U.S. Publisher:
Putnam, an imprint of Penguin Random House
Release Date:
May 9, 2017
Foreign Publishers:
Heyne/Random House (Germany)
HQ/HarperCollins (UK/Commonwealth)
Alber Bonnier Forlag (Sweden)
Prometheus/Bert Bakker Publishers (The Netherlands)
Arquiero/Sextante (Brazil)
Gyldendal Norsk (Norway)
Znak Publishing Group (Poland)
XXI Szazad Kiado/21st Century Publishing (Hungary)
Ikar (Slovakia)
Otava (Finland)
Citic (China)
Lindhardt & Ringhof (Denmark)
Nord/GEMS Group (Italy)
Euromedia (Czech Republic)
Psichogios Publications (Greece)
Objetiva/Penguin Random House (Portugal)
Suma/Penguin Random House Groupo Editorial (Spain/Latin America)
Editura Trei (Romania)
Fleuve Editions (France)
Baltos Lankos (Lithuania)
Laguna (Serbia)
Dogan Kitap (Turkey)
Atticus-Azbooka (Russia)
Ciela Norma (Bulgaria)
Modan Publishers (Israel)
Ucila International (Slovenia)
Eesti Raamat (Estonia)
Kontinents (Latvia)
PALITRA (Georgia)
Znjane Publishing (Croatia)
Amarin (Thailand)
Arab Scientific Publisher (Arabic)

The Light We Lost

Me Before You meets One Day in this passionate debut novel about an epic love story and the heartrending choice one woman must make

Lucy will be faced with a choice. But before she can make her decision, she must start her story–their story–at the very beginning.

We’ve known each other for almost half our lives. 

I’ve seen you smiling, confident, blissfully happy.

I’ve seen you broken, wounded, lost.

But I’ve never seen you like this.

Lucy meets Gabe at Columbia University on the morning of September 11, 2001. Their relationship to one another–and to the world–is forged in the crucible of that day. They both decide that they want their lives to mean something, to matter.

What follows is a journey that brings the two of them together and tears them apart, dividing and reuniting them repeatedly over the next thirteen years as Gabe becomes a photojournalist in the Middle East and Lucy pursues a life and career in New York City. Theirs is a journey of dreams, of desires, of jealousy, of betrayal, of apology, of forgiveness–and above all, a journey of love. Throughout this emotional page-turner, Lucy grapples with the ideas of fate and free will: Were their lives destined to intertwine, or did they choose this path? And should they have been living a different life all along? 

The Light We Lost is a novel about the inner-workings of the human heart, a heartbreaking ode to the lengths we go to pursue our dreams and the sacrifices we make for love, with a surprising, emotional ending.

Listen to a sample of the audio!

Jill Santopolo’s extraordinary debut novel is a love story–an emotional roller coaster–that follows the lives of Lucy and Gabe who meet in New York City on September 11, 2001. The event transforms and shadows their lives. How do they reconcile passion and security, dreams and reality? AsThe Light We Lost enchanted and compelled me, I found myself reconsidering my own choices, and wondering at the choices of my friends and the people around me–how did their dreams match their realities? And what if that dream can’t include the person you love the most?!
Delia Ephron, New York Times bestselling author of Siracusa
What can be more devastating than love? In her adult debut, Santopolo explores thirteen tumultuous years in the lives of two unique lovers, the difference between what’s forever and what’s finite, and how what seems fated might not be fact. Gorgeously written and absolutely unforgettable, Santopolo’s novel has a beating heart all its own.
Caroline Leavitt, New York Times bestselling author of Pictures of You, Is This Tomorrow, andCruel Beautiful World
In this intense, deeply moving novel, Jill Santopolo vividly illuminates how our personal lives and loves are changed by the common—and uncommon—events of our troubled world.
Nancy Thayer New York Timesbestselling author of The Island House
Santopolo nailed the thrill and devastation that love can cause. I was gutted from the start and didn’t put the book down until I was sobbing at the end. Witty, romantic and intensely moving, this book made me feel everything!
Renee Carlino, USA Today bestselling author of Before We Were Strangers
Evocative, raw and at times breathlessly heartbreaking, Jill Santopolo’sThe Light We Lost is a page-turner that explores the intersection of fate and choice in our relationships. In this honest portrayal of love and loss, Santopolo leaves us wondering about serendipity and the existence of that one, true love. An emotional rollercoaster of a story that won’t let you go even after the last page is turned.
Karma Brown, bestselling author of Come Away with Me
We couldn’t stop turning the pages of The Light We Lost. Santopolo took us on a journey of missed chances, regret and uncertainty that left us pondering our own choices. The love story of Lucy and Gabe is one that will stay with you long after you finish
Liz Fenton & Lisa Steinke, authors of The Status of All Things
The Light We Lost is a beautiful, moving meditation on the choices we make in pursuit of love and a meaningful life, and the consequences that shape our futures.
Bethany Chase, author of The One That Got Away
Jill Santopolo’s debut is a breathless, sexy, sweeping love story set against the backdrop of the defining moment of this century. Filled with light and hope, this is the romance we’re all looking for.
Brenda Bowen, author of Enchanted August
This is such a heart-felt story about both the bliss and torment of love. It’s clear that Jill has tremendous affection for her characters and so did I. It was fascinating to me that Gabe is a photographer, because Jill herself has an amazingly sharp eye, zooming in on emotions and the small ways in which they change while also pulling back for a wide-angle view of Lucy and Gabe’s relationship during the course of a tumultuous decade. I am not a weeper but dammit if I wasn’t crying at the end.
Jane O'Connor, New York Timesbestselling author
A beautiful, powerful and sexy novel, The Light We Lost grabbed me from the beginning and just refused to let go. Santopolo has given us a remarkable love story that enthralled me, surprised me, and ultimately, moved me. I couldn’t put it down.
Thomas Christopher Greene, author of If I Forget You
The scale of this book’s ambition is matched only by Santopolo’s flawless execution. 9/11, love, sex, war, Shakespeare, American foreign policy—The Light We Lost has it all, illuminating so much of what our generation and what we in the media have lived through for fifteen years. The arc of this book, from the fall of the Twin Towers to a love letter written from the Middle East, gracefully and tragically charts the course not only of a genuine and deep love, but also that of our country and of our collective identities. It is memorable and haunting, because it is authentic and so close to home.
Nick Schifrin, PBS NewsHour Special Correspondent, NPR Correspondent
Emotional and heartbreaking. I predict a global tissue shortage.
Sarah Morgan, USA Today bestselling author of Miracle on 5th Avenue
A stunning book, perfect and unputdownable.
Jill Mansell, Sunday Times bestselling author of The One You Really Want
An affecting and beautifully-written story about love and missed chances, and how global events can change the course of a single person’s life.
—Julie Cohen, author of Together