The Light We Lost

  • Review
By – May 16, 2017

This enjoy­able beach read recounts Lucy’s rela­tion­ships with two dif­fer­ent men.

Lucy and Gabe meet as ide­al­is­tic seniors at Colum­bia Uni­ver­si­ty on 9/11. They have an instant emo­tion­al and phys­i­cal con­nec­tion, but their rela­tion­ship also includes dra­mat­ic ups and downs. They sup­port each other’s careers, Gabe’s as a pho­to­jour­nal­ist and Lucy’s as a children’s TV show writer and pro­duc­er. This Shake­speare-quot­ing cou­ple are seem­ing­ly equal part­ners in love and work — until the heart­break­ing point when one must be cho­sen over the other.

Lucy meets Dar­ren dur­ing sum­mer­time in the Hamp­tons. He is slight­ly old­er than she is, set­tled and mature, and knows what he wants now and in the future. He makes and sticks to his buck­et lists, tick­ing off each item as it is real­ized. The rela­tion­ship between Lucy and Dar­ren is vast­ly dif­fer­ent than that between Lucy and Gabe: qui­et, cozy, lov­ing, and thought­ful. Still, Lucy finds that things are miss­ing, and she returns again and again to thoughts of Gabe.

Any­one who has expe­ri­enced more than one love rela­tion­ship can read­i­ly iden­ti­fy with Lucy’s mulling over pos­si­bil­i­ties and regrets. No one con­nec­tion between two peo­ple can be per­fect, and so Lucy con­stant­ly weighs up Gabe’s and Darren’s per­son­al­i­ties and actions, their plus­es and minus­es. Although love is uni­ver­sal and relat­able, this sto­ry is about a priv­i­leged indi­vid­ual who has the time and means to want it all and attempt to achieve it all.

It is inter­est­ing to read about Lucy’s and Gabe’s cre­ative and col­lab­o­ra­tive process­es and about the hor­ror of war report­ing. The end­ing is quite sur­pris­ing, and it’s worth rac­ing through some of the pre­dictable parts of the book to reach it.

Miri­am Brad­man Abra­hams, mom, grand­mom, avid read­er, some­time writer, born in Havana, raised in Brook­lyn, resid­ing in Long Beach on Long Island. Long­time for­mer One Region One Book chair and JBC liai­son for Nas­sau Hadas­sah, cur­rent­ly pre­sent­ing Inci­dent at San Miguel with author AJ Sidran­sky who wrote the his­tor­i­cal fic­tion based on her Cuban Jew­ish refugee family’s expe­ri­ences dur­ing the rev­o­lu­tion. Flu­ent in Span­ish and Hebrew, cer­ti­fied hatha yoga instructor.

Discussion Questions