By Lauren Belfer
Washington publish Best Novel of the Year
An NPR most sensible secret of the Year
“An engrossing and bold novel that vividly portrays a severe time in American history.” — Booklist (starred evaluation)
“Enthralling. A Fierce Radiance shines with attention-grabbing detail.... Belfer’s robust portrayal of the way individuals are replaced in pursuit of a miracle makes this ebook a particularly compelling read.” — Nancy Horan, writer of Loving Frank
Set in the course of the doubtful early days of worldwide struggle II, this suspenseful tale from the New York Times bestselling writer of City of Light follows the paintings of photojournalist Claire Shipley as she captures America’s race to boost life-saving antibiotics—an task that might contain blackmail, espionage, and homicide.
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Additional resources for A Fierce Radiance: A Novel
Frowning, James Stanton appeared at a loss for a response. Nothing like agreement to diffuse an argument, Claire had learned long ago. By necessity, she was an expert in the manipulation of her assigned subjects. Stanton stared at her, and she stared back. “Maybe you should tell me what you’re dealing with here. So I can work harder at staying out of your way,” Claire added with a flirtatious touch of irony. Her tone surprised him, too. For one instant, he allowed this woman to take him away from the morning’s pressures and responsibilities…to a vacation at the seashore, a hotel room filled with sunlight.
She saw him advising clients in a wood-paneled office. He began to breathe in quick, choked gasps, as if the air were a knife cutting his lungs. Claire read on. 1. 04. Bacterial level in his blood at 7 AM on December 10: 100 per milliliter. Claire didn’t know what that meant but assumed it was high. He’d been treated with two types of sulfa drugs, sulfadiazine and sulfapyridine. Neither had worked. He’d had three transfusions to try to clear the bacteria from his blood, to no avail. The infection had entered his bloodstream from a skin abrasion at the right knee.
Claire held Emily’s hand long past the moment when Emily’s spirit or soul or spark—whatever constituted life—slipped away. In a wave of delayed recognition, Claire understood that Emily was no longer simply resting after her terrible, twisting struggle, but was lifeless. Without life. Dead. After a moment Emily’s eyes opened, staring at the ceiling without seeing it. Her pale blue eyes seemed to turn white while Claire watched. Screams of torment consumed Claire in waves, even though someone else seemed to Claire to be screaming, a kind of ghost self within her.