The Light We Lost

Narrated by: Jill Santopolo
Length: 7 hrs and 16 mins
4.2 out of 5 stars (3,716 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The New York Times best seller and Reese Witherspoon Book Club pick. 

“This love story between Lucy & Gabe spans decades and continents as two star-crossed lovers try to return to each outer.... Will they ever meet again? This book kept me up at night, turning the pages to find out, and the ending did not disappoint.” (Reese Witherspoon)

"One Day meets Me Before You meets your weekender bag." (The Skimm)

"Extraordinary." (Emily Giffin)

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 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 13-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. 

"It's the epic love story of 2017." (Redbook

©2017 Jill Santopolo (P)2017 Penguin Audio

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What listeners say about The Light We Lost

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Meh.

I'm not usually a romance reader, and this did not grow my appreciation for the genre. Both main characters were adolescent jerks who naturally land highly successful careers without even trying. They want to "change the world" through these careers, though neither of them show any signs of actually giving a rat's ass about anyone other than themselves or each other. The settled-for husband, who could have been a moral counterpoint, is instead a robotic ivy leaguer who thought he married a stepford wife. This might be a good example of how social media unintentionally keeps us connected to those who we most likely would have lost touch with once a relationship ends. Instead, we are made to feel close through updates, photos, etc. unless we actively make the choice to unfollow or unfriend. I also really hated the comparison of different types of relationships to types of fires. People are not fires. Jumping from fire to fire has consequences because unlike fires, people have feelings. This has to be said to a romance novel??

I nearly cried at the end, but probably because I make myself finish most books and I still had 7 minutes left.

79 people found this helpful

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Absolutely terrible

I was expecting great things from this book as I have loved each of Reese’s monthly picks and read a lot of great reviews about the story. Unfortunately, I was completely disappointed. The book was described as the “modern day Love Story” but this could not be further than the truth. Love Story involved two married people who were tragically separated by death. The Light We Lost revolves around two selfish people and a very shallow “love” that goes on for a decade. The main characters choose their careers over their relationship. While this might seem noble, it only causes the likely destruction of the main protagonist, Lucy’s, family. It seems like throughout the entire book Lucy is struggling to have her cake and eat it too. She wants the traditional family with a loving husband and kids but misses the passion and “fireworks” that she had with her college boyfriend. She admittedly states that her husband is loving and wonderful but consistently chooses her ex over him throughout the story. Her husband is understanding and kind and goes out of his way to lavish Lucy with surprises. However, this only leaves Lucy resentful that she was not consulted about the gifts first. She is a complete brat that cannot see the wonderful life right in front of her as she is blinded by her infatuation with another man. She even goes so far as to blame her affair on her husband’s secrecy as he was buying her a vacation home. The entire story seems like a stream of rationalizations by a cheating, selfish, lying, “feminist” woman. Not worth the time it took to listen as the author’s performance was sub-par at best.

13 people found this helpful

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Horrible- a love story for selfish immature people to

I can’t believe how much I did not like this book. The protagonist was just so awful and selfish and the love story was immature and just obnoxious

48 people found this helpful

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Author's voice ruined it for me

Would you try another book from Jill Santopolo and/or Jill Santopolo?

Only if she wasn't the one who narrated it.

How could the performance have been better?

Have a professional reader or voice actor read the book.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Disappointment and sadness that I couldn't get past the first 15 minutes because of the author's voice.

Any additional comments?

The book is read by the author (something I think is never a good idea unless the author is a famous person, such as Paul Reiser who always narrates his own books). This author has a very bad voice for narration. It's too high pitched, whiny and squeaky. So I only made it through the first 15 minutes before I had to stop. Her voice was just too annoying.

37 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Disappointed

I feel like this book got a lot of hype. I was very disappointed. I found the main character to be sort of annoying, causing me to roll my eyes at several points during my listening. I can appreciate a good love story but this one didn't do it for me.

21 people found this helpful

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Morals? What Morals?

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

Giving the main character a moral compass would've been great. Or at least had her whine less. She made her choices and yet she was still a perpetual victim. Weak. Spineless. Pathetic.

Has The Light We Lost turned you off from other books in this genre?

Yep.

How could the performance have been better?

If she read a different book.

What character would you cut from The Light We Lost?

The main character.

Any additional comments?

This is basically a cousin to the selfishness of "Eat Pray Love." Main character is weak and whiny. If you don't love someone as much as you love someone else, don't marry that person. Pure stupidity. AND should you decide to marry the person you love less DON'T WHINE ABOUT IT FOR AN ENTIRE BOOK. The character is a disgrace to female empowerment. Newsflash - if your husband loves you, is good to you, and buys you a house in the Hamptons, you really have nothing to complain about. Women everywhere dream about this type of marriage. Marriage isn't easy and the character acts like she is the only person in the world whose marriage isn't perfect.

19 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Perfect for teens but...

For those of us who live in the real world, I found this story to be too much. Lucy needs a big dose of...get over it. She has an amazing husband and a family, but can’t shake a college lover. I cared less and less for her as the story went on and I felt sorry for her husband. Overall, I’m disappointed in her choices and never felt as though she learned anything as a result of them. The writing was clean, crisp and well done, but this book wasn’t for me.

9 people found this helpful

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Light Lost

Not my favorite. The main characters are immature and unrealistic. There’s a lot of whining and lamenting over love lost, while these characters graduate college and land dream jobs paying big bucks during the Great Recession. Whatever. Santopolo’s attempt at doing Israeli accents was truly horrific.

3 people found this helpful

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Dear Authors, please stop reading your owns books.

This is my 2nd book where I was unaware the Author would be reading the story (shame on me for not checking the 2nd, as I was so turned off by the first) and I am now committed to never listening to a book that is narrated by the Author. Please leave it to the Professional Narrators. I couldn't get through the first 20 pages because I could not get past the horrible voice of the Lead Male Character (can't even remember his name), who the Author just made sound like an annoying woman. I may read this book later, because it sounds promising, I just cannot listen to the bad narration. Is it saving a dollar or ego that causes Authors to read their own work? Either way, unless you're Michelle Obama reading your Memoir, I don't want to hear your sub-par narration when a professional with true narrative talent should have been hired.

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Breathtaking

I had Tears streaming down my face as I felt such a deep a connection to this story.

1 person found this helpful