In Sunlight and Shadow – notes

sunlightIn Sunlight and Shadow
by Mark Helprin
2012 / 704 pages

I loved Helprin’s Winter’s Tale (1999) and knew I wanted to read In Sunlight and Shadow as soon as I saw it.  Fortunately it was selected for the 21st century reading group but then I postponed actually starting because – omg – it’s 700 pages!   Well … Winter’s Tale  is 768.

The book opens with a Prologue the first sentence of which reads:

“IF YOU WERE a spirit, and could fly and alight as you wished, and time did not bind you, and patience and love were all you knew, then you might rise to enter an open window high above the park, in the New York of almost a lifetime ago, early in November of 1947.”

Oh wow –   and that continues through Chapter 1 but Chapter 2 we meet 32-year old Harris (Harry) Copeland, a moderately wealthy young man,  who is newly returned home to New York City from duty in WWII.

To be in New York on a beautiful day is to feel razor-close to being in love.  (p. 6)

And then we meet his aunt and finally,  in Chapter 3,  the object of his desires,  the beautiful and wealthy Catherine.

There are LOTS of specific references to exact places in and around upper Manhattan as well as a few in Brookly and Staten Island.  And because I don’t know New York at all – I’m trying to use some maps and old photos.

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