Title: The Light We Lost
Author: Jill Santopolo
Genre: Love story
Pub date: May 9, 2017
Read if you like: Fates and Furies, The Unbearable Lightness of Being, tales of star-crossed lovers.
Ok, I didn’t hate this book. I was prickled by the writing, but the story pulled me through and I finished it in 24 hours.
I’ve always been interested in love stories – most of my favorite books are stories of love between two people across time: The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Fates and Furies, The Night Circus, Jane Eyre, The Lonely Hearts Hotel, The Great Gatsby, Persuasion. I’m intrigued by how they each explore how individuals and relationships change as times goes on, even when geographically or circumstantially separated. So The Light We Lost blends perfectly into that category – it explores how two people remain connected to one another, even as life intervenes. If you believe in true love and fate and those things, you might want to try this story out.
Apart from the plot, the prose was completely overwritten. Every chapter ends in an obscenely dramatic statement. The chapters are brief, so the frequency of this writing choice is overwhelming. For the first 150 pages, I rolled my eyes every time. After that point, I was able to ignore it (sometimes). Maybe it’s the point in my life that I’m currently in, but I think I might freak out if anyone ever told me that loving me makes them feel “infinite.” And that’s not because I’m a cynic. I’m not. I love love and I love love stories. I’ve believed in love for as long as I can remember. So I’ll immerse myself in any love story for a while, even if the writing gives me the heebie-jeebies. For love, I’ll willingly suspend my disbelief (to a point). But this book took that too far. It tried too hard to be something profound in its writing.
I don’t regret reading this book, but I wouldn’t recommend it. If you’re looking for a complex love story, turn to Fates and Furies or The Unbearable Lightness of Being before you open this one.
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SYNOPSIS: (AS TOLD BY THE BACK OF THE BOOK)
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 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 Gave becomes a photojournalist assigned to the Middle East and Lucy pursues a career in New York.
What follows is a thirteen-year odyssey of dreams, jealousies, and, ultimately, of love. Their journey takes Lucy and Gave continents apart, but never out of each other’s hearts. And Lucy will find herself asking: Was it fate that brought them together? Is it choice that has kept them away?