Wednesday, June 6, 2007
Capturing Light or Capturing Sin?
One of the most lyrical debuts of 2005 was Miranda Beverly-Whittemore's The Effects of Light. The realistic and sympathetic characters and the compelling, suspenseful story line will draw readers in while they ponder the author's thoughtful exploration of the classic social question, "What is Art and who gets to decide?"
Thirteen years after she fled the West Coast, Kate Scott is returning to hesitantly pry open painful memories of her sister and her father. A mysterious package from an unknown benefactor shows Kate that someone else knows her turbulent secret history as a child-model for a controversial photographer. Her lover, Samuel, follows Kate and pledges to help her unearth the clues her father has left behind, but when Kate discovers Scott's notebook with surreptitious jottings about herself and her family's notorious past, she rejects him. Readers will be drawn into the mystery surrounding Kate's sister, her father, and Ruth, the photographer, even wondering who Kate truly is. This first novel drew parallels with The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold for the narrative voices of its teen characters, Girl With a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier for its art-world frame and Possession by A.S. Byatt for its plot of academics searching ancient documents for contemporary truths.