“Radiant…A dark, absorbing story of how first love can be as intoxicating and dangerous as religious fundamentalism.”
NO MAJOR SPOILERS
This is the story of Will Kendall, a transfer from a bible college to this elite school and Phoebe Lin, a beautiful young woman who lives with the fact that she was the cause of her Mother’s death in a car accident.
They meet and begin to fall in love. When Phoebe begins to attend meetings of a young religious cult, led by a man named John Leal she begins to fall under his influence, and slowly begins to draw away from her relationship with Will.
After a bombing of a birth control center goes bad, the group separates and Phoebe cannot be found. We then get into Wills search for her, part of him believing she could never had planned or taken part in the bombings, laying the blame squarely on John Leal, and the other part of him believing that because the guilt she carried over the death of her mother, and the obvious influence of the cult, could have been responsible for them. Will still loves her and that drives his obsession with finding her.
The story relates to the bombings of birth control facilities by extremists some years ago, but the real issue of the book is Phoebes attempts at handling her own guilt, refusing to tell Will the entire story, always looking for something to help her cope with her loss. Their relationship is slow to grow, each step an effort on Will’s part to understand Phoebe, and to try to draw her closer to him. Their youth and inexperience in these matters will play a large part in Pheobe’s inability to come totally clean to Will, and the ease at which she is drawn in by the cult.
An interesting and quick read at 210 pages, it is well worth the effort to give it a chance.
Added 25th December 2018