Read Wherever There Is Light by Peter Golden Online


From the author of Comeback Love, a sweeping, panoramic tale of twentieth-century America, chronicling the decades-long love affair between a Jewish immigrant and the granddaughter of a slave.Julian Rose is only fifteen when he leaves his family and Germany for a new life in 1920s America. Lonely at first, he eventually finds his way—first by joining up with Longy ZwillmanFrom the author of Comeback Love­, a sweeping, panoramic tale of twentieth-century America, chronicling the decades-long love affair between a Jewish immigrant and the granddaughter of a slave.Julian Rose is only fifteen when he leaves his family and Germany for a new life in 1920s America. Lonely at first, he eventually finds his way—first by joining up with Longy Zwillman and becoming one of the preeminent bootleggers on the East Coast, and later by amassing a fortune in real estate.Kendall Wakefield is a free-spirited college senior who longs to become a painter. Her mother, the daughter of a slave and founder of an African-American college in South Florida, is determined to find a suitable match for her only daughter.One evening in 1938, Mrs. Wakefield hosts a dinner that reunites Julian with his parents—who have been rescued from Hitler’s Germany by the college—and brings him together with Kendall for the first time. From that encounter begins a thirty-year affair that will take the lovers from the beaches of Miami to the jazz clubs of Greenwich Village to postwar life in Paris, where they will mingle with Sartre, Picasso, and a host of other artists and intellectuals. Through his years serving in American intelligence and as an interrogator at the Nuremberg trials, what Julian wants most is to marry and find the joy that eluded his parents. Kendall craves her freedom, and after trading her oil paints for a Leica camera, becomes a celebrated photographer, among the first American journalists to photograph the survivors of a liberated concentration camp. Yet despite distance, their competing desires, and the rapidly changing world, their longing for each other remains a constant in the ceaseless sweep of time.Captivating and infused with historical detail, this is the epic tale of three generations, two different but intertwined families, and one unforgettable love story....

Title : Wherever There Is Light
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781476705583
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 368 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Wherever There Is Light Reviews

  • Angela M
    2019-05-06 16:42

    There were so many things I liked about this book AT FIRST. I liked the characters in spite of their flaws. I was enjoying the love story as melodramatic as it was . I've said it before and can't help but say it again here , that I so much enjoy these glimpses of New York City in the past. This one includes the clubs and Greenwich Village , Harlem in the late 1930's and 1940's and a good portion of the book takes place in NYC . The story line appealed to me - a Black girl and a Jewish man in love at a time when an interracial couple was not acceptable in society and I was definitely interested in how these characters would fare . BUTThe Nazis were killing Jews in Europe and white racists were still lynching black men and the lives of these people seemed to be inserted in what was happening in the world rather than being a part of it. After a while everything seemed so contrived . Things wrapped up quickly in the end , much too neatly and a bit over the top . For a while I really thought this would be a 3.5 star book for me so I was disappointed. I just can't give that rating to a book that makes me I wish I had my time back to read something else . Overall 2.5 stars .Thanks to Simon & Schuster and Edelweiss.

  • Esil
    2019-05-06 22:28

    Wherever There Is Light has some of the ingredients for good historical fiction, but there was too much that I didn’t like for me to read it with much pleasure. Set in the 1930s through the 1960s, the story focuses primarily on the relationship between Julian – a young Jewish man of German descent – and Kendall – a young black woman from Florida. Julian is a real estate developer in New York with a mobster shady past, and Kendall is an aspiring artist with a university education. Julian’s father is a professor in an black university in Florida, and Kendall’s mother is the president of that university. That’s the set up – interesting if somewhat unrealistic. But it wasn’t the lack of realism that didn’t work for me; it was the delivery that irked me. To name a few irritants: the depiction of the historical context while it dealt with important issues of race felt off and cartoonish (was it really necessary to have Sartre, de Beauvoir and Picasso make an appearance in a Paris cafe?); much of the dialogue felt like it was out of a bad movie, often relying on awkward phonetics; Julian’s mobster side was minimized despite the fact that he is depicted as having done some pretty terrible things; Julian’s relationship with Kendall was very focused on sexual attraction which comes across as a male fantasy rather than a real relationship; and as the book progresses, Kendall's life course became way too unrealistic; and the end was over the top. I acknowledge that I am generally tough on historical fiction – I look for well researched work that really engages with the issues and politics of the time -- and I really don't like books that impose contemporary sensibilities on previous historical contexts -- and romantic melodrama doesn't really cut it for me when it comes to historical fiction. So this one definitely did not hit the mark for me. The other reviews on GR so far are far more positive than mine so I suspect that I'm a tough customer -- likely an outlier -- and my reaction is not representative. Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for an opportunity to read an advance copy.

