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In Sunlight and in Shadow By Mark Helprin,

  • Title: In Sunlight and in Shadow
  • Author: Mark Helprin
  • ISBN: 9780547819235
  • Page: 330
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Entrancing in its lyricism, In Sunlight and in Shadow so powerfully draws you into New York at the dawn of the modern age that, as in a vivid dream, you will not want to leave In 1946, Harry Copeland has returned after fighting in the 82nd Airborne from North Africa all the way to the Elbe Reluctantly assuming the direction of the family fine leather goods manufacture, hEntrancing in its lyricism, In Sunlight and in Shadow so powerfully draws you into New York at the dawn of the modern age that, as in a vivid dream, you will not want to leave In 1946, Harry Copeland has returned after fighting in the 82nd Airborne from North Africa all the way to the Elbe Reluctantly assuming the direction of the family fine leather goods manufacture, he finds his life unsatisfactory and on hold until he is accidentally united with Catherine Thomas Hale, the woman for whom he has been waiting all his life, although the forces behind his patience have never been revealed to him A young actress, singer, and heiress, she has been waiting for him, even if she has known this only in flashes that do not come clear to her until the end of the narrative, and that have not prevented her engagement to a much older man who has been taking advantage of her since childhood.The meeting of Catherine and Harry, their courtship, and their intense love, play out on the stage of New York awakening at mid century in the deep worlds of the theater, industry, and high finance, and during the collision of aristocratic New York society with the formidable wave of second generation, fully assimilated Jews Though after being broken in the war Harry wants nothing but peace, family, and love, organized crime carries on its extortions as always, even in a city now full of the kind of men who stormed the Point du Hoc and the Siegfried Line This becomes his moral and physical struggle While Catherine s is of a different nature, it is just as consequential, and the courage required of her is perhaps even greater.Of the widest scope from the air over Sicily to the heat and color saturated Sacramento Valley the Bay of Biscay to the sea off Maine the steel mills of Gary, Indiana to the beaches of Amagansett London in the blitz the invasion of Normandy and a single shell gliding across an American lake in August from the luminous houses of the wealthy to the pounding of the boards beneath a Broadway chorus line this is yet, first, and foremost a love story, but also a hymn to New York of the period when one great age elided into the other that we call our own Rich in language and classical allusion, it is true to the mottoes at its outset the Dantean Amor mi mosse, che me fa parlare, Love moved me, and made me speak, and to the lines of Lucretius that describe Catherine s extraordinary representation of the powers, beauties, and graces of womanhood Nothing comes forth into the shores of light, or is glad or lovely without you.
    In Sunlight and in Shadow Entrancing in its lyricism In Sunlight and in Shadow so powerfully draws you into New York at the dawn of the modern age that as in a vivid dream you will not want to leave In Harry Copeland

    One thought on “In Sunlight and in Shadow”

    1. Imagine, if you will, a blue whale But not just any blue whale This whale lived longer than any blue whale has ever lived This great beast was swimming the oceans when Teddy Roosevelt was president It lived through wars and depressions and the explosive growth of technology, and somehow managed to evade whalers and orcas to become the largest animal ever to have been on this great blue ball we call home And it died Not of some tragedy or violence, but of old age it was time And this whale washed [...]

    2. I see from the other reviews that people either love or hate this book I bought the stupid thing based on one rave review, and I hated it Let me explain why by pretending that I m the author and I want to get across the simple idea, She hated it Deep from within her soul, somewhere where the light never touched, just as the light never touched the dark roiling depths of the ocean near Normandy, where so many men were lost, lost forever in the dirt and sand, sand like the irritation beneath her e [...]

    3. It is no secret to my friends that Mark Helprin is among my favorite authors I realize my admiration for his work makes me suspect, less than objective Neverthless I must share my initial reflections regarding his new novel How can I put this When I finished In Sunlight and in Shadow I was overwhelmed with the sheer power of the novel I had the story in my head for several days, I actually couldn t get it out of my head I have not been moved by any novel in such a manner for many, many years I w [...]

    4. I spent five weeks with In Sunlight and In Shadow Five monogamous weeks, which is quite a committed literary relationship for this fast in, fast out reader Yes, life circumstances wore me out and distracted me, so that some days the amount of pages read would be imperceptible as measured on a standard ruler, but never once did I contemplate setting Helprin aside for a less complicated time or supplementing my evening reading with a less demanding literary companion I was enthralled by this lush, [...]

    5. The editor should be shot.Oh, wait maybe there was no editor.Helprin has long been one of my favorite authors I read this book in an Advance Review Copy All 700 pages.I hated it The language, which the cover describes as lyrical, is pretentious and overblown I get the title Do you have to include the words sun, light, or shadow on every page Almost every paragraph The kernel of the story is engaging This would have been a pretty good 250 page book At 700 pages, with diversions that should have b [...]

