In Sunlight and in Shadow by Mark Helprin

70%

14 Critic Reviews

I was desperately disappointed, though, by the end of this grandly charming and deeply affecting novel — but only because it ended.
-NPR

Synopsis

In the summer of 1946, New York City pulses with energy. Harry Copeland, a World War II veteran, 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 each falls for the other in an instant. They 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 threatens his life. In the end, Harry must summon the strength of his wartime experience to fight for Catherine, and risk everything.

“In its storytelling heft, its moral rectitude, the solemn magnificence of its writing and the splendor of its hymns to New York City, [In Sunlight and in Shadow] is a spiritual pendant to Winter’s Tale and every bit as extraordinary . . . Even the most stubbornly resistant readers will soon be disarmed by the nobility of the novel’s sentiments and seduced by the pure music of its prose.” — Wall Street Journal
 

About Mark Helprin

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MARK HELPRIN is the acclaimed author of Winter's Tale, A Soldier of the Great War, Freddy and Fredericka, The Pacific, Ellis Island, Memoir from Antproof Case, and numerous other works. His novels are read around the world, translated into over twenty languages.
 
Published October 2, 2012 by Mariner Books. 725 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense. Fiction
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Critic reviews for In Sunlight and in Shadow
All: 14 | Positive: 10 | Negative: 4

NY Times

Above average
Reviewed by Liesl Schillinger on Oct 05 2012

At last, the story can be told: of the love of a man for a woman so strong that it can leap class barriers and religious taboos...

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NPR

Excellent
Reviewed by Alan Cheuse on Sep 26 2012

I was desperately disappointed, though, by the end of this grandly charming and deeply affecting novel — but only because it ended.

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Toronto Star

Excellent
Reviewed by Brett Savory on Nov 09 2012

This is a wholly engaging, epic novel, handled with such a deft writerly hand, with such attention to character building and setting immersion, that the occasional dip into melodrama can be overlooked.

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National Post arts

Excellent
Reviewed by Robert Wiersema on Nov 02 2012

...a stunning achievement, a book wonderfully, truly out of time.

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LA Times

Excellent
Reviewed by Wendy Smith on Oct 06 2012

..."In Sunlight and in Shadow" is at heart a romance, not just the romance of two attractive young people but the romance of life itself.

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USA Today

Below average
Reviewed by Charles Finch on Sep 30 2012

...a monument of self-indulgence, pretension and false wisdom, convinced of its own beauty and sagacity while possessing not even a fragment of either.

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The Boston Globe

Excellent
Reviewed by Saul Austerlitz on Oct 26 2012

One does not read Helprin for psychological complexity, but instead for the kind of pleasures serious readers might associate with adolescence.

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Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Below average
Reviewed by Bob Hoover on Nov 04 2012

...so much misplaced intensity that blurs the focus on the novel's theme and loses the reader in a welter of pretty pieces that just don't fit together.

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Historical Novel Society

Below average
Reviewed by Jeanne Greene

Too much of the novel is a paean to beauty and love. Love’s consequences merit fewer pages and, in the end, far less compassion.

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The Washington Post

Excellent
Reviewed by Rodney Welch on Oct 04 2012

...the novel delivers a rich portrait of postwar America, and a late, lengthy flashback to Harry’s war experiences brings some much needed ballast to the bigger picture.

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Post and Courier

Below average
Reviewed by Frances Monaco on Dec 23 2012

Mark Helprin’s new novel, “In Sunlight and in Shadow,” 700-plus-pages long, presents an almost too-eloquent prose that sometimes gets in the way of the story.

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National Post arts

Above average
Reviewed by ROBERT J. WIERSEMA on Nov 02 2012

As one might guess from the above, In Sunlight and In Shadow is not for every reader. It is, however, a stunning achievement, a book wonderfully, truly out of time.

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BrodartVibe's Blog

Good
Reviewed by Roni on Sep 18 2012

...the book is terrific, the love story is tender, and the action scenes are frightening and fast. The wartime flashbacks are well done and the chapter simply called Snow is incredible.

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The Literary Outpost

Good
Reviewed by H. Deal Safrit on Jul 30 2012

Mark Helprin continues to write in top form and awe inspiring beauty.

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Reader Rating for In Sunlight and in Shadow
70%

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Kelly Kracke 25 Apr 2014

Rated the book as 4.5 out of 5

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