The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo

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“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.”

Lucy and Gabe met in university on a day that impacted their lives in a very significant way. They become intent to live a life of purpose but their own paths diverge and they end up meeting again a year later, which feels like fate. However, Gabe  soon embarks on a career in photojournalism and moves to the Middle East, while Lucy stays in New York. Over the next decade they lead very different lives but the connection they had during their time together never fades.

“The thing about roads is sometimes you happen upon them again. Sometimes you get another chance to travel down the same path.”


The Light We Lost is Lucy’s account of her relationship with Gabe and her life. It is an easy and relatively quick read, with a story that looks at the significance of first love and the impact it can have on your life. The writing is enjoyable and there are many quotable parts that capture the feeling and experience of connection and love. However, there are many parts to Lucy’s story that I struggled with simply because I did not feel that this bond between the two characters was significant enough to lead to various events in the story. I also found Lucy’s character to not be a very sympathetic one. She talks about living a life that means something but she is incredibly passive, and every decision made doesn’t really feel like it is truly hers. Still, it is an engaging enough story and one that fans of romance and love stories may very much enjoy.

“I hope you find a love like that–one that is all-consuming and powerful that makes you feel like you’re going slightly mad. And if you do find that love, embrace it. Hold onto it. When you give yourself over to love like that, your heart will get bruised. It will get battered. But you will also feel invincible and infinite.”

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