    6. Retribution A Love StoryThere are many wonderful things about In Sunlight and in Shadow Helprin s writing reminds me of novelists from an earlier age where things were leisurely and people had time and patience to read longer books The Victorian Age Helprin indulges in digressions which might sound potentially boring but almost every time he makes a stunning observation This isn t a book you ll want to skim Let yourself ease into its pace and you ll be rewarded in my opinion The depictions of N [...]

    7. Helprin has written some of my favorite books, and nobody can write as beautifully, as lyrically as he can I form images in my mind from him than most others And this is a book about falling in love, it s been a long time since I fell in love and reading this I am transported back.BUT so far I m annoyed by all the speechifying in what s supposed to be dialog We ll see what happens 11 3 god I can t believe I m giving a Helprin 3 stars But 3 stars means I LIKED IT I ve been pondering the rating f [...]

    8. This book made me angry.There, I said it.I loved Helprin, especially A Soldier of the Great War I tolerated two dimensional female characters and wandering plots just for the opportunity to feed on his magnificent prose There was no modern peer for his descriptions of the Alps or gilded age New York City.But then came Freddy and Fredericka, which I barely tolerated, and then this cumbersome lump of dross.I cannot begin to express what an astonishingly bad book this is Characters so wooden I want [...]

    9. In conclusion Unfortunately, I cannot whole heartedly recommend this book to everyone, even though I loved parts Some of the writing is beautiful and thought provoking, but there are verbose, sentimental, overly dramatic and sophomoric passages too Whole chapters could should have been completely eliminated This book needs editing The dialog IS often funny, but neither these clever lines nor the wonderful depiction of NYC save the book Every single woman mentioned is idealized The two primary ch [...]

    10. I m unsure of how to write a review for In Sunlight and in Shadow since it is, for lack of a better testimony, the book I ve been searching for Without question, it is now my favorite book and I have no doubt it will continue to be no matter how many novels I read in my lifetime It is beautifully written than I could have imagined and I m in true mourning for the characters of which I can no longer spend my days with Even though I m positive the pages will crease and fade over time due to my c [...]

    11. I love Mark Helprin Winter s Tale is probably my favorite book of all time at least in the top 5 and I love Memoirs of an Ant Proof Case If you haven t read Mark Helprin, please pick up one of those books Do not pick up this one as your first experience with him, since it may be your last.It was not a terrible book, but I was very disappointed It was a love story, but my main problem with it was that he told us about how much these two were in love, rather than show us There was a lot of explana [...]

    12. The first time I sunk into one of Mark Helprin s huge, atmospheric novels I wondered how it was this man was not better known But he is well known as a maker of epics, I just didn t know it then That first brush with Helprin was A Soldier of the Great War which so enraptured me I thought I d never read another that was as good Later, a professor friend of mine told me he couldn t get through it Older now, I wonder if it isn t the fantastical quality of the romance, or the steel thread of Ayn Ran [...]

    13. Profoundly disappointing Mark Helprin wrote a novel about New York that actually changed my life Winter s Tale is such a gorgeous fairy tale, and such a compelling portrait of New York City, that I carried its images and its story with me when I moved to New York a few years after first reading it I ve read all of Helprin s other novels, and I do love his way with description, but none of the others stuck with me the way Winter s Tale did.So when I picked up In Sunlight and in Shadow, I thought [...]

    14. Mark Helprin is a genus with the English language I also believe Helprin is ambitious with the subject matter he tackles In his latest novel Helprin really tries and comes as close as I think you can get to put on a page what it is like to fall head over heals in love The emotions, sights, smells, tastes, and over all energy involved with a romantic infatuation danced off the page for me The journey that followed, of a life filled with courage, honesty, and sacrifice made me want to be a better [...]

    15. Lush, lyrical, verbose, bedazzled, vajazzled, sun dappled, silken nippled, polyp.encrusted, mucilaginous, ridiculous, smarmy, cornball, gaseous, putrid, death inducing.If this book were a panty liner, it would be the biggest, softest, whitest, most absorbent panty liner ever If it were a leather handbag, it would be the softest, or possibly the hardest, depending on what was intended, most luxurious leather handbag ever stitched If it were a wall, it would be the highest, thickest, grandest, mos [...]

    16. I am a sentimental fool.This book pulled every string, pushed every button, appealed to every emotion I have The writing I normally enjoy is plain and straightforward and simple in the unadorned sense What Helprin does here takes writing on a completely different level, perhaps not a higher plane, but separate His words are musical, rising and falling, swelling with crescendos and whispering pianissimo He paints murals with broad sweeping stroke and lush colors that make you feel if you just str [...]

    17. This is the end for me and Mark Helprin This book is so utterly boring that I was able to skip a 100 page flashback and not have it impact the telling of the tale in any way The two main characters, swept up in an unlikely and unrealistic love, are so redolent of their own smugness that by the end you loathe both of them They are physically perfect, morally perfect, sexually perfect, socially perfect, intellectually perfect, militarily perfect goes on and on The saccharine love story is so langu [...]

