Jill Santopolo’s 2017 novel The Light We Lost tells the tale of Lucy and Gabe’s relationship over a thirteen-year span. The story begins when they pair are in college and follows their ups and downs in the ensuing years. As different books are appropriate in different situations, the purpose of Papers and Airplanes Book Club Reviews is to determine a book’s suitability for book clubs. Today’s book review focuses on The Light We Lost.
Now, I don’t want to give too much away, but look, the book is called The Light We Lost, so you pretty much know what you’re getting into before you crack it open. The book begins on September 11, 2001 when Lucy and Gabe are in college. They have an immediate connection that quickly turns into a missed opportunity when an ex of Gabe’s reappears. Later on they spend time in a committed relationship before going their separate ways. After the breakup, they continue to meet throughout the years until Lucy is finally faced with a heart-wrenching decision.
Personally, I did not love this book. Romance is simply not my preferred genre. However, for a book club, it’s perfect.
First off, it’s a quick read that’s easy to get through, whether it’s your style or not. Also, the subject matter lends itself very well to discussion. My book club talked about this book probably longer than we’ve talked about any other (or at least neck and neck with Jessica Knoll’s Luckiest Girl Alive). The entire book is about love and life choices. And, thankfully, the subject matter goes way beyond the simple this guy versus that guy. And the thing about relationships is that it’s incredibly easy to dissect someone else’s. Really, it feels like it was practically written for book clubs. It was a selection for Reese Witherspoon’s book club and it even comes with discussion questions in the back. Y’all will be entertained for a good while.
So, if you’re looking for a novel to get your book club into a rousing discussion, I suggest trying out Santopolo’s The Light We Lost. Love it or hate it, you won’t be able to stop talking about it.