  • Elyse
    2019-05-18 15:28

    "What color is love"? "Where there is Light", by Peter Golden, illuminates brightness from many shades of color ....from a couple in love. Julian is white. Kendall is African-American. There love begins in 1938, Florida. Hitler's war is happening in the world, and it's a time of Jim Crowism. Julian and Kendall's parents don't support their love. It was unlikely that their love could survive the times-- the prejudice, bigotry, discrimination, and the narrow-mindedness. The world conditions were separating them and their own community -and families were. It was common to read signs saying, "NO BLACKS, NO JEWS, and NO DOGS"! Life was complex, and even more so for a black & white couple, yet there was a power between the lovers differences ( Black & Jew). They could draw on each others strength to fight for civil rights - equality- and political power. Their love was creating goodwill and change in the future. The descriptions of being on the beach in Miami- the night life in Greenwich Village to Post War Paris were wondrous, and the characters were real. The storytelling flowed. When reading this historical fiction novel, I reflected on a time in my own life. I was in High School, living in Oakland, California. The scandal broke out in my community-when my close friend, Jewish like me, older sister fell in love with a black man. Her parents were so angry, they would not allow her lover in the house. When they got married, the parents didn't attend. It broke the family apart. My own mother was telling me how wrong it was for a Black & White couple - Jewish or not- to be together. She kept stressing how hard their lives would be. My mother also told me we would never see a Black President of the United States in my lifetime, either. My mother was wrong on both accounts. My friends sister and husband -- a Jewish white female and her loving Black husband --were married 30 years. They had many friends. She died last year of cancer. "Wherever There Is Light", 'shines' and 'awaken' our own spirit and humanity! This story would make a terrific movie. I'm trying to 'cast' the roles in my head now. :)Thank You to Atria Publishing, Netgalley, and Peter a Golden for the opportunity to read this.

