Radiance by Shaena Lambert

Radiance

Shaena Lambert

Nobody, including the reader really gets to know the coolly detached Keiko - 18 year old survivor of the atomic bomb, who travels to New York for plastic surgery. I enjoyed the author's depictions of life in the American suburbs during the McCarthy era and in Japan before the bomb but felt more sympathy for Daisy, her over-protective American house mother than for the Hiroshima maiden.

Extract

There were calls of hear, hear, and Keiko, perhaps sensing Daisy’s stare, glanced her way. Daisy smiled. It was the smile that had always done the trick in college: a tender, sweet, girlish smile that said, I am a person of goodwill. I won’t hurt you …. The girl took in Daisy’s smile, the frightened edges of it, and then she frowned just like that, and looked away. As though Daisy’s smile were a gift she had no use for. As though refusing a glass of punch. Daisy stood frozen, blushing deeply. She had an awful complexion for showing her feelings.

Parallels
  • The Dissident by Nell Freudenberger
  • Pleasantville - the film
  • The Reader by Bernhard Schlink