Radiance 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 t
  • Title: Radiance
  • Author: Shaena Lambert
  • ISBN: 9780679311508
  • Page: 308
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Radiance
    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, buLater, 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, but in every memory it was the pocked side that drew Daisy in From Radiance, p 192 It s 1952 Eighteen year old Hiroshima survivor Keiko Kitigawa arrives in New York City for surgery to cut away the scar marring her lovely face Sponsored by The Hiroshima Project, Keiko is expected to be a media darling, The Hiroshima Maiden, selected for her scarred beauty and for the talent she briefly revealed to Project doctors in Japan for putting words to the inexpressible horrors she has witnessed But the Keiko who arrives in America does not perform as scripted, preferring to recall instead her grandfather s dappled gardens and tales of trickster foxes Frustrated by her recalcitrance, the Project presses Keiko s suburban host mother, Daisy Lawrence, into duty, tasking her with drawing out the girl s horrific story, the one they need for the media circuit When Daisy reluctantly agrees, she must fight to enter Keiko s sphere of intimacy, and is shocked by what she learns there.Like Keiko, Daisy has a few surprises in store for the Project Her gentle maternal character has been vouched for by her long time friend Irene Day, the glamorous Manhattan women s columnist who recruited her But even Daisy is taken aback by what bubbles up from beneath her calm domestic existence in Riverside Meadows, drawn to the surface by Keiko s presence Life will never be the same.Also deeply affected by Keiko s stay is Daisy s husband, Walter, a nearly extinguished literary light whose off Broadway play once garnered critical acclaim He has been fighting for years with a hopelessly unfinished manuscript, obsessing over the tragic story of a friend who fell victim to the turmoil of Stalinist Russia But Walter is haunted by another event in his past, something that happened in the shadows of the McCarthy trials and that he has never divulged to his wife.Keiko, bandaged after her surgery like the Invisible Man, becomes a conduit for secret grief A barrage of letters and gifts from strangers arrive at their door Riverside Meadows housewives, a photographer covering her story, and even a former Japanese held POW heap their weightiest confidences upon her Perhaps it is the force of her tragedy that pulls them in, or perhaps it is because her bandages make her seem like a blank receptacle for their own pain Whatever the cause, Daisy finds it increasingly difficult to find the real Keiko beneath these burdens But she will fight with all her strength to protect the girl, even at incalculable cost.Set against the backdrops of the Atomic Age and McCarthyism, Radiance is a precise and nuanced rendition of an historic time, depicted through a highly intimate lens and driven by acts of great love, terrible betrayals and immense compassion.
    Radiance By Shaena Lambert,
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    About " Shaena Lambert "

  • Shaena Lambert

    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 are set, living with my husband, Bob Penner, and my two now grown children I ve written three books, Oh, My Darling a collection of stories to be published this fall by HarperCollins Radiance, a novel, and The Falling Woman, stories My work has been nominated for the Danuta Gleed, Rogers Writers Trust, Ethel Wilson and Evergreen awards, and been published in Canada, the UK, Germany and Australia I also teach writing on a freelance basis please visit my website, for thoughts on writiing.


  • 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 retells to hersel [...]

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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 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 Long Is [...]

  • 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 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 the book, b [...]

  • 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.

  • 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 giv [...]

  • I m not a fan.I had no issues with Daisy s character even if she was a little bland Keiko annoyed me quite a bit Her depiction rang a bit false The story itself felt full of unimportant things I liked the imagery but other than that I can t say I liked much else.Overall, the novel was pretty bland and unmemorable.

  • 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 was [...]

  • 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 on [...]

  • The you call black white,and darkness light,the 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,we are lik [...]

  • Shaena Lambert 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 expos of the way ordinary people are used to serve political purposes, no matter the pain it causes The Hiroshima Maidens were, in real life, Japane [...]

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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 interested in her memories and mindset than the surgery itself, and plague her with questions

  • 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

  • Very disturbing book in it s honesty about the bomb s effect on Hiroshima and the personal tragedies it brought about.

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