  • Judy Collins
    2019-04-27 16:43

    A special thank you to Atria Books and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.Once again, Atria dominates. Ex·tra·or·di·naire! 5 Stars+ Following Comeback Love,Peter Golden returns with a captivating and epic love story— WHEREVER THERE IS LIGHT , making my Top Books of 2015crossing many genres (my perfect cup of tea), touching on all my favorites categories---- Best Book-to-Big Screen Adaptation. A sensational suspense crime thriller, infused brilliantly with historical significance, mystery, intrigue, sex, passion, racial injustice, war tension, glam of the roaring 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s to the 60s; Prohibition, gangsters, excitement of South Beach, Miami, Paris, New York, Europe, and the diversity of Harlem and Greenwich Village-- jazz clubs, world travels, art, culture, literary, humor, the turbulent South, and numerous obstacles across three generations, two families, and at the heart, the most romantic unforgettable love story. A perfect novel made for the big screen!Can you imagine the cast? A cross between The Nightingale, The Notebook, Calling Me Home, and the Great Gatsby,with its own individual style and charm. You will laugh and cry. WOW!I would not change a thing ---- I want a front row seat. So blown away by the talented author; cannot, believe I missed, Comeback Love,and found myself quickly purchasing—cannot wait to read. After what I have read, sounds like another headed for the big screen. Julian Rose,Jewish—(with the looks of a movie star) came to American in the 1920s, escaping Germany as an immigrant and finds himself working with bootleggers along the East Coast, loyal to the people who helped him get a start. Along the way, he became a successful real estate tycoon in the residential and commercial sector. An intelligent, sharp business man, who wants nothing more than a loving family of his own. Something he never had as a child. Kendall Wakefield, --African-American, beauty an independent, driven college senior, raised by a single mother, and the founder of an African-American college in South Florida (Yeah, South Florida). Kendall is driven and wants nothing more than to escape the south and move to New York, to become a famous artist. Her mother (late forties) on the other hand, wants her to marry, settle down, and help her with the college so she can take over one day. When Garland, Kendall’s mom (daughter of a slave) hosts a dinner party for the Julian’s parents. Theodor, (a scholar at the college), coming from Nazi Germany to accept a post as the only white professor at African-American Lovewood College in Florida. Julian travels south to visit his parents. Not a lot of closeness between father and son. Julian and Kendallmeet for the first time. Kendall is enamored with this man. Fireworks! What happens next . . A thirty-year affair which takes the couple across time and place. Kendall is always torn between her strong love of Julian and her own independence and career (carryover from her past generations). She wants nothing to stand in her way. From a struggling artist to an award-winning photographer. A roller-coaster ride and hopefully, second chances.All the while there is lurking danger, coming at them from both sides. Julian has a past with a number of enemies from his gangster days. From 1938 – 1965 readers experience an array of emotions with a world against these two lovers. Kendall has the cruel narrow minded south bigots to contend with; their family owns 2,000 acres of land and will stop at anything to attain. Two courageous individuals, both have a past and a strong desire to protect those they love. The author takes readerson an incredible journey. Historian Golden, not only knows his stuff, he can write like no other. I was mesmerized. There is so much depth to the story with Garland’s father Ezekiel and the land as well as Julian’s past. Settle in,for an engaging page-turner, which will hook you from the first page to the last, with characters you will remember, long after the book ends. Set aside the time, as worth every moment. Utterly Captivating. . And the Research----Impeccable! From the complex absorbing, multi-generational saga-- at heart a love story of two interracial different people bound together in a world of obstacles, in a compelling World War II era, in the middle of racial unrest. The author drawsyou into a world with vivid settings and descriptions with well-developed characters. The diversity, the passion, the heartbreak, loss, joy, sorrow, darkness, light, and reconciliation. After you finish reading you will find yourself going back to the beginning to South Orange, New Jersey in Dec 1965 when the book opens. You will need to re-read the first few chapters again, to tie in with the last, coming full circle. Of course, loved the parts of my own backyard, South Florida, (love Eden Roc) the travels, art, history, and culture. Oh, the characters: I wanted to kick Kendall (wake up and see you can have both career and family) and her mom, Garland. Fell in love with Julian, Bobby, Eddie, Fiona, Lucinda—they will grab your by the heart strings and never let go! The ending was spectacular. An ideal choice for book clubs and further discussions.Love the front cover design, drawing you into the mysterious and intriguing Hollywood classical film "noir-look and feel" capturing the essence and mood of this exceptional and unforgettable story. I strong recommend buying this book, like NOW! Can’t wait to see what the gifted, talented storyteller, Golden has in store, next! Has been added to my favorite author list.JDCMustReadBooks

  • Jessica
    2019-05-01 20:40

    When I first read the synopsis of Wherever There Is Light, I thought 'great...another book about racism & World War II...NOT my cup of tea.' But that is why I love being a member of the Pulpwood Queens book club...I read books that I would not have considered or possibly even heard of. And, often times, unexpectedly love the book as I did in this case. While reading this book, I could tell that author Peter Golden truly cared for the characters he created, especially Julian & Kendall. The first chapter hooked me & I enjoyed following along the journey these characters took over several decades. I shed many tears, most falling at the end. I found the last line of the book to be the most poignant- "...both of them weeping as if they wished that their tears could conquer time." Can't we all relate to that sentiment at some point in our lives? If you are looking for a well-written book to immerse yourself in, I highly recommend Wherever There Is Light.

