OOF, this one was a gut punch right in the feels! What an intense and stunning love story! I really enjoyed The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo and how it left me with so much to think about long after the story ended. Before I started reading this book, it had been a few months since I read the description so I went into this story blindly and I’m happy that I did —it wasn’t what I expected (in the best way) and I was pleasantly surprised by how raw, real and relatable it was.
BOOK DESCRIPTION: “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.
This devastatingly romantic debut novel about the enduring power of first love, with a shocking, unforgettable ending, is Love Story for a new generation.”
Jill Santopolo is a beautiful writer and storyteller, so needless to say, I was genuinely shocked to discover this was her debut novel. The characters in this book are so well developed and while this story was written from Lucy’s perspective, I was also pleased with how well I got to know Gabe by jumping back and forth between past and present, getting to relive some very intimate moments between the two of them over the course of several years. The fact that I was able to connect with these characters so easily made their story that much more emotional and intense (warning: this story will make you cry). I think what I ultimately enjoyed the most about this story was how relatable some aspects of this book were to my own life in minor, unique ways, and through Santopolo’s writing, I was granted the opportunity to reflect back on my own first love and smile at the experience. Life is truly beautiful through all of the ups and downs, happiness and heartache, new relationships and old, the lessons learned… — I love how appreciative of it all this book made me feel.
If you’re looking for a good palette cleanser that will tug at your heartstrings and make you sob, I highly recommend checking out The Light We Lost. Lucy and Gabe’s love story will capture your heart and leave you with so much to think about. The Light We Lost was the first book I’ve read by Jill Santopolo, and it certainly won’t be my last 💛
BEER RECOMMENDATION: The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo is best paired with The Pastryarchy: Chocolate Dipped Pretzel by DuClaw Brewing Co. this delicious Russian imperial stout tastes exactly like a chocolate dipped pretzel with subtle roasted sweetness, malty chocolate undertones and a light salt bite 🍻