Author: Andrea Dunlop
Narrator: Cassandra Campbell
Published: February 2016, Brilliance Audio
Length: 10 hours 27 minutes
A smart, obsessive debut novel about a young woman studying abroad who becomes caught up in a seductive French world—and a complex web of love and lust.
When thirty-year-old Brooke Thompson unexpectedly runs into a man from her past, she’s plunged headlong into memories she’s long tried to forget about the year she spent in France following a disastrous affair with a professor.
As a newly arrived exchange student in the picturesque city of Nantes, young Brooke develops a deep and complicated friendship with Sophie, a fellow American and stunning blonde, whose golden girl façade hides a precarious emotional fragility. Sophie and Brooke soon become inseparable and find themselves intoxicated by their new surroundings—and each other.
But their lives are forever changed when they meet a sly, stylish French student, Veronique, and her impossibly sexy older cousin, Alex. The cousins draw Sophie and Brooke into an irresistible world of art, money, decadence, and ultimately, a disastrous love triangle that consumes them both. And of the two of them, only one will make it home.
My thoughts: This book captured me from the moment I first read the description of it and I really enjoyed it. Of course, the beautiful cover also draws you in! It is Andrea Dunlop's debut novel and I believe I have found myself a new author to add to my ever-growing list!
This is a book about friendships and how easily they can be manipulated without you even knowing it at the time. Brooke was in college when she and Sophie were sent to Nantes, France as exchange students. While not really knowing each other all that well in the beginning, they develop a friendship that becomes almost all-encompassing to Brooke. She even says at one point that she feels she is nothing without Sophie.
What I loved about this book is that there is a slow build-up to what ultimately happens. You become completely engaged in the story, and the tension slowly starts building. As Brooke is reminiscing about this time spent in France, she is hinting about what has happened, but takes a while to get there...so you know something is coming, but you don't know what and you don't know when...and it kind of keeps you on your toes, adding a little more tension to your reading - but not in a bad way. And then when something finally happens, in a way, you are prepared for it. And yet, that ending...I was so not prepared for that!
I loved the characters in this book. It's told from Brooke's point of view and I liked that. I liked that we only got her side of the story. Maybe it would have been a completely different book if we had Sophie's side of things or even Alex's - and when Brooke does meet up with Alex, he does give her some food for thought...but that is neither here nor there. This is Brooke's story and it is told quite well. I also loved the descriptions we get of France - having never been, I felt at times that I was right there - especially the scenes at the beach.
This is Andrea Dunlop's debut novel and I am sold...I am a new fan and can't wait to see what she writes next.
Audio thoughts: I love listening to Cassandra Campbell and thought she did a fantastic job with this audio book. She has the perfect voice to be able to do both the young college-age Brooke and Sophie as well as older Brooke. I also thought she did a pretty good French accent.
Losing the Light by Andrea Dunlop is one of BookSparks "My Winter is Booked" reading selection picks.