  • Doseofbella
    2019-05-15 16:19

    Where There Is LightBy: Peter GoldenPublished By: Simon & SchusterCopy Courtesy of NetgalleyReviewed By: tkYou will meet a man by the name Julian. This will be the only simple thought you will have until you reach the last page and close the book. You are about to embark on a breath taking journey with Julian. It begins around the age of 12 and into his adulthood. A heart wrenching tale of triumph, loss, and acceptance that no ordinary man should have to endure. Peter Golden is an extremely talented writer. His tale will take your heart and soul along with Julian. It seems at times you have become an actual character walking beside Julian while observing his life from a first person stand point. A winning heart felt story that will haunt you long after your finished. Highly recommended! 5/5

  • Melissa
    2019-05-22 21:45

    Thanks to Netgalley for an advanced reader copy in exchange for an honest review.A German Jewish businessman and an African-American woman find love in the late 1930s. But because of racism and discrimination, the two find themselves fighting to be together.The plot had a lot of potential, but The execution didn't fare as well. It wasn't that interesting because the characters seemed the same under their various ethnic backgrounds. The couple seemed to fall in love instantaneously, which I know does happen but they went from acquaintances to lovers without hardly any actual interaction. I made it about a quarter into the book before putting it down.

  • Warren Redlich
    2019-05-12 21:29

    Great book. I really enjoyed it.The characters are richly portrayed and the story is captivating. It covers a lot of ground, both literally and figuratively. Just on geography they move around: Florida, New Jersey, Greenwich Village, Harlem, Paris, and Germany. With ideas it gets into art, music, business, philosophy, war, the Holocaust, race relations, family, love and more.One warning - there are graphic sex scenes. The author may have gone too far in a couple of spots but I'm not complaining.The ending was brilliant. You won't believe it.

  • Barbara
    2019-05-03 15:48

    Review to follow...

  • Warren Redlich
    2019-05-14 18:25

    Great book. I really enjoyed it.The characters are richly portrayed and the story is captivating. It covers a lot of ground, both literally and figuratively. Just on geography they move around: Florida, New Jersey, Greenwich Village, Harlem, Paris, and Germany. With ideas it gets into art, music, business, philosophy, war, the Holocaust, race relations, family, love and more.One warning - there are graphic sex scenes. The author may have gone too far in a couple of spots but I'm not complaining.The ending was brilliant. You won't believe it.

  • Danielle Woods
    2019-05-08 17:36

    I really enjoyed this book and the characters. I can't imagine what it would of been like as a black woman in the 1930's/40's and wanting to be more than just a "slave" or being owned by someone. Kendell wanted to make a name for herself as a person. Photography became her passion. She was amazing at telling the story of a person or situation through her craft. She falls in love with Julian, a white, Jewish man. Sadly, she can't allow the love that she has for him to complicate or throw her life off track. She fights his love for years. She wont allow him to "control" her (though he never tries to). I felt so sad for them both. All the years they spent "together" but never together. Julian later marries, has a daughter and tragedy strikes. In the back of his mind (and heart), Kendell still holds a place. One can never turn back the hands of time and I loved the ending quote "Yet as she clung to him, Julian understood that Kendall wept for him and Bobby too - because there was no adequate payment for all that they had lost - and so Julian joined her, their sobs echoing in the garage, both of them weeping as if they wished that their tears could conquer time." What an amazing summary for time and of life. Can't wait to discuss this with the rest of the Pulpwood Queen's at our monthly meeting!

  • Jessica
    2019-05-04 15:43

    The author writes in a way where you feel like you are hearing a story that was written by someone who witnessed what he is writing about first hand. I had to double check to make sure this was fictional. I will read anything this author writes with hopes of a story with the same effect.This was I great book. In the beginning it was a little difficult to figure out what was going on. It starts with a woman bringing a boy to man. The lady tells him that the boys mother died and that the mother instructed her to bring the boy to him. Then the story zips back to the past and tells us about a sporadic love affair between the man and the boys mother that went on for 30 years starting in the 1930s. He is a young Jewish man and she is a black woman. Their love is not one that was readily accepted. Their parents didn't approve, society didn't approve. There were parts of this story that brought tears to my eyes. I am glad I was born when I was. The hatred and prejudice that this couple goes through makes me cringe. And it was made worse by the fact that I knew from the beginning that their romance is not one that would end up with them together.I will never forget this book.I recieved a copy through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

  • Malcolm
    2019-04-23 21:47

    An entertaining read, but one that never seems to fulfill its promise.The book is a love story between Julian, a Jewish immigrant ex-bootlegger turned real estate developer and Kendall, the independent-minded African American granddaughter of a former slave and founder of an all black college in South Florida. Starting in the late 30's, and spanning three decades, through WWII, the beginning of the Cold War and the struggle for Civil Rights, the potential for sweeping historical fiction never happens. The story seems to be overlaid onto the time in which it occurs, but never a part of it. A too pat ending comes off as one big cliche.Again, an entertaining love story, but save this one for the next beach trip.