    18. I am close to the end of this tiring book, finally I could not just put it on the shelf and stop reading it so I am going to finish it I was expecting a lot plot in stead of the over reaching, never ending scene descriptions that just go on and on And beside that, the love story is too much and not enough reality about how love evolves, has it s ups and downs and turns Not very believable I want to finish the story to see what happens to the bad guys.ContinuedWell I did finish this book this mo [...]

    19. I read this one because it sounded to me a bit like his Winter s Tale, the only other Helprin novel I ve read and which I became completely immersed in and loved Like Winter s Tale, this novel celebrates New York City, this time at a somewhat later period The time is 1946 and the main character, Harry Copeland, is a well to do Jewish ex soldier who s come home to run his father s leather goods business, his father having died while he was at war I couldn t help but note that Swede Levov, Roth s [...]

    20. In Sunlight and in Shadow is a long and bloated book Ostensibly a story about love and honor it is also a tale of New York in post WWII New York Perhaps it was Helprin s intent to capture the energy of the time when the country felt ripe with possibility and New York City seemed the powerful energy behind it all But it didn t work for me In many ways, it reminded me of the work of Ayn Rand All is idealized love, women, valor, the city and Our Hero of course Most unbelievable to me is the love ra [...]

    21. World War II is over and won and Harry Copeland has returned to civilian life and home in New York City Although Harry is seeking some time off to decompress, the family business is faltering and demands his attention so he half heartedly involves himself in the repair But what soon resurrects captures Harry is the sighting of a young woman Catherine on the Staten Island Ferry with whom Harry immediately falls head over heels in love The two soon meet and their lives together begin And what a ta [...]

    22. This book has such potential, but was in DESPERATE need of an editor There are many things to love and admire about the book especially the way the author depicts the horrors of war, and how he portrays NYC in all of its complexity but there are even things to be frustrated about characters who are dropped in and out for no apparent reason, lyrical language run amok, ham handed plot developments, redundancy, an off putting objectification of women, an over reliance on a narrow set of images sun [...]

    23. I loved A Winter s Tale, so I didn t hesitate to dive into In Sunlight and Shadow Everything I loved about the former is missing from the latter I remember Winter s Tale as a nimble, imaginative epic This new novel is ponderous, sentimental, and almost preachy At times I felt like I was reading male version harlequin romance The hero is an idealized male archetype, who, burnished by the masculine trials of physical and academic overachievement and then perfected in the crucible of war, learns th [...]

    24. Helprin s writing is lyrical, lush, metaphorical, and the imagery throughout is wonderful The plot is strong, and it delivers the right level of emotional payoff at the end But it gets bogged down with monologues that are inflated and unrealistic and there s a whole looong interlude spent on Harry s flashbacks to his wartime experiences which was too much If the 700 pages were edited to 500 I would give it 5 stars Still, the story and the characters still remain with me 4 weeks after reading it [...]

    25. Zzz The writing in this book is overly wordy in a very pretentious way, and the characters seemed so flat I got tired of trying to wade through it just to find any substance at all, and I gave up before I got very far.

    26. I had not previously read any Helprin books and I m guessing from some of the reviews I read it may not have been the best example of his work.First the good the prose was breathtaking It was like reading a poem Each sentence was so deliberately constructed and painted such vivid pictures, and the writer in me lapped that up.The story was also good and, when it was being told, intriguing and suspenseful.But the reason I went with 3 stars and not 4 or 5 as the prose alone would deserve, is that t [...]

    27. This is a good book for listening to while you are doing something else with your hands I like listening to audio books while I m knitting gifts for Christmas or things for my family Or while I m doing something that needs doing and I can read at the same time.There s a lot of description in this book and for some people this is tedious To me, it all helps to set the time frame of history and the society at the time Not only do we get to appreciate a closer picture of the time after the war but [...]

    28. i was hoping for characters and less caricatures I get the the idealistic tone of the novel I think I agree with much of Helprin s philosophy But I found the writing, while often lyrical, overly stylized and forced Yes the introductory chapter is beautiful It drew me in But halfway through the book I got bored by the lengthy and verbose descriptions of New York and the narrator s repetitive and unchanging account of the lovers feelings for each other I began to feel like Helprin was trying to m [...]

    29. I haunted the publisher s booth at BEA waiting for these ARCS to appear, and my efforts were well repaid As ever, Mark Helprin s elegantly philosophical dialogue functions rather like spellbinding arias for opera goers the plot trajectory freezes in time as the listener or reader is invited to consider sensory flights and character revealing erudition that offer their own rewards then the story resumes, still leaving the onlooker a little breathless from thought The book is a love letter to New [...]

    30. I really wanted to like this, but it was so superfluous It could ve been 300 pages shorter I gave up 400 pgs in because I reached a 100 pg flashback and couldn t handle it any.

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