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Effects of Light

Beverly-Whittemore, Miranda

ISBN 10: 0446533297 / ISBN 13: 9780446533294
Published by Warner Books, 2005
Used Condition: Fine Hardcover
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NEW; clean and tight and square, inside is clean and unmarked; DJ has no chips, creases or tears, lightly rubbed. Bookseller Inventory # 307908

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Effects of Light

Publisher: Warner Books

Publication Date: 2005

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Near Fine

Signed: Signed by Author(s)

Edition: First Edition - Later Printing

About this title

Synopsis:

DESCRIPTION: This richly evocative, poignant novel about two sisters, whose lives are forever altered by a series of photos, marks the debut of a remarkable talent. Bound by the loss of their mother and encouraged to "follow their bliss" by their brilliant professor father, young Myla and Pru Wolfe blaze a path through childhood, hungry for all life has to offer. Their precocity and ethereal beauty soon make them the favorite subjects of photographer and family friend Ruth Handel, whose celebrated images of children involve nudity. Suddenly the girls are at the center of a firestorm of controversy, with shattering results. Now, 13 years later, Myla Wolfe is living back east and finally edging toward romance, when she begins receiving mysterious communications that force her to confront her past and reclaim her future.

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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