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A Fierce Radiance: A Novel [Hardcover] Paperback – 2010
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My only caveat about the book was that some of it read a bit too much like a soap opera. It is not that the events described were so implausible, but rather that I found it implausible that they all happened to quite so limited a cast of main characters. Was Claire abandoned as a child by her wealthy industrialist father who now tries to make amends while simultaneously owning one of the grasping pharmaceutical companies? Has she personally lost a child to one of those infections curable by penicillin? Does she fall in love with a brilliant doctor who ends up at the front? Is his sister the scientist who is murdered? Does Claire's remaining son fall desperately ill and desperately need the antibiotic to survive? Etc. and, Yes, to all of these questions. At times I wondered just what would happen to one of these people the next day.
Despite this qualification I think the strengths of this work definitely out-weigh its weaknesses, and I do recommend it.
The novel, based in the early 1940's in NYC, is so much more than the basic premise. It is a love story, it is a heartwarming story of lost and regained relationships, it is a history of the war effort, and the various machinations of government and corporate interests, it is a story of spying and intrigue, and it is a story of a mother's love for her children.
The book is written extremely well, and appeared to have been researched meticulously. Stick with it, you'll feel not only as if the characters and events are staying with you after you have finished, but you'll feel immeasurably enriched.