Friday, November 4, 2022

Book Review: "We Are The Light" by Matthew Quick

The latest book from the author of Silver Linings Playbook is a tremendously moving story about grief, recovering from tragedy and trauma, and the impact people have on our lives.

The town of Majestic, Pennsylvania has recently been impacted by a terrible tragedy. A young man shot and killed 17 people in the town’s historic movie theater during a showing of a Christmas movie before dying himself.

Many in the town see Lucas Goodgame as a hero for his actions during the massacre, but he doesn’t like to think about that. All he can focus on is that his wife Darcy was among those who were killed, although he believes she comes to him each night as an angel.

Lucas doesn’t know how to process his grief, and the worst thing is that his Jungian analyst of three years, Karl, has ended their sessions because Karl’s wife was killed that day, too. He had come to depend on Karl and he is at a total loss, so the only thing he can do is write letters to him in the hope that Karl will decide to start seeing him again.

Things take an interesting turn when Eli, an 18-year-old whom Lucas had helped before, starts camping out in Lucas’ backyard. The entire town ostracizes Eli and he has nowhere else to turn.

This book, told completely in letters Lucas writes to Karl, is about the process of healing and how complicated it can be. As Lucas and Eli try to help the community—and especially the survivors of the massacre—with recovery, beautiful and troubling things will be uncovered.

I found this really moving. It’s very sad in places and there may be triggers for some. I don’t know about Jungian analysis, so the references to that went over my head, but this was a really poignant and beautiful story.

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