At a glance this story might seem like a long expedition into the self-absorbed meanderings of the main character. It is however much more than that.
Everyone lives in their head. In fact to be more specific, there are at least three versions of every person.
The version we show to the world, the version of us we show to our family, partners and close friends, and then there is the version that lives inside us. The one that lives in our head, the one we have internal conversations with, the version of us who voices thoughts nobody ever hears.
The Light we Lost is Lucy’s internal voice and inner version of herself. It is essentially the written dialogue of hopes, fears and desires we never share with anyone else.
I think this is a story a lot of readers will be able to identify with. If you think back upon your life you might be able to recognise certain moments you could call crossroads. Days or decisions that took you in one direction when you could have chosen another one in the same moment.
It’s the same sentiment as some of us meeting what one would call the great love of our life, but ending up letting them go or choosing a path different to theirs. In Lucy’s case this person is Gabe. Santopolo describes it quite accurately when she writes something akin to some loves are like a hearth fire, warm and cosy, and others are like raging uncontrollable bushfires. One of them is consistent and reliable, and the other leaves you breathless and disorientated.
Lucy and Gabe have a relationship filled with What-If’s and it never being the right moment in time for the two of them. A pocket full of regrets and bag full of imaginary scenarios that could have been.
I really enjoyed this book, perhaps because it is simplistic, and yet poignant. It’s like entering a secret door in someone’s head, and having a front row seat to their inner thoughts and a lifetime of emotions.
Santopolo makes you feel as if you’re sitting on your couch drinking a glass of wine listening to a friend talk about their secret love. It’s an intimate moment, and yet at the same time it is a universal one, and so is this story.