The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo is a simple romance story. There’s nothing too complicated about it. A girl and a guy meet for the first time on 911. They kiss, and then something happens, and he goes back to his old girlfriend. Eventually, they’re together for a few years. But most of the story is about why she is married to another man named Darren.
So Lucy and Gabe are with what the whole romance is about. But then most of the stories are told when she’s with Darren, and she’s writing to somebody you don’t. She is good at writing about things like most authors, a lot of it’s the same romance thing repeatedly and like the same feelings and the same buildup. If you want to read books like The Light We Lost, keep reading!
7 Books like The Light We Lost (Romance Fiction)
After reading The Light We Lost, I can relate the story to our daily life. Every day we see how complicated relationships or love are. Nobody can think about the future status, and we keep our hope alive. To keep hope up and give some romance flavor, I will review 7 books similar to The Light We Lost. Let’s start!
1. Next Year in Havana
This book is about an American woman, Cuban identity, and her experience. It was an interview with the author where she talks about how her being Cuban-American influenced the writing of this book. So the book is part romance, part historical fiction with strong themes of family and the Cuban revolution. It’s told in dual timelines. One of them follows a Cuban-American and present day, and then the other is following her grandmother in Cuba in 1958.
We’re following a third-generation Cuban-American named Marisol Ferrera, whose grandmother has died and is in her grandmother’s will. Marisol has been tasked with spreading her ashes in Cuba. There’s this long bureaucratic process you have to go through with the Cuban government. However, Marisol is a writer, and she can get into Cuba as a journalist, writing an article about the more touristy aspects of Cuba. She smuggles her grandmother’s ashes and her suitcase while she’s in Cuba.
She stays with her grandmother’s childhood best friend, and she has an immediate attraction to her grandmother’s childhood best friend’s grandson. The other part of this book takes place in nineteen fifty-eight. It follows Madison’s grandmother, Elisa, and her last year of Cuba before her family is exiled to America. Elisa is the 19-year-old daughter of a sugar baron, which means her family is at the tippy top of Cuban society. She and her sisters are socialites, and her father is a very strong supporter of Batista’s current president.
One night, Elisa and her sisters go out to a party. She meets a revolutionary that she ends up developing a relationship with and being a revolutionary at this time. On top of that, Elisa and her lover are on different sides of this political conflict between Batista and Fidel Castro. Getting back to the present, when Marisol gets to Cuba, she starts uncovering the secret past that her grandmother had and this love that no one knew about. The perspective of the book goes back and forth between Marisol and Elisa.
We find out what happens to Madison’s grandmother as she does. Like The Light We Lost, there are many historical battles and events, and the day-to-day life details are also there. The author also goes into the different powers that play in the political scene of 1958 Cuba.
Author: Chanel Cleeton
Average Customer Review: (4.5 out of 5, on Amazon)
Category: Hispanic American Literature & Fiction, Romance
Available: Library Binding | Paperback | Mass Market Paperback | MP3 CD | Kindle
2. The Cactus
This book is about a middle-aged woman, Susan Green. She has led a very isolated small life. She has a romantic partner, but she is afraid of the world and doesn’t get a lot out of her life. Then she starts to experience a couple of major life changes and takes some initiative to improve herself. The main character lives in London, and it is a very British book. The accents make everything that much more British.
Susan didn’t have the best social skills at the beginning of the book, but I admired her spirits so much, even if she did have quite a few flaws. She wouldn’t be so excited about having a baby, and she’s surprised when she finds out that she’s pregnant, that she wants to raise a baby, and she wants to be a mother. You will love her relationship with Rob because it will remind you of “The Light We Lost.”
The love interest was so fun to watch them together and see how much she enjoyed spending time with somebody and feeling connected to him. It was perfect that two people managed to find each other, and they didn’t want a full-on relationship. They had their one-day-a-week relationship, which was what each of them needed. Also, it was so perfect that they could both ask for that and have that.
Author: Sarah Haywood
Average Customer Review: (4.0 out of 5, on Amazon)
Category: Single Women Fiction, Contemporary Romance
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Library Binding | MP3 CD | Kindle
3. Malibu Rising
In this book, we are in Malibu, in 1983. At the end of the summer party. Everyone is so excited, and we follow the four famous siblings. The oldest is hosting this party, and Nina is the oldest sister. She’s twenty-five and super-rich, famous, and beautiful. She has a beautiful mansion at these parties at the end of every summer. So we’re following her and then her brothers, Jay and Hud, and then her younger sister Kit. They’re all very famous because they are the children of Mick Riva. He is a very famous rock star.