  • nikkia neil
    2019-05-14 19:25

    Thanks Atria Books and netgalley for this arc.This is a time stopping, life-changing, perspective expanding book!It has everything I love about historical fiction. Love, art, life, and sexy heroes and heroines.I didn't know the history of what was happening in the States at the same time as WWII in Europe, but I feel like I have a changed outlook at the world now. I love how Peter Golden presented us with a brand new look of history in this love story!

  • Marlene Adelstein
    2019-05-21 15:20

    A beautifully written book with amazing descriptions that pull you right into Paris and more where you mingle with real life characters out of history. A sexy, honest love story - a tale of two very different people who despite class and racial differences come together to not only find love during difficult times but realize they share surprising family issues. All tied together perfectly for a most satisfying and surprising ending. A must read!

  • Joanne Monte
    2019-05-02 17:23

    This is one of those books I just couldn't seem to get into and unfortunately I abandoned it halfway through. I gave it three stars to give it the benefit of the doubt and because I won it in a Goodreads Giveaway. I admired the history, very well researched, but the story and writing style couldn't hold my interest long enough for me to finish it.

  • Annette
    2019-04-27 18:41

    Interesting story of two star crossed lovers- one Southern and Black the other a Jew from the Northeast. Their problems are many- race, and gender roles, family history and parental expectations. The characters are interesting and layered.

  • Kristy
    2019-05-16 15:28

    This book is probably more like a 3.5. I liked it, but after just finishing The Lost Wife, which I loved, it was unfortunately what I was comparing it too. Nevertheless it was a beautiful story of a love that survived unimaginable times that never faltered over the decades.

  • Carol Wendkos
    2019-05-20 17:29

    I gave myself 100 pages and then I stopped. there were too many themes: gangsters, race, love, religion, art, war, Paris, NYC, FL, education, sex, history, etc. Some of the characters are too extreme to be credible. Supposedly historical fiction.

  • Barb
    2019-05-18 15:40

    a story of love...well written and detailed

  • Kelly Davis
    2019-05-22 17:39

    I'm not really one for romance novels, but I read this one because my mom recommended/lent it to me. We had both loved "All the Light We Cannot See" and I think she was picking up on some parallels to the setting/era, title, and cover art... but that's where the similarities between these books end. "Wherever" got more absorbing the more I read, but there were a few too many familiar cliches for me: bootleggers turned gangsters, a wannabe artist trying to "make it" in NYC (and accomplishing it way more quickly and effortlessly than is remotely realistic), postwar intellectual expats brooding in Paris, and so on. Also, weird/hard-to-follow ending.I appreciated the book more than I would have a supermarket bodice-ripper for sure, but I guess I'm still not really one for romance novels.

