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Radiance

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3.13  ·  Rating Details ·  121 Ratings  ·  24 Reviews
Later, when Daisy remembered that night, she could smell the scent of honeysuckle at the window and see the moon on the floorboards. But in her memories Keiko wasn’t bandaged: her face was broken down the middle, just like the moon. One half was pure and white, the other half mottled and porous. The unbroken side was as smooth as porcelain, terrifying in its brightness, bu ...more
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published February 13th 2007 by Random House Canada (first published January 1st 2007)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Holley Rubinsky
Feb 22, 2014 Holley Rubinsky rated it it was amazing
I started by reading Shaena Lambert's short story collection The Falling Woman and was drawn nearly all the way through, an accomplishment by Lambert to snag this impatient reader. The emotional subtleties and ambiguities in Radiance were altogether heroic -- how easy it would have been for a writer to nudge the reader into "liking" the good guys, "disliking" the bad guys — but here there are no black-and-white characters in sight. The fox allegory, the story that Keiko tells to Daisy and retel ...more
Bonnie
Dec 11, 2008 Bonnie rated it it was amazing
Wonderful read. Beautifully written. I thought the Ethel Wilson prize was going to come down to either this, or Mary Novik's Conceit. (And I'll bet it did.)
Angie Abdou
Oct 08, 2008 Angie Abdou rated it it was amazing
I bet on this book for the BC Ethel Wilson Book Prize this year. I lost the bet, but I'm still proud of my pick!
Shonna Froebel
The time is 1952 and Keiko Kitigawa, a girl injured in the Hiroshima bomb attack, has come to the United States. She is brought to the U.S. by a committee working to prevent more bombs and bomb tests from happening. In return for her speaking out against the bombs as a victim, they will give her plastic surgery to remove the scars she has on her face from the blast.
Daisy Lawrence will be her host mother while she is in the U.S. Daisy and her husband Walter live in the suburbs of New York City on
...more
Kahla
Nov 28, 2008 Kahla rated it did not like it
Recommended to Kahla by: Book Club
The whole time I was reading this book I kept hoping it would get better. After only 100 pages in I was already fighting to finish, telling myself that I would get more interesting, but I didn't. Well written? Sure. Engaging? Not so much.

On the cover they liken Lambert to the talents of Munro and Proulx, and I can see the comparison in the story telling. I had never read any Lambert before and the book was selected by my book club for the month of November. At the present we have yet to discuss
...more
Judith Yeabsley
Is about a Hiroshima victim who comes to the US in the early 50's to have scars removed. She lives with a "home mother" and is supposed to be made perfect by a TV doctor and then help to promote an anti-nuclear message. The Japanese girl is a very dislikable person and I found it hard to get into the story and then once absorbed she and most of the other lead characters were so unpleasant I had little interest in their lives.
Kate
Nov 22, 2016 Kate rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am glad to have read this book, but can not say it was an enjoyable read.

Radiance is the story of a Japanese girl Keiko with facial scaring and disfigurement due to Hiroshoma. She is chosen to be to be taken to America receive plastic surgery and become an ambassador for the anti nuclear lobbyist group. America in the early 1950's is a complicated time in history and this novel depicts that very well. The new subdivision of Riverside drive in a New York borough is folk getting on with getting
...more
Lisa
Dec 06, 2016 Lisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: c21st, canada, 2016tbr
Shaena Lam
ber’s Radiance is a book from back in 2007, and I think I probably bought it on the recommendation of the late Kevin from Canada, a friend and blogger sorely missed. It’s a thought-provoking novel, the kind I really like.

The novel traces the story of Keiko, a ‘Hiroshima Maiden’ and her ‘house mother’ Daisy Lawrence, but it’s also a devastating exposé of the way ordinary people are used to serve political purposes, no matter the pain it causes. The Hiroshima Maidens were, in real life,
...more
Janie
Dec 02, 2012 Janie rated it liked it
It’s 1952 and New Jersey housewife Daisy Lawrence waits at Mitchell Air Force Base for the plane that brings 18-year-old Keiko Kitigawa from Japan. Daisy is hosting Keiko, who is no ordinary home stay guest but a Hiroshima Maiden – a survivor of the bomb, the recipient of free American plastic surgery to remove her scars, and a poster child for the anti-bomb movement that funded her trip. Once Keiko’s disfigurement has been repaired, the sponsors of The Hiroshima Project will take her on tour to ...more
Jackie Molloy
Margaret Mary Parker aka Daisy, a suburban housewife in New York State commandeered by her erstwhile school friend , Irene Day, into looking after Keiko Kitigawa an eighteen year old Japanese Hiroshima maiden who came to the USA for surgery on her deformed face . Keiko was chosen to be given the opportunity of surgery as part of the Hiroshima Project headed by Mr. Atchity and Dr. Carey because she was a beautiful young woman who spoke excellent English and had the intelligence to recognise this ...more
Magdelanye
The more you call black white,and darkness light,the more truth just wiggles around and finds a way to get itself heard.Radiancep301

