- Hardcover: 336 pages
- Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons; First Edition edition (May 9, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0735212759
- ISBN-13: 978-0735212756
- Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1.1 x 9.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 787 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #40,426 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Light We Lost Hardcover – May 9, 2017
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“Have your tissues ready...This book will sink its hooks into your heart on page one, and leave you scarred long after you're done.”—Bustle
“Enchanted and compelled me.”—Delia Ephron, author of Siracusa
“A wonderful and heartbreaking book....The kind of heartbreak that’s in The Way We Were, that you really love to cry over.”—NBC New York's Weekend Today
“Heart-wrenching yet beautiful.”—US Weekly
“A beautiful and devastating story that will captivate readers.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Comparisons will be made to David Nicholls’ One Day, but there is something more romantic here—yet also more grounded—that will draw readers in.”—Booklist
“Gorgeously written and absolutely unforgettable, Santopolo’s novel has a beating heart all its own.”—Caroline Leavitt, author of Pictures of You
“Santopolo vividly illuminates how our personal lives and loves are changed by the common—and uncommon—events of our troubled world.”—Nancy Thayer, author of The Island House
“The perfect beach read: an engrossing, romantic, and surprisingly sexy story about the power of first love.”—Domino
“Santopolo nailed the thrill and devastation that love can cause...This book made me feel everything!”—Renée Carlino, author of Before We Were Strangers
“Evocative, raw and at times breathlessly heartbreaking...Santopolo leaves us wondering about serendipity and the existence of that one, true love.”—Karma Brown, author of Come Away with Me
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About the Author
Jill Santopolo received a BA in English literature from Columbia University and an MFA in writing from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. She's the author of three successful children’s and young-adult series and works as the editorial director of Philomel Books, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers group, where she's edited books by Mayim Bialik, Chelsea Clinton, Amy Ephron, and Lisa Graff, among others. An adjunct professor in The New School’s MFA program, Jill travels the world to speak about writing and storytelling. She lives in New York City.
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Author is never able to establish the central premise. These characters are supposed to have an intense, tragic romance that moves us to tears and sadness. But this is not portrayed by the book or characters. Rather, the author just tells us that it is an intense and tragic romance. She never convincingly shows us. The characters are unlikeable and selfish. Because of the first person point of view I never even remotely understood the main male character's motivations. The characters never have a serious discussion regarding their relationship. No depth whatsoever. We are just told to believe their romance is amazing and worth the constant betrayal of the main characters wonderful husband and children. Emotional and physical adultery are portrayed as hopelessly romantic. Finished and could not have cared less about the "tragic" ending. Last punch of the book was Lucy ruining her third son's life with another first person (lol) letter saying what an amazing guy Gabe was.
I had heard a lot of hype about this book. It has a good premise, and the writing was very clean and straight forward. No bells or whistles, but had a way of cutting to the point very succinctly. I appreciated the writing. With that being said, it was conversely very dream-like, partially due to the 1st person voice retelling a story in flashbacks that started college in NYC during 9/11 and went to somewhat present time. The perspective was unique, in that although it was first person, Lucy was telling the story TO the other character, her first love, Gabe. So there were a lot of random "But you remember that I'm sure" kind of lines thrown in that caused brief confusion to me as the reader.
About halfway through I got tired of the entire premise. Each chapter ends with a mysterious cliff hanger sentence of impending doom, and it builds and builds. The reader is waiting for this huge event/climax to wrap it all up, and it just never really happened. That part fell flat. The other thing that started to bug me was I felt less like this was sweet first love and more like this was obsessive-mental-disorder love. There is a time to grow up and move on, Lucy. Still contacting your college boyfriend after you are married with kids is not only stupid and selfish, but what husband outside of an unrealistic book is ok with that? It just lost some of its realism to me and I lost more respect for Lucy with every page I turned. If she were my friend I would tell her to grow the hell up and move on. It was kind of pathetic, really.
I wanted her to tell Gabe to lose her number and focus on her two children rather than spend what was by all accounts a wonderful life mooning over some selfish college love who dropped you like hot potato over and over again. It's called closure, Lucy!
The three stars is for the concise, clean writing, and the fact that I did have a visceral reaction to the plot, even though it was wanting to smack them both and roll my eyes at the ending.
I also did not like the justification of infidelity. The worship of “true love” and its ideal is so blown out of proportion. I sometimes wonder how much detriment and disservice Hollywood and the Westernized way of thinking does to us.
But then again, that’s why we read books... to escape reality.
I just couldn’t get into the story. I didn’t feel the main character was strong enough. Or well developed.