Nina is going through a hard time. So she is struggling with that in the present present-day of nineteen eighty-three. We see their love story and see them fall in love as teenagers. You will see these four siblings try and figure out how they feel about their father and come together and celebrate at this party. The ending was anticlimactic similar to The Light We Lost. It wasn’t what I thought it was going to be.
Author: Taylor Jenkins Reid
Average Customer Review: (4.3 out of 5, on Amazon)
Category: Women’s Friendship Fiction, Historical Fiction & Romance
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover | Audio CD | Kindle
4. Seven Days in June
Seven Days In June is Eva’s character, and Eva is a single mother of a brilliant-year-old. She’s also the best-selling author of a series of books. Eva was very heartbroken, and she had to rebuild herself after a heartbreak and create a life for herself. On the other hand, we also see how Shane. After he ended with Eva, he also went on to take a different path that has been pretty rough and difficult for him.
He also became an author that was very wildly successful. His books are critically acclaimed. But now that he’s trying to live a different life, a part of his healing process is to go back and find Eva and let her know what happened. So he went back to Eva, telling her what had happened, not thinking about anything else.
Like The Light We Lost, their chemistry has never left. So it’s pretty much like they have the strong connection, that strong pull that they have for one another. As they meet again, we as readers go back into how they met, why that time was so important to them and why Eva was so heartbroken. So we have many answers as to why they did not continue together on their path. We also see them in the present tense as we read along, trying to rekindle whatever they had.
Author: Tia Williams
Average Customer Review: (4.4 out of 5, on Amazon)
Category: Holiday Romance, Black & African American Women’s Fiction
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle | Audio CD
5. Before We Were Strangers
This book is about is Matt and Grace. They meet in their senior year of college. They go to NYU, and Matt moved into the dorms when he met Grace. So it’s about this story, how they fall into this deep friendship. That there’s longing for more, even though they keep telling themselves if we’re going to be friends. So Grace is studying to be a musician and plays the cello, and we find out that Matt is a photographer. So it was fun to see what she thought and hear everything from her end and hear it from his end.
We follow their friendship and Matt’s documented as they fall in love as their senior year is coming to an end. No matter how many times they tell each other that they’re going to come back to each other. As life goes, things don’t always go as planned, and 15 years pass after graduation before they finally reconnect. This was an incredibly cute love story full of their flirtations, adventures, and watching them fall in love. Then we get a peek into their first love and a second chance. The situations and vibes are very similar to The Light We Lost book.
Author: Renée Carlino
Average Customer Review: (4.6 out of 5, on Amazon)
Category: New Adult & College Romance, American Literature
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Kindle | Audio CD
6. The Two Lives of Lydia Bird
The book is about a girl, Lydia, and her fiance, Freddy. On her 28th birthday, Freddy is killed in a car accident. So we are going through Lydia’s grieving process and how ultimately she moves forward and finds love again with somebody. This concept was a very original idea in the sense that when Lydia is prescribed sleeping pills to help her insomnia and the first night that she takes them. She discovers that she can be with Freddy, a continuation of the life that they would have had, possibly if he hadn’t died.
Throughout the book, it alternates between her being asleep and awake. The author was excellent at differentiating when she was sleeping and awake. The first quarter of this book was pretty hard to read because it goes into Lydia’s grieving process and how she’s feeling. But after that, it did become a lot easier to read, a lot more enjoyable in a sense. If you like The Light We Lost, you must read it.
Author: Josie Silver
Average Customer Review: (4.3 out of 5, on Amazon)
Category: Contemporary Women’s Fiction & Romance
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle | Mass Market Paperback
7. 28 Summers
This book is about a girl named Mallory. You follow her life from the summer of 1993 to the present day. She was in her young twenties. Also, you follow what happens to her and find out about her first summer on Nantucket. The author describes how she got to Nantucket, why she was on Nantucket, everything about that. Sometimes you won’t necessarily see into Mallory’s life, but you get into Jake’s life.
The film inspired this book. Elin Hilderbrand makes great three-dimensional characters. You will get to know inside what their thoughts are. They’re very well-formed characters like they’re not characters. Could they have been better formed? They’re always formed spectacularly. This book has so much suspense and romance that you like to read after The Light We Lost.
Author: Elin Hilderbrand
Average Customer Review: (4.6 out of 5, on Amazon)
Category: Historical Fiction & Romance
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover | Mass Market Paperback | Audio CD
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