  • Stephanie Cohen
    2019-05-18 22:25

    fantastic....kept me wat mre

  • Kathy
    2019-05-06 14:30

    Enlightening in its historical facts and entertaining in its epic love story, Wherever There is Light is memorable and impressive.Peter Golden has written an engaging account of forbidden romance between interracial lovers whose struggles are more than racial prejudices in pre- and post-WWII. The love affair between Julian and Kendall is captivating and heartbreaking as they experience growing pains and become their love’s worst enemy.Julian, a Jewish man who was put on a boat to emigrate from Germany at fifteen, is a gangster by association with a vision for real estate and one who desires to go straight but has made a name for himself. He uses his gangster connections for good intentions but is laden with guilt at the acts he’s performed. We see glimpses of his time as a ruffian through his own recount more than through imagery, but I think it’s how the author intended because the story here is all about the saga that is Kendall and Julian, which spans decades. Julian touched me deeply with his good heart and loyalties. Kendall is a highly educated and talented black woman who grew up in the South and yearns to escape to Paris as an artist. She’s affluent and successful as a photographer, but that road is paved with suffering.Both Julian and Kendall have vision but are the recipient of their family’s animosity with regard to their relationship and chosen careers. They are their love’s worst enemy letting pride, prejudice, and worldly wants get in their way of being together. It’s as if they weighed everything against their love, and the love – great as it is – falls short every time. Each character created by the author is central to the storyline and has some hand in Julian and Kendall’s entanglement. The development is so grand that even the minor or secondary characters present themselves as primary, and I felt as if I came to know each one individually.Peter Golden’s writing is flawless and fluid with his vivid portrayals and blend of historic fact and fiction. The world he has created is one I fell into easily and made Wherever There is Light a page turner that was difficult to put down, having highlighted so many of the author’s beautifully written passages that are so memorable. The journey he took me on alongside Julian, Kendall, and the rest of the cast left me with a plethora of emotions from heartbreak to gripping fear to elation and finally satisfaction. I will truly be surprised if this book is not optioned for a movie because it is perfect for the big screen. Steeped in culture, history, heartache, and joy, the only way I can describe this saga is to say you will “live” within its pages.

  • Sarah
    2019-04-29 18:44

    Well, this book was definitely a meaty, thought-provoking read. Dealing with heavy subjects like race, prejudice, and war, there were several times where I had to just stop and digest the material, reflecting on its relevance to today’s world as well as on the times it portrays.I liked that the author wasn’t afraid to delve into these heavier topics. Interracial relationships and the history that go along with them are as relevant today as they were then. The judgment that society piles on such unions and their progeny is heart-breaking; every time that Julian and Kendall faced down those bigots and gave them one-four, I cheered. The author delves into murder, lynching, racial pressure from both sides of the color spectrum to not mix, and betrayal while telling this gripping story.I fell in love with Julian almost immediately. He’s tough, gritty, determined, intelligent, and protective as hell. He doesn’t give a fig what society makes of him, his views, or his life; he’ll live as he dang well pleases and woe betide anybody who stands in his way or threatens his own. I admire his viewpoint on life and its issues; it’s one I hope I can adopt some day.Kendall I’m a bit more mixed on. I do like her grit and her pluck in pursuing her dreams. She wasn’t going to let familial pressure steer her onto a predetermined road; she was going to pursue her dreams of travel and art no matter what it took.Her attitude towards how society viewed her relationship with Julian and her unwilling-ness to defend it and him, though, got on my nerves. Julian didn’t hesitate to throw pie in someone’s face after a derogatory slur directed her way; however, when the opposite happened, she didn’t say a word, just looked in the other direction and pretend that nothing happened. She also let the pressure that society put on race and her relationship keep her from building a life with Julian and so hurting both herself and him in the process. A part of me felt like she didn’t deserve Julian because she wasn’t willing to meet him halfway in the fight against society’s expectations and prejudice.Despite some reservations on how Kendall was sometimes portrayed, overall I really enjoyed this book. It tells a great story that doesn’t hesitate to explore material that other authors might shy from. The main leads were strong enough to carry the story and thematic material, giving these a human face and making everything very personal. Highly recommended to lovers of historical fiction!Note: Book received for free from publisher via GoodReads FirstReads program in exchange for honest review.

