Radiant Shimmering Light: A Novel by Sarah SeleckyRadiant Shimmering Light: A Novel by Sarah Selecky

Radiant Shimmering Light: A Novel

bySarah Selecky

Paperback | May 8, 2018

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A sharply funny and wise debut novel about female friendship, the face we show the world online and letting your own light shine, from the Scotiabank Giller Prize–shortlisted author of This Cake Is for the Party

Lilian Quick has looked up to her cousin Florence her whole life. Florence is everything Lilian is not—brave, confident, quick to find adventure and American. The women have been out of touch for years due to a family rift, but Lilian, childless, single and self-employed as a pet portraitist, has been watching Florence for years. Florence is now Internet-famous as Eleven Novak, the face of a compelling new feminine lifestyle empowerment brand.

When Eleven comes to town as part of her sales tour, she offers Lilian a place at the Temple, her Manhattan office. Despite twenty years of silence, Eleven welcomes her long-lost cousin with open arms, and the two women begin a new relationship. Lilian quickly enrols in the Ascendency, Eleven’s signature program: an expensive three-month training seminar on empowered leadership, spiritual awakening, and sales and marketing. Eleven is going to help her cousin rise up to be her highest self: confident, affluent and self-actualized.

Lilian’s sensitive, artistic nature is stretched by the work she does in the Ascendency, and pushed even further by her cousin’s careful life coaching. In just three months, Lilian’s life changes drastically and becomes everything she’s dreamed of. But is it everything she wants? And can she trust everything Eleven says? 

Title:Radiant Shimmering Light: A NovelFormat:PaperbackDimensions:368 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.92 inPublished:May 8, 2018Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1443455679

ISBN - 13:9781443455671


Rated 4 out of 5 by from Bridget Jones meets The Circle When a sweet and slightly naive artist reconnects with a long-lost cousin who is now at the cutting edge of a woman's empowerment movement, you might thing you know how it's going to end. But keep reading. There are some twists in this story that overturned my expectations. It's very good.
Date published: 2018-09-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Witty, feminine bliss This novel did a fantastic job at portraying women supporting one another and cheering each other on, in a world where this does not happen enough. It was refreshing to see Lillian's continuous growth throughout the story. The emphasis on girl power was really powerful! I have a love-hate relationship with how the novel ended; it felt incomplete to me. However, perhaps the author did this on purpose to allow the reader to come up with their own endings (or maybe there will be a sequel)!. Overall, a great read.
Date published: 2018-06-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Timely, funny, smart If you mixed Oprah, Martha Stewart, a televangelist and a marketing guru, you might come close to Eleven Novak, the social media star of this terrifically timely novel. Her much more uncertain cousin Lilian is the narrator, trying to catch up and reinvent herself within her cousin's shimmering glow. At times laugh-out-loud funny, this book is a cautionary tale about the difference between on-line branding and human, specifically female, reality.
Date published: 2018-06-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Darkly funny and swiftly moving Florence and Lillian are old-fashioned names, but these characters in Sarah Selecky’s new book are anything but. Driven by social media, new-age psychology, and internet stardom, the heroines of Radiant Shimmering Light demonstrate their power, hesitance, and talents for seeking out the vulnerable (and their auras) in this fast-moving tale. Lillian, the Canadian cousin of the charismatic-veering-to-the-charlatan American, Florence — with the new name Eleven— gets caught up in Eleven’s organization, The Temple, only to find that there’s no place like home. Along the way, Lillian comes into her own with sanguine revelations about herself and a svengali-ish male meditation teacher that she is too insecure to truly acknowledge. This is a fun, swift read with a dark undertone, some hilarious self-reflections (which I truly hope are tongue-in-cheek), and a cast of characters that you may just feel you know well, or want to.
Date published: 2018-05-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it! This book is about Lillian, a pet portrait artist, who is barely getting by, but feels pretty content in her life, in most ways. She has always looked up to her cousin, Florence but has been out of touch for many years, due to the fighting of their mothers. Lillian is someone who spends too much time on Instagram, comparing herself to others. It is through the world of online media that she realizes her cousin has re-branded herself as "Eleven" and is now a powerful lifestyle guru. She sees that Eleven is holding an event in Toronto and receives a surprise message inviting her to come along for free! From this meeting Lillian ends up moving to New York to work for Eleven at the "Temple" and "find herself." Of course once Lillian gets there it is a whole new world to figure out, a world of appearances, newsletters, selling products and "being your best self".  This satire book made me think a lot. I couldn't put it down, I found the story very compelling and written in a very unique voice. It felt a lot different than most of the books I read, in a good way. I like how the author put in email newsletters from a lot of the characters directly into the book, they made me laugh and were so telling of the world we live in today. It made me feel a little bit better about the appearances people give us and the way we are all hiding behind perfection. Maybe at the very least, it's going to make me pull back a bit from constant comparison to others and the chase of a non exsisting perfection.  Also, I liked the ending, the way we are left wondering what choices Lillian has made and not knowing for sure. I am hoping the best for her. 
Date published: 2018-05-15

Editorial Reviews

“Vibrant, poetic and salacious… It’s no wonder that Cake came so close to winning the Giller.”