|Publisher:||Houghton Mifflin Harcourt|
|Publish Date:||Oct 2012|
|Number of Pages:||705|
|Shipping Weight (in pounds):||2.2|
|Product in Inches (L x W x H):||6.5 x 1.7 x 9.25|
Born in 1947, Mark Helprin grew up in New York City, the Hudson River Valley and in the British West Indies. Helprin received degrees from Harvard College and Harvard's Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and did postgraduate work at the University of Oxford. Once a member of the British Merchant Navy, the Israeli Infantry, and the Israeli Air Force, Helprin is the author of numerous novels including Winter's Tale, A Soldier of the Great War, and the children's story Swan Lake.
In 1996, Helprin took on the unusual job of writing Bob Dole's Senate retirement speech. The resulting speech was widely credited with, at least temporarily, rejuvenating Dole's withering presidential campaign. A Fellow of the American Academy in Rome and a former Guggenheim Fellow, Helprin works have been translated into more than a dozen languages. Helprin's short story collection Ellis Island and Other Stories was nominated for a National Book Award in 1981. His stories and essays on politics have been published in the New Yorker for more than 25 years.
Acclaimed novelist Helprin (A Soldier of the Great War) has written a tale of two individuals who meet by chance on New York City's Staten Island Ferry and fall in love forever. When Harry meets Sally, uh, Catherine, he pursues her until she rather quickly falls in love with him. She's a fabulously wealthy budding actress whose career seems thwarted owing to suspiciously bad reviews, while Harry, who has recently returned from active duty in Europe after World War II, is struggling to make a go of it with the leather goods business he inherited from his deceased dad even as he faces a shakedown by the mob.
Both main characters are attractive, and plot and setting are well drawn. But the tale is about twice as long as it needs to be. At times the romance here seems to be the author's love of his own writing, with infelicitous consequences: "[T]he buses running along the avenues [were] like unhappy buffalo inexplicably tamed to their routes". VERDICTFor readers who enjoy a rich, dense stew and won't notice that it is at times too thick to stir.
[See Pre pub Alert, 4/23/12.] - Edward Cone, New York
(c). Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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.
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