Losing the Light

A Novel

Losing the Light

One of Redbook's Best Books of 2016

"A heady cocktail of nostalgia, a seductive Frenchman, a passionate love triangle, and a mysterious disappearance." —The Seattle Times

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.
  • Washington Square Press | 
  • 336 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781501109423 | 
  • February 2016
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Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for Losing the Light includes discussion questions and ideas for enhancing your book club. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.

Topics & Questions for Discussion

1. “I’m more than willing to take an anthropological stance on the beautiful people.” (Pg. 3-4) Early in the novel, Brooke positions herself as an “anthropologist” among attractive people—a neutral observer. Do you agree with Brooke’s self-description? Why or why not?

2. One of the major themes throughout Losing the Light is the notion of belonging. What does it mean to belong? Using examples from the novel, discuss whether it seems like people naturally “belong” (in a certain crowd, country, lifestyle, etc.) or whether belonging is a matter of confidence or is somehow otherwise fostered. What are some moments in the book when Brooke feels she does or doesn’t belong?

3. Alex has a critical impression of the wealthy, glamorous people who surround him, and yet Brooke notes both in France and in New York that he is, in essence, one of them. Why do you think he regards his peers this way? In what ways do his views parallel or differ from Brooke’s opinions of rich, fashi see more

About the Author

Andrea Dunlop
Photograph by Andre Belmont

Andrea Dunlop

Andrea Dunlop lives in her hometown of Seattle, Washington, where she works as the social media and marketing director of Girl Friday Productions. Losing the Light is her first novel.