of love. Was it fate that brought them together? Is it choice that has kept them away? Their journey takes Lucy and Gabe continents apart, but never out of each other’s hearts.
Warning: Minor spoilers ahead!
The Light We Lost by JILL SANTOPOLO is the story of unforgettable first loves and how moving on is one of the bravest things to do. The Light We Lost reminds us of that strong connection we may feel with our first love, that eventually leads us to make decisions that change our lives forever. First loves are ethreal, and they are sometimes what keeps us from what we’re meant to have in life.
Which is what makes The Light We Lost such an interesting read. It explores the situations where first loves are these idealistic connections you feel with a person, and it questions the role of fate and free will in that equation. How much of our lives are governed by our choices to stay or leave the ones we love? How much of our decisions are driven by passion for our careers or the ones we’re with?
“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. Maybe it’s the act of opening yourself up, letting someone else in— or maybe it’s the act of caring so deeply about another person that it expands your heart.”
I loved reading The Light We Lost for these very questions that were triggered in my mind. I find love makes people do the craziest of things, and I’m beginning to think that might not be the most romantic, or best, thing in the world. Our main protagonist, Lucy, finds herself returning emotionally to her first love even as she’s in a more stable relationship. First loves are always made out to be idealistic but they are rarely sustainable for the majority that I’ve seen. Especially when they’ve proven to be a wildfire, instead of a heart fire.
Lucy’s decisions in The Light We Lost makes me question the type of person she really is and what exact message the author is trying to portray. But, I think in the end, we understand a little bit more of the human condition to gravitate towards a love that was so full of passion, strength and undivided attention. It might not be the right thing to consciously decide to do, but when it comes to love, nothing is truly guaranteed.
The Light We Lost was a beautiful read for me. With short chapters it makes for a very quick read. It’s easy to get swept up in Lucy’s story that spans over 13 years. But as you read this book, I urge you to think of your own love story and how it’s made you the person you are today. I’m grateful I’ve never had a first love like Gabe. Because it seems to cause nothing but misery to Lucy, despite her very strong feelings for him. I don’t think I would ever want to be in a newer relationship and still be thinking about my ex-lover. I think some things are meant to stay in the past, and never be dug up ever again.
Overall, The Light We Lost is a compelling read about heartbreak, first love and the act of moving on as best we can. I’m not a big fan of the ending because it seemed a little irresponsible on the protagonist’s part. But this is still a book worth reading and thinking about what type of love you want in life.
“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..”
Thank you Times Reads for providing a copy in exchange of an honest review.