Tag Archives: September 11

Book Buzz: The Light We Lost

Book Buzz: The Light We Lost

Always in search of a great read, I love getting recommendations from other bookaholics.

“You must read The Light We Lost,” insisted several of my bookie friends. “You won’t be able to put it down.”

They were right. I was swept up in the romance and emotion of Jill Santopolo’s The Light We Lost from the get go, and if you love page turners, this is certainly one.

Book Buzz: The Light We Lost

The Light We Lost might inspire you to ponder your own life decisions. Were they made based on love, on instinct, or on practicality?

The Light We Lost

The novel, set in New York City, begins with the tragedy of 9/11. Columbia University students Lucy and Gabe are in their Shakespeare class when the word comes in about the twin towers attack. Although they are virtually strangers, they find comfort in an embrace. For just a few moments they cling to each other, gathering strength while reflecting on the fragility of life.  They are surprised by the electricity in that embrace, but separate and move on with their lives.

They don’t realize it yet, but they have found their soul mates that day. They also will someday learn that the darkness of that tragic event was a harbinger of the pain and regret to come in their own lives.

A year after graduation Lucy and Gabe run into each other in a bar and that spark is still there, and this time the stars are aligned for them. They fall deeply in love, passionate about each other, and certain that their destiny is to be together. But they are also passionate about their careers. Gabe aspires to be a photojournalist in dangerous areas of the world, to capture the political turmoil and struggles of war-torn countries.   Lucy is equally driven in her position as a television producer and won’t give it up. These circumstances force them to make an anguished decision to part ways.

And then, life goes on. The next 13 years bring marriage and children for Lucy, and worldwide professional recognition for Gabe. Lucy loves her husband, Darren, but jealousy, heartbreak, and unfulfilled dreams consume her each time she thinks about Gabe. As for Gabe, he also struggles with the despair of giving up the woman he truly loved. Ultimately, Gabe and Lucy are forced to confront their true feelings for each other.

This is a dramatic story of love found and lost and found again, and I can attest to tearing up at the end. I will say that the three characters sometimes acted in ways that were self-centered, and that was a bit of a distraction for me. However, I still recommend the book, and fans of JoJo Moyes in particular will enjoy it.

Narrated in the second person (Lucy addresses Gabe throughout), The Light We Lost will remind you of the powerful and lasting effects of first love.

 

I am partnering with Putnam to give away a copy of The Light We Lost. Please leave a comment and a winner will be randomly selected. USA addresses only, please.

 

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Remembering Lives Lost on 9/11

9/11 is a date forever etched in our memory. Words will never adequately describe the impact of this date on each of us, our country and the world. Today time stands still for a moment, remembering lives lost on 9/11.

I say a special prayer for Charles (Chuck) Zion, an executive vice president at Cantor Fitzgerald who died that day. He was a counselor at my summer camp — handsome, funny, charismatic — and I had a mad crush on him. All the girls did. Rest in peace, Chuck.

Children play

Parents pray

The world goes round and round

Years go by

In the blink of an eye

Love is lost and found

The line was crossed

Too many were lost

Today, memories abound.

remembering lives lost 9/11In memory of Charles Zion and everyone else who lost their lives on 9/11

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Remembering the Sky

In the end, it is the sky that day that haunts me. A sky so purely, brilliantly, heartbreakingly blue. Cloudless. Endless.

I have a tendency to gaze at the sky, finding such beauty in this marvel of nature. Driving to work that day, I remember the intense blueness. And then, driving home mid-morning in a surreal reverse traffic jam, blinked at the brightness, the sun climbing higher, my panic rising as I drove to my children’s school.

My husband and I arrived home at the same time. We had left on a bad note that morning. A silly argument, who knows what it was. Now we gripped each other. Held tight.

We turned on the television, not believing our eyes. In that brilliant sky, flames, smoke, terror. Crumbling buildings. It was hours until we heard, thank God, that family members who worked at the Towers were safe.

Today, and every September 11, I will remember. The innocent lives that were lost. Children who were now parentless. Our lives changing forever.

And that impossibly blue sky.

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