  • Sara Hazel
    2019-05-07 22:38

    It has taken me a few weeks to write this review because I was not entirely sure what to say. I wanted to like this book. And there were some pieces of it that I enjoyed. But for me, it wasn’t one of the great books that I will read this year (or even have read in recent memory). But other people have loved it – this is solely my opinion!Wherever There is Light has glimpses of greatness – following the characters through their personal development and growth all set within a backdrop of New York City and Paris between 1930s-1960s.The story is about Julian, a German Jewish immigrant, who we are told has a shady mobster past and Kendall, a young (and dare I say impressionable) African American aspiring artist. Their love is supposed to be one for the ages – their families do not support them, society does not approve of their mixed races, and turmoil haunts their relationship. It has the ingredients for an excellent story – but unfortunately, it did not come together for me.The story could have gone in so many unheard-of and exciting directions because of the incredible time that it is set in. Julian’s parents had just fled persecution in Nazi Germany. How did Julian feel about what was happening over there? Did he understand what a close call it was for his dad to secure a position as a professor in America? Additionally, the mixed race relationship was prime for an interesting dialogue with glimpses of the past as good historical fiction would provide. This did not do that. Their love affair did not feel genuine to me. Instead, it felt safe and melodramatic. This was set on the brink of the Civil Rights movement while Jim Crow laws ruled the South, it seemed like so much more could have been said (and would have been said, realistically) between these characters.Instead, the characters were half-developed. We were told that Julian had a shady past, but never had the opportunity to witness it (remember future writers: don’t tell – show!). And Kendall seemed lost between who she thought she was and who she felt like she should be. Her rebellion against her mother felt like wasted energy.This comes from someone who loves World War II historical fiction – and I believe that some excellent books have been published recently in this genre. I was hopeful for this one, but in the end merely disappointed.Read more with me!

  • Patricia
    2019-05-22 20:45

    This book had all the right raw ingredients to write a terrific story, but for me, it fell very short. Unfortunate as there were some deep topics to explore. Golden tried to make the novel too hip using popular phrases, sprinkling a historical event, place or person into many chapters, and unnecessarily provided way too much graphic and trashy (absolutely unnecessary) sexual detail between Kendall and Julian.Julian Rose is a German Jew living in America. He speaks multiple languages. His father, Theodor, is a professor of philosophy. His mother, Elana, was orphaned as a child. Theodor comes to Lovewood College, an American Black College in Florida to teach, escaping WWII and Hitler's annihilation of Jews. Julian gets a sense of business participating in bootlegging and moves into real estate acquisitions with his accumulating wealth. The college is run by Garland Wakefield who is a Black woman. Garland has a beautiful daughter, Kendall. A theme explored is the tension between black and white races and what happens when people of different races fall in love but the law will not allow their union. This was lightly contrasted between Jews and Germans and what was happening in Europe. Kendall wants to become an artist. She and Julian move to New York. She tries painting but finds her gift in photography of people. Kendall meets and artist and his wife (his model) who are literally chained together as a representation of the bondage of marriage. She goes to Europe as the Allies are taking Europe back. Julien is there as a Nuremberg interrogator. Julian marries Clare Coddington and they have a daughter, Holly. They are killed in a car accident. Kendall allegedly dies and leaves her son, Bobby, to Julian as his guardian. Julian finds out forty-six weeks after receiving Bobby that Kendall is alive. The plot is preposterous and goes in too many directions. So much potential but Golden got lost in the plot development.

  • Kathy
    2019-05-08 19:42

    Whenever an author is scheduled to come to do a library fundraiser set up by our Friends of the Punta Gorda Library, I feel that I should familiarize myself with their work in order to tell our patrons about it. I have done this for Stephen King, Lisa See, and Gregg Hurwitz. With Peter Golden coming in the Spring, I knew I had to get to work. Wherever There is Light by Peter Golden was released on November 3, 2015. It tells the intertwining stories of two families, the Roses: Theodor, Elana, and Julien - Jewish immigrants who came to the United States in 1938 and the Wakefields: Garland and Kendall Anne, an African American family who are the descendants of a runaway slave who became one of the wealthiest men in Philadelphia. Garland Wakefield is the founder and president of Lovewood College, an African American school in Florida. During the 1930s, many African American colleges in the United States helped save Jewish professors that were driven out of the education system in Germany. Professor Theodor Rose is one of those who were saved. At the dinner welcoming Professor Rose to the college, his son, Julien, meets Garland’s daughter, Kendall. This meeting begins a love affair that spans from 1938 to 1966.Julien and Kendall have to deal with the constraints placed on their interracial relationship, both from society and their own families. While Julien wants to marry Kendall, all she wants is to be free to pursue her art – painting and photography. From Germany to New York to Miami and Paris, this book really had me from page one. I was interested to see the comparisons that were made between the treatment of the Jewish people in Germany during WWII and the treatment of African Americans in the South. Even with the serious subject matter covered in the book, I have to say that I really enjoyed it.Check out my reading blog at:

