In Sunlight and in Shadow

In Sunlight and in Shadow

Book - 2012
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Can love and honor conquer all?

Mark Helprin's enchanting and sweeping novel springs from this deceptively simple question, and from the sight of a beautiful young woman, dressed in white, on the Staten Island Ferry, at the beginning of summer, 1946.

Postwar New York glows with energy. Harry Copeland, an elite paratrooper who fought behind enemy lines in Europe, has returned home to run the family business. Yet his life is upended by a single encounter with the young singer and heiress Catherine Thomas Hale, as they each fall for the other in an instant.

Harry and Catherine pursue one another in a romance played out in Broadway theaters, Long Island mansions, the offices of financiers, and the haunts of gangsters. Catherine's choice of Harry over her longtime fiancé endangers Harry's livelihood and eventually threatens his life. In the end, it is Harry's extraordinary wartime experience that gives him the character and means to fight for Catherine, and risk everything.

Not since Winter's Tale has Mark Helprin written such a magically inspiring saga. 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.
Publisher: Boston, Mass. : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, c2012
ISBN: 9780547819235
Branch Call Number: F HEL
Characteristics: xiv, 705 p. ; 24 cm


From the critics

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Nov 26, 2014

I feel the same way as a lot of the other reviewers--overwritten, too perfect characters, some beautiful prose; however, also over the top. I'm halfway through and thinking of putting it down for good which I rarely do.

Jul 18, 2014

Boring with a self-absorbed, obsessive male character. You'll notice that the main female character adds very little to the dialogue, she's just there to listen.
I lost interest half-way through the book.

Adamrose36 Jun 23, 2014

The Poetry of love romance,love,hate,and life. This book is definitely great teaches you the everyday struggles of life.Thanks to Amelida a friend of mine for recommending loved every minute of it.

elke101 Apr 07, 2014

I loved this book. It spoke of romance,
war and the daily blows of life. The message is that nothing is forever and that we must fight for everything that we cherish. Bravo!

Nov 26, 2013


Aug 16, 2013

A beautiful love story beautifully written in language that was shear poetry.

Mar 14, 2013

Read this book on the recommendation of a good friend. As I read the book I kept thinking of how to write a review of it because I was so conflicted about whether I like it. The language was beautiful. The descriptions were long but beautiful. What disturbed me was the characters and the plot. Harry and Catherine were too perfect, and why didn't Harry take care of the bad guys earlier. The descriptions of war were haunting--Halprin must have been there. Worth the read even at 700 pages.

Dec 28, 2012

I'll read most any book, but when the writer makes one large paragraph one sentence...come on! He used so many words to say one thing I lost interest early on and could not force myself to read the book. The premise was fine, just way to wordy.

Nov 30, 2012

Dreadful. I loved Winter’s Tale and Soldier of the Great War, but this was unreadable. Like Hemingway in Across the River and Into the Trees, Helprin achieves self-parody.

Oct 13, 2012

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.

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