Leono­ra in the Morn­ing Light: A Novel

  • From the Publisher
September 1, 2020

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 twen­ty-year-old British socialite and painter dream­ing of inde­pen­dence when she meets Max Ernst, an old­er, mar­ried artist whose work has cap­ti­vat­ed Europe. She fol­lows him to Paris, into the vibrant rev­o­lu­tion­ary 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 the shad­ow of 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 an unfor­get­table sto­ry of love, art, and des­tiny that restores a twen­ti­eth-cen­tu­ry hero­ine to her right­ful place in our col­lec­tive imagination.

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