  • Judi
    2019-05-12 16:29

    Boring, shallow, hollow characters. Not enough fleshing out of the characters who have substance. Too much fleshing out of others - pardon the pun. But I could have done without 90 % of the sex scenes. They are just awkward. Sometimes, I thought, oh that's just a male fantasy - a black woman of the 1930's wouldn't have thought like that. I really tried to like this book and hung in longer than usual for a boring book. The cover and title made me think it would be a beautiful layered love story. It is a shallow love story. There is a quote in the very beginning of the book from whence came the title of the book. It's very pithy.... "Wherever there is light, one can photograph".... Are you kidding me? That was my first clue that this book might be a clunker...I hung in there because this was for a book club... This is historical fiction and sweeps over a period of 30 years from the 1930's to the 1960's. I usually like that in a story.I felt sorry for Kendall, the female main character. She is black and even the man who loves her, who is white, Julian, seems only to care about her exotic exterior beauty. Julian, is involved in organized crime, to a certain extent and is a real estate developer. He is so shallow . Everyone only seems to be concerned about the way Kendall looks, either because she is black or because she is a rare beauty. That gets so annoying over time.But somewhere in the story, Kendall's mother talks to her about how she is acting like a man in reference to her active sex life. And I thought, Bingo - here's the problem. That comment made me think : The author is an old white man trying to inhabit the mind of a young black woman in the 1930's - 40's. It's not believable and it becomes so annoying, I ended up skimming the last hundred pages. Done... This book, not recommended.

  • Sarah
    2019-05-07 22:25

    This year, I'm hoping to try reading more books that I just discover in the moment and this is one of those books. I found this on display along with other new fiction at my local library, and I was drawn to the cover. I didn't really read the label copy except to see WWII mentioned, so I went into this book blindly. I really enjoyed it.From a segregated and tense South in Florida and an all-black university to NYC and New Jersey just after prohibition to Paris right after WWII, we get a different mood in each setting, and it covers the space of about 30 years, which I liked. The book follows mobster Julian Rose (of German descent who left Germany at the starting rise of Nazi power and went to America on his own as a teenager) as he falls in love with an African American woman who craves independence away from her controlling mother. Julian and Kendall's relationship is crackling, and it spans the thirty-year lifetime of the book. I enjoyed the emotional charges in the relationship, the choices each made, and the way things played out. I have to admit, I liked Julian as a character a lot more than Kendall.One of the things I enjoyed most about this book and Golden's writing is his ability to weave both backstory and the characters' internal thoughts and such into the action. I never felt like the narration or the plot stilled or paused while getting other information we needed.Overall, a 4 1/2 star book, just short of 5 stars. The pace, the characters, the setting, the story - everything came together for me and I really enjoyed the read.

  • Angie
    2019-05-03 19:23

    A lovely tale of romance. I really enjoyed the story line and the historical elements. Post-war Paris was an excellent choice for the central part of the novel: close to things we've all read about but with enough unique detail that it didn't feel derivative. Julian, the main character, is real enough to relate to, but not your stereotypical hero. There are aspects of his character that are hard to love, and so the fact that Kendall doesn't fall into his arms upon meeting him, the complicated nature of the love story, is believable. There were passages here and there in which the author's research was showing -- hey, I learned this really cool thing and I had to twist the story to fit it in sideways, but isn't learning history cool? -- but honestly, not as bad as other successful historical novels I've read and it was not overbearing. I felt a little remove from Kendall, the female lead in the story. Part of that was just that she wasn't the main character and we needed some narrative distance from her to make the main plot work, but there were times when I wished the author let us get closer to her. All in all I really loved this book.. it was truly a good read. It just didn't quite rise to the "it was amazing" level for me. I'll definitely want to pick up Peter Golden's next book, though, and I recommend this one to anyone looking for a good book to settle down with this winter.I got a free copy of this from Net Galley.