“We Are the Light” Book Review

Welcome to the Watseka Public Library book blog for 2023, written by Velanne. I’ll be posting about books I’ve read that I felt were worth recommending. (If I read and dislike a book, I won’t post about it on the blog.) (I also don’t usually include popular ‘series’ books by authors – like Cussler, Evanovich, Patterson, Robb, etc. – because they already have a good following and readers notice them pretty quickly.)

My first blog choice for 2023 is We Are the Light by Matthew Quick. It is a heart wrenching but uplifting story of a community trying to heal after a tragedy. 18 people died in a senseless shooting at the Majestic Theater in the small town of Majestic, PA. The story is told through a series of letters from Lucas Goodgame (a survivor of the massacre) to his therapist, Karl Johnson (also a survivor of the massacre). The actual events are slowly revealed through the letters and show how the community members helped each other to move on and find healing.

Lucas Goodgame is a well-respected counselor at the local school. His wife, Darcy,  was killed in the Majestic Theatre shooting. The entire community considers Lucas a hero, but the full story isn’t revealed until near the end of the novel. Lucas is having a difficult time without Darcy, and sees her as an angel flying over him and sending him messages. One night, Eli, a student that Lucas used to counsel, puts up a tent in Lucas’ backyard. His relationship with Lucas is key to the story and between the two of them and many others in the community, healing begins.

In We Are the Light, Lucas writes of his struggles to his analyst, Karl, hoping for an answer to his grief. I really liked the letter format – it gave such insight into Lucas and his feelings. I wasn’t sure I would like this novel, due to the subject, but it was actually very uplifting and showed the power each person has to show kindness and help others when they are struggling. This is a novel that stayed with me long after I read it!

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