This statement,uttered by one of the major minor players near the end of the book,needs to be applied to the book itself. The truth is,this is a disturbing book on many levels.The subject matter,of course, is not an easy one,so that although it is fairly well written,and SL is able to transport us to the scene of the devestation so that our reactions are visceral,w
...more
Debbie Ward
I didn't enjoy this book. I was waiting for it to get better but it just didn't. The themes of the story were quite deep, but just not from my error so probably couldn't fully appreciate at what the author was portraying in the characters. I think this is a story about Daisy rather than Keiko. Probably a good book club read.
Adi
May 02, 2009 Adi rated it really liked it
What a clever insightful book. The early fifties in America is a scary time in this book. Perfect surfaces hiding dreadful events and experiences. Hiroshima experienced by a young girl is the initiating event.The 'ban the bomb' activism and cold war fear felt by the Americans piles on the stress. Elegantly written
Patrick Nichol
Jul 30, 2011 Patrick Nichol rated it really liked it
I met Shaena Lambert, and was very impressed with her effort.

This engrossing novel's examination of the aftermath of the Hiroshima bombing is also a study in human manipulation.

A young Japanese woman, her face partially burned by radiation, takes advantage of the American family she stays with.

It's an original story; one worth pursuing.
Penny
Aug 05, 2013 Penny rated it really liked it
A book of many parts - at times beautiful, at others heart-wrenching, and sometimes caustic. It was gripping - a previous reviewer stated that they were waiting for something to happen - I personally found plenty happening and plenty to explore. A recommended read.
Carol
Nov 02, 2008 Carol rated it liked it
Canadian author who lives in Vancouver. Book (fiction) is set in USA in 1952 and is about a young Hiroshima orphan from Japan who is brought to America for reconstructive surgery, but also as a poster child for the ban-the bomb movement. It's an interesting story and very well written
Andrea
Aug 04, 2011 Andrea added it
Canadian author Shaena Lambert gives a vivid description of Hiroshima survivor Keiko and her move to the U.S. to have reconstructive surgery to her face. Unfortunately the Americans are more interested in her memories and mindset than the surgery itself, and plague her with questions
Liz
Jul 11, 2016 Liz added it
This is an excellent novel based on the experience of a Hiroshima Maiden (young women disfigured in the atom bomb attack on Hiroshima, who were brought to the US for reconstructive surgery and anti-bomb propaganda purposes in the 50s). I will read more of Sheana Lambert.
Richard Janzen
Jul 27, 2011 Richard Janzen rated it really liked it
Interesting story of a Hiroshima survivor who is brought to visit the West to have surgery, and to help serve the agenda of the anti-bomb group that sponsored her. Sept 07
Linda
Jul 29, 2012 Linda rated it liked it
Shelves: bookclub-reads
Very disturbing book in it's honesty about the bomb's effect on Hiroshima and the personal tragedies it brought about.
Stacie
Stacie rated it liked it
Aug 04, 2010
Jayme
Jayme rated it really liked it
May 07, 2010
Vickay
Vickay rated it really liked it
Feb 18, 2014
Jenn
Jenn rated it liked it
Apr 27, 2008
Haley Williams
Haley Williams rated it it was amazing
May 20, 2011
Cathy Gulkin
Cathy Gulkin rated it it was amazing
Jul 24, 2011
Danièle
Danièle rated it it was ok
Jul 27, 2013
Prue
Prue rated it liked it
Apr 23, 2014
Kathleen
Kathleen rated it liked it
Jun 12, 2014
Liz Hamilton
Liz Hamilton rated it liked it
Feb 14, 2014
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432803
I started writing fiction in 1992, when my son was a toddler, a leap into the unknown, and frightening, as at that time I was a single mother. But with the help of an explorations grant from the Canada Council, I was able to keep writing. I have lived in Vancouver, Toronto, New York and the Okanagan, but for the last decade I have been back on the West Coast, in Vancouver, where many of my stories ...more
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