Monday, March 11, 2019

Review: In the Full Light of the Sun by Clare Clark

Title: In the Full Light of the Sun
Author: Clare Clark
Publication: February 28th 2019 by Virago
Genre: Historical Fiction
Purchase it on: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Google Play | Kobo
Rating: 5/5

In the turbulent years between the wars, nothing in Berlin is quite what it seems.

Not for Emmeline, a wayward young artist freewheeling wildly through the city in search of meaning. Not for Julius, an eminent art connoisseur who finds it easier to love paintings than people. And most definitely not for Frank, a Jewish lawyer who must find a way to protect his family and his principles as the Nazis begin their rise to power.

But the greatest enigma of them all is Matthias, the mercurial art dealer who connects them all. Charming and ambitious, he will provoke a scandal that turns all of their lives upside down.

Inspired by true events, this brilliant, humane novel peels back the cherished illusions that sustain us to reveal the truths beneath. A book about beauty and justice, vanity and self-delusion, it asks: do we see only what we want to see? Even in the full light of the sun?

Initially I wasn't planning on reviewing this book because I just didn't know what to say about it. But I decided to give it a shot anyway because I consider In the Full Light of the Sun to be my favorite book of 2019 so far. It was a phenomenal read!

I came across In the Full Light of the Sun on Instagram (shoutout to sissireads!) and as soon as I read the description I just knew I had to buy this book and read it as soon as possible because I really enjoy most books set in this time period and it somehow involved Vincent van Gogh's paintings + the cover is gorgeous as well. Buying and reading a book from a recommendation is always a shot in the dark so I'm really happy it turned out as amazing as it did. 

The story takes place in Berlin, Germany over the course of ten years from 1923 to 1933, between the first and second world war. It's divided in three parts, each part in the point of view of a different character. Part one was about Julius, an art connoisseur, part two was about Emmeline, a young artist and part three was about Frank, a Jewist laywer. I really loved how the book was set up like this because I always enjoy multiple points of view more than when it's just one. So that was probably one of my most favorite parts along with the beautiful prose. Each character was very different and unique in their own way. I loved this.

As the synopsis says the years between the wars it's set in were very turbulent and this really shows in the story. My favorite point of view was probably Frank's because with him you really see as Nazi Germany begins to rise, how quickly things got bad for Jews. And honestly, we need books like this one so we won't ever forget all of this happened. It wasn't a happy book, it actually was quite hard to read at times because of the topic and setting but it was also one of the best books I've ever read. I know it will be a favorite read for a long time to come.

Overall, In the Full Light of the Sun was outstanding. The writing was exceptional, so beautiful and the story really took my heart and soul. I would very highly recommend it.

About the author:
Clare read History at Trinity College, Cambridge, where she was a Senior Scholar. She graduated with a Double First.

Her first novel, The Great Stink, was published by Viking in 2005 after a five-way auction: critically acclaimed on both sides of the Atlantic, The Great Stink was long-listed for the Orange Prize, won the Pendleton May First Novel award in the UK and the Quality Paperback Book Club New Voices award in the USA. It was a Washington Post Best Book of the Year. Since then The Great Stink has been translated into five languages.

She has since published three more books: The Nature of Monsters; Savage Lands, which was long-listed for the Orange Prize in 2010; and Beautiful Lies. Her most recent two novels were published by Harvill Secker, part of the Random House Group, in the UK and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in the US.

Her fifth novel, We That Are Left, will be published in the UK in March 2015 and in the US in the fall. Only weeks after completion, it has already been snapped up by publishers in Germany and France.

She is a regular contributor to the Guardian’s literary pages, reviewing both fiction and non-fiction, and writes for several other broadsheet newspapers, both in the UK and the USA. She works as a tutor on the Creative Writing MA at City University.

She lives in London with her husband and two children.
Website | Twitter | Goodreads | Instagram


  1. Inspired by true events? Ooh, that makes it all the more interesting. This sounds utterly heartbreaking btw and amazing at the same time.

  2. That was also part of why I bought it because it's inspired by true events. I'm a sucker for those.

  3. Wow, this sounds like a wonderful book! And I love that cover, too!

  4. The cover is what attracted me first. Van Gogh style. ♥

  5. I have seen this book popping up on Instagram as well, but it's the first time I read the description. It does sound like something I would enjoy as well. I will have to add to my TBR! Have a wonderful day, Stephanie!


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