The Color of Light by Helen Maryles Shankman is a novel which explores art, the Holocaust, humanity and, of course, vampires. The vampire in the story runs an art school and is constantly in conflict with his past life as well as the acts he is forced, by his nature, to do while trying to hold on to his humanity.
Tessa Moss, an art student at the American Academy of Classical Art, finds herself putting up with her boyfriend, a narcissist artist in lieu of her own career. Unbeknownst to Tessa the school’s founder, Raphael Sinclair, has taken a special interest in her.
Raphael, or Rafe, has seen a sketch of Tessa depicting a young woman covering the eyes of a child next to a suitcase that says Wizotsky. As Rafe investigates further, he finds that Tessa might be a relative of Sofia Wizotsky, his lover who perished during the Hoolocaust.
Tessa and Rafe quickly discover their mutual attraction, all the whole Rafe fights the Board to save his vision of the art school.
The Color of Light by Helen Maryles Shankman is an easy to read, compelling novel which is both deep and engaging. Ms. Shankman uses her writing skills, as well as her considerable knowledge of the art world, to bring us a story which is flowing and interesting.
This is not a vampire novel per se; this vehicle is used to go back and forth in time while keeping continuity with the story. The narrative has several focuses, but Ms. Shankman does a wonderful job weaving them all in. The book covers dark and disturbing topics such as the Holocaust and the effect it had on future generations of Jews, and lighter topics such as art and the politics within art schools.
I usually don’t read books of this genre, however I did enjoy the author’s fictional stories previously and decided to check out this book (plus, it has a World War II connection so I could justify it to myself). I was not disappointed and found myself engrossed in the story.
This is a very unique and enjoyable novel with multiple facets and an absorbing story. The author has proved herself an able writer, weaving an evocative yarn that keeps us interested in a piece which combines paranormal, art and history.