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Radiance

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3.1 of 5 stars 3.10  ·  rating details  ·  105 ratings  ·  20 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

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Holley Rubinsky
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
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
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 1 of 5 stars
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.
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
Janie
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
Alaina
I enjoyed this. It's a great novella.
Patrick Nichol
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.
Adrienne
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
Carol
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
Penny
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.
Stephanie
Beautifully written but the storyline lagged a bit; I kept reading and expecting something to happen. Still, recommended for it's stunning language and detail. An interesting insight into the Hiroshima bombing.
Richard Janzen
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
Very disturbing book in it's honesty about the bomb's effect on Hiroshima and the personal tragedies it brought about.
Emma Hookins
I picked it up thinking about the potential of this book. Unfortunately it didn't quite reach it
Miriam
it was better than i thought some parts were really funny and it was a fast read
Holly
Holly marked it as to-read
Feb 28, 2015
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TJ
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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
More about Shaena Lambert...
Oh, My Darling The Falling Woman

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