A Fierce Radiance
A Washington Post Best Novel of the Year
An NPR Mystery of the Year
In the anxious days after Pearl Harbor, Life photojournalist Claire Shipley finds herself covering one of the nation's most important stories. At New York City's renowned Rockefeller Institute, researchers are racing to save thousands of wounded American soldiers and countless others by developing a mi...more
Sadly, I didn't love this novel as much as I wanted to. This story suffers a bit from over research, in that it felt to me like the author tried to stuff in all the interesting details she'd discovered, unable to resist all the tempting tidbits. As a result ...more
Claire Shipley is a photojournalist working for Life magazine in the early years of World War II. She’s assigned to document the medical trials of a new wonder drug – penicillin. While her story never sees print, she becomes involved in the intrigue surrounding the efforts by various big pharmaceutical companies to develop and produce penicillin in large quantities, as needed to fight battle infections during the war.
Well this sounded much more interesting than it wound up being.
I defini ...more
Mrs. Claire Shipley is a photographer for 'Life' magazine in the 1940s. She's given an assignment to cover the experimental use of penicillin by medical researchers at the Rockefeller Institute in New York City. Through this assignment she meets the handsome Dr. J ...more
Kudos to Belfer for doing her research. If you want to read about suppurating wounds in the days before antibiotics, this is your nove ...more
I'd give this 3.5 out of 5 if I could. I really enjoyed the background story much more than the feature plot. It feels unimaginable that just 70 years ago a sim ...more
"A Fierce Radiance" is a well told story that uses th above three items to weave a story, true or untrue, about the emergence of penicillin into the medical world.
Prior to penicillin one of the deadliest conditions for man was an infection. Even a small cut could mean death within days if infected with a staphylococci strain.
CFlaire Shipley, a Life photographer, has lost a daughter to an infection and finds herse ...more
Overall, though, it never really drew me in -- I'd ...more
A front-runner for my #1 book of 2010!!
A Fierce Radiance is an extraordinary novel which comes along once every few years. I absolutely fell in love with this book and can't stop talking about it!!
A Fierce Radiance is set in the early 1940s during the first days following the attack on Pearl Harbor. The story follows the life of Claire Shipley, a beautiful and talented photojournalist for Life magazine, whose boss sends her to cover the te ...more
Belfer is a great story teller. I loved the protagonist, Claire Shipley, a photojournalist with Life magazine, caught up in the scientific world of penicillin research during World War II, and the political intrigue of the early 1940s. She was definitely a woman ahead of her time—strong and career oriented.
The book is well researched and well-told. I was intrigued from beginning to end. The details surrounding World War II and life at the time in New ...more
The era is 1941 through 1944. The book opens just after Japan has bombed Pearl Harbor. Our country has declared war and young men are being drafted or
signing up for the military. Some of us can still picture this era. For those of you w ...more
Lauren Belfer, A Fierce Radiance
Lauren Belfer’s novel is stunning–in pacing, characterization and setting. Set during the trans formative era of World War II, it captures a period in more ways than I can satisfactorily say. From people listening to radio reports on war developments, to larger issues such as the Federal Government’s critical role in medical research.
There are several principal characters. Claire Shipley is a single Mom, and a photographer for Life magazine. James Stanton is a ph ...more
Historical fiction about the first mass-production of penicillin during WWII. It had of course been previously discovered by Alexander Fleming but it was notoriously had to produce and to replicate until the U.S. government got behind it during WWII in ord ...more
It’s a about the production of penicillin after the outbreak of the WWII. The story deals the clinical awakening to the effect of this new drug, and the commercial dynamics of the pharmaceutical industry racing to perfect mass-production of the drug all the while struggling while governments came to grips with the military consequences of the drug. But what makes this really gripping for me is the way the author inter weaves the clinical, long term commercial and short term military and governme ...more
The reason my rating is not higher is that I found some of the romantic storyline to be too much "telling" for my taste. I don't mean that the scenes were overly sexual, just that the descriptions of falling in love ...more
Historical fiction weaving a story of military history, medical advancement
espionage and love set in the later days of WWII
As a photographer for LIFEmagazine Claire Shipley is sent to cover a story on the hard to produce, still experimental drug penicillin.
The story is killed and the government chooses Claire to follow the penicillin trail.
She is sent to keep" an eye on the big pharmaceutical companies who are supposed to be mass-producing patent-free penicilli ...more
A fascinating and often tragic look at the accelerated efforts to make penicillin viable and available to treat the troops during World War 2.
The story is told via historical fiction, with a female Life magazine photographer as the main character. The book is also filled with real life figures.
Lauren grew up in Buffalo, New York, and decided to become a writer when she was six years old. By the time she was in high school, her literary work was receiving rejection letters from all the best publications. Some of these letters included the initials of the p ...more