We Are the Light: A Novel
WE ARE THE LIGHT was an experience.
I was up late last night juggling between two restless boys who wouldn’t stay asleep, and reading this book.
Each time my sons woke up, I navigated between my room and theirs by the light of my book light. I finally got them to stay asleep around 1:30 in the morning. At 2:00 my book light was starting to dim. I desperately held the light closer to the page to illuminate the words as I moved from page to page. At 2:30 the charge in my book light gave up, and I was left in darkness with about 20 pages left. I made the difficult decision to go to sleep.
It was with delight that my kids woke at 6:00. I set them up with breakfast and hid in the living room to finish this book.
This story and its characters and the town will all stay with me for quite awhile.
Matthew Quick scores a perfect 10 in this deeply stirring, gorgeously hopeful novel that shines a brilliant beam on the path out of grief and toward healing. May we all learn the way to be such lights from this remarkable guide.
From Matthew Quick, the New York Times bestselling author of The Silver Linings Playbook—made into the Academy Award–winning movie starring Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper—comes a poignant and hopeful novel about a widower who takes in a grieving teenager and inspires a magical revival in their small town.
Lucas Goodgame lives in Majestic, Pennsylvania, a quaint suburb that has been torn apart by a recent tragedy. Everyone in Majestic sees Lucas as a hero—everyone, that is, except Lucas himself. Insisting that his deceased wife, Darcy, visits him every night in the form of an angel, Lucas spends his time writing letters to his former Jungian analyst, Karl. It is only when Eli, an eighteen-year-old young man whom the community has ostracized, begins camping out in Lucas’s backyard that an unlikely alliance takes shape and the two embark on a journey to heal their neighbors and, most importantly, themselves.
From Matthew Quick, whose work has been described by the Boston Herald as “like going to your favorite restaurant. You just know it is going to be good,” We Are the Light is an unforgettable novel about the quicksand of grief and the daily miracle of love. The humorous, soul-baring story of Lucas Goodgame offers an antidote to toxic masculinity and celebrates the healing power of art. In this tale that will stay with you long after the final page is turned, Quick reminds us that life is full of guardian angels.
Praise for We Are the Light: A Novel
“When you read Quick, you don’t feel guilty if your tears are mixed with laughter. . . . His skill at crafting an engaging narrative around trauma is as strong as ever. . . . We Are the Light is a reminder that grief is complex and that we shouldn’t be afraid to grasp the hands stretched out to help us. As the title points out, even in the dark, there can be light.”
—Karin Tanabe, The Washington Post
“We Are the Light is a testament to the broken and the rebuilt. . . . Quick’s deeply moving epistolary novel is a balm.”
—Booklist (starred review)
“An illuminating epistolary novel . . . A crackling narrative builds to an excruciatingly honest disclosure. The author’s fans will love this.”
“A timely, lovely, and sometimes heartbreaking novel of grief and hope, beautifully told through a series of letters that shine light on our capacity to heal, even after tragedy.”
—Mitch Albom, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Stranger in the Lifeboat
“Matthew Quick’s We Are the Light is a treasure of a novel—wise, humane, and deeply moving. Whoever you are, whatever trials you’ve faced in life, read it and be healed.”
—Justin Cronin, New York Times bestselling author of the Passage Trilogy
“We Are the Light is the book America needs right now. A novel that embraces our national heartbreak and division with love and compassion. Matthew Quick is the patron saint of the damaged and outcast and no one writes with more heart and empathy. You’ll love this book.”
—Nickolas Butler, bestselling author of Shotgun Lovesongs and Godspeed
“We Are the Light is a beautifully written and emotion-packed novel with a huge heart. Matthew Quick takes us on a searing and unforgettable journey through grief and empathy and how even the most broken of us can be repaired.”
—Harlan Coben, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Win
“Matthew Quick has always been a brilliant chronicler of the ways in which we get broken, and the spectacular ways our lives can fall apart, and yet his greatest gift is the way he tries to find, within every story, an opportunity to put some of those pieces back together. In We Are the Light, where unexpected connections offer a way forward, Quick writes with such honesty and openhearted understanding of the pain and joy of being alive.”
—Kevin Wilson, New York Times bestselling author of Nothing to See Here
“Filled with everyday guardian angels, this bittersweet, redemptive meditation on rebuilding after the unthinkable reminds readers that beauty can be found even among shattered pieces. We Are the Light is a perfect read for anyone in need of an insightful, optimistic view of humanity’s capacity for compassion and growth.”
“Matthew Quick is one of the few fiction writers who, inspired by Jungian insights, makes a solid contribution to the impact of analysis. Like all significant works of art that reflect truths we might have known, had we not lost our way, We Are the Light is subtle and intimate, compellingly strange and hauntingly familiar, an initiation into the depths of suffering and love. It will not only break your heart—it will break it free.”
—Joseph R. Lee, Jungian analyst and cohost of This Jungian Life podcast
“A story of unexpected twists and turns on the road to recovery after a shattering tragedy. . . . When it comes to facing tragedy and trauma, Quick’s novel shows us that it definitely takes a village to heal and move on.”