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Publisher's Summary

*One of Oprah Daily’s Most Anticipated Historical Fiction Novels That Will Sweep You Away*

“Michaela Carter’s training as a poet and painter shines through from the first page of this vivid, gorgeous novel based on the lives of Leonora Carrington and Max Ernst. Told with all the wild magic and mystery of the Surrealists themselves, Leonora in the Morning Light fearlessly illuminates the life and work of a formidable female artist.” (Whitney Scharer, best-selling author of The Age of Light)

For fans of Amy Bloom’s White Houses and Colm Tóibín’s The Master, a “gorgeously written, meticulously researched” (Jillian Cantor, best-selling author of Half Life) novel about Surrealist artist Leonora Carrington and the art, drama, and romance that defined her coming-of-age during World War II.

1940. A train carrying exiled German prisoners from a labor camp arrives in southern France. Within moments, word spreads that Nazi capture is imminent, and the men flee for the woods, desperate to disappear across the Spanish border. One stays behind, determined to ride the train until he reaches home, to find a woman he refers to simply as “her.”

1937. Leonora Carrington is a 20-year-old British socialite and painter when she meets Max Ernst, an older, married artist whose work has captivated Europe. She follows him to Paris, into the vibrant world of studios and cafes where rising visionaries of the Surrealist movement like Andre Breton, Pablo Picasso, Lee Miller, Man Ray, and Salvador Dali are challenging conventional approaches to art and life. Inspired by their freedom, Leonora begins to experiment with her own work, translating vivid stories of her youth onto canvas and gaining recognition under her own name. It is a bright and glorious age of enlightenment - until war looms over Europe and headlines emerge denouncing Max and his circle as “degenerates,” leading to his arrest and imprisonment. Left along as occupation spreads throughout the countryside, Leonora battles terrifying circumstances to survive, reawakening past demons that threaten to consume her.

As Leonora and Max embark on remarkable journeys together and apart, the full story of their tumultuous and passionate love affair unfolds, spanning time and borders as they seek to reunite and reclaim their creative power in a world shattered by war. When their paths cross with Peggy Guggenheim, an art collector and socialite working to help artists escape to America, nothing will be the same.

Based on true events and historical figures, Leonora in the Morning Light is “a deeply involving historical tale of tragic lost love, determined survival, the sanctuary of art, and the evolution of a muse into an artist of powerfully provocative feminist expression” (Booklist, starred review).

©2021 Michaela Carter. All rights reserved. (P)2021 Simon & Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved.

What listeners say about Leonora in the Morning Light

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  • Overall
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Beautiful story - star crossed lovers

This story was so beautifully written and inspired so much intrigue. I looked up Leonora and Max, Peggy…I found out so much more about this enigmatic woman whom I’d never heard of thanks to this novel. I also became intrigued by Peggy Guggenheim, who is featured in another book I read recently. I appreciated the detail and creative license the author took with the story. I loved the narrator for Leonora, usually like Cassandra Campbell well enough, but I didn’t care for the narrator for Max. He was tolerable but not great. Overall, though, a really well-told historical-based novel.

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Leonoras story at last

Not a dry biography but the amazing life of her and Ernst come to life. I read everything I could find too. Like Casablanca, only this is for real. Thank you the well balanced and not-surreal telling of it. “Here’s looking at you kid, we’ll always have St. Martins Ardèche.

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Beautiful story

I loved everything about this book. Could not stop listening, and so sad when it ended.

Highly recommended!!

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Enchanting

I found this story enchanting. I have taken a week since listening to it to digest the story. I love Lenora Carrington her work is unusual and odd. Her short stories are also strange, surreal, fascinating.

One critique is that the descriptions of her mental health issues went on too long. Although the descriptions seemed accurate.

I found the rest of the story more interesting. Her relationship with Max Ernst was certainly passionate and loving but doomed like young love often is. I liked the book very much.

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famous names..

Im listening to this name dropping book and its super hard to listen too. i hate books that use famouse peoples names or personas to sell a storyline. didnt like it. fell flat for me

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For art historians

This was a 3.5 star read for me...I listened to this and with a view through surrealism and the coming war...comes the story of Max Ernst and Leonora Carrington and the immersions into the subconscious vision of art!