The Effects of Light

Miranda Beverly-Whittemore

Published by Grand Central Publishing
ISBN 10: 0446696250 / ISBN 13: 9780446696258
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2006 - Paperback - Used - Good - - - Shows some shelf-wear. May contain old price stickers or their residue, inscriptions or dedications from previous owners in first few pages and remainder marks. -. Bookseller Inventory #

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Synopsis: - Blending themes of lost innocence, sexual awakening, and triumph over loss, The Effects Of Light follows in the tradition of such bestselling first novels as Girl with a Pearl Earring (Dutton/Plume, 1999), and the #1 New York Times bestseller The Lovely Bones (Little, Brown, 2002), with over 2.8 million hardcover copies in print. - A dazzling new voice, Miranda Beverly-Whittemore is a graduate of Vassar College and the recipient of several literary awards. Most recently, she worked for the 92nd Street Y's Poets and Writers program. - Foreign rights have already been sold in Italy and Poland.

Review: Miranda Beverly-Whittemore's debut novel, The Effects of Light, is the story of Myla and Prudence (Pru) Wolfe, whose father David must raise them after they lose their mother in a tragic car accident. Helping David rear his daughters are a clan of academics, artists, and intellectuals, including photographer Ruth Handel, whose nude portraits of the girls become the centerpiece around which their lives unravel. Part mystery, part metaphor, part love story, and part philosophical treatise, The Effects of Light is an intriguing, yet perhaps overly ambitious first effort for this young author.

When we first meet Myla, she is Kate Scott, an East Coast academic who has seemingly wiped out all traces of her childhood. After a mysterious letter summons her home to Portland, Oregon, pieces of the tragedy that killed her sister and forced Myla to start her life anew start to surface, and the quest for truth begins. ("She was driving into this place, she was pushing into it, she would bore into it, find what she'd buried, and carry it into day.") Details from the past are told through the voice of Prudence, whose idyllic childhood grows more tumultuous as the photographs gain public attention and their innocence is called into question. Adding drama to the story is Myla's budding romance with colleague Samuel Blake, whose true intentions are called into question on more than one occasion.

Beverly-Whittemore has an obvious gift for describing raw human emotions, and at its best, The Effects of Light is a lyrical exploration of love, joy, forgiveness, and reconcilliation. However, when she launches into lengthy philosophical discussions about art history and the human condition, the novel steers off course. Once she tightens up her game a bit, we can look forward to many more captivating reads from this talented young writer. --Gisele Toueg

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Title: The Effects of Light
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Book Condition: Good

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