I won this through the goodreads first-reads program, and I am waiting for my copy to arrive. Review to follow upon receipt!
Finally, I won a bookI won this through the goodreads first-reads program, and I am waiting for my copy to arrive. Review to follow upon receipt!
Finally, I won a book from first-reads that I really, really enjoyed! A Fierce Radiance is a wonderful piece of historical fiction. You can read the goodreads description for more information, but, briefly, this book is set in the year and a half following Pearl Harbor. The protagonist, Claire Shipley,is a photojournalist for Life magazine who gets assigned to cover a story about a new, miracle drug called penicillin. Doctors, researchers, pharmaceutical companies, and the government are all working over-time to mass produce the new drug which everyone believes will save the lives of thousands of American soldiers.
I have to admit that I knew nothing about this part of American history. I knew that penicillin had been "discovered" in the 1920s, but I did not know that is wasn't until WWII that penicillin was mass produced and available for use (and even then it was only used military purposes.) Because antibiotics are so readily available these days, I admit that I had never given much thought to what happened to people before they could go to their local drug store with their prescription for penicillin (or one of the related drugs). It seems unfathomable to me that people could die from a simple scratch. It was worth it for me to read this book to learn the little bit I did about penicillin production during the 1940s.
The great thing, however, is this book is more than just a story about penicillin. It truly has something for everyone. There is a love story when Claire falls in love with one of the doctors who are researching penicillin. There is a murder/suspense story line when another doctor working on the penicillin project dies under mysterious circumstances. There is family intrigue when Claire is reunited with her estranged father, a multi-millionaire who purchases one of the pharmaceutical companies working on penicillin (and some side projects). Finally, there is also, at least implicitly, a discussion of morality, both in war and in pharmaceutical production. Like I said before, there is something for everyone. I would definitely recommend this book, particularly for people who enjoy 20th century historical fiction. ...more