A sharply funny and heartfelt novel about female friendship—and about how, in our online lives, the line between personal empowerment and consumerism is increasingly blurred.
Lilian Quick has looked up to her cousin Florence her whole life. Florence is everything Lilian is not: brave, adventurous, American. They’ve been out of touch for twenty years—but Lilian, forty, single and struggling as a pet portraitist in Toronto, has been watching Florence, who has become internet-famous as Eleven Novak, the face of a feminine-lifestyle empowerment brand.
When Eleven comes to town on a sales tour, she welcomes her long-lost cousin with open arms. Lilian quickly enrols in the Ascendency, Eleven’s expensive signature course in spiritual awakening and marketing, and heads to The Temple in Manhattan. Eleven is going to help Lilian build her brand and be her best self: confident, affluent, self-actualised.
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 really trust Eleven?
‘In Radiant Shimmering Light, @SarahSeleckyWS nails the Perfect-Yourself 35-43 gen in all of its hopeful internet-brand-conscious pyramid-scheming empowering goddessiness. Social satire + cultural insight whipped into a yummy froth! You’ll laugh + shed a tiny precious tear, my petals!’
‘Our online world provides endless humorous possibility and here is a book that’s witty, timely, and smart with regard to social media. But then, quite wonderfully, Selecky’s story turns more complicated than it first appeared. Bursting with energy and color, every page delights and provokes. This book is a dazzler.’
‘Sarah Selecky could easily be the next Alice Munro.’
‘The human desire to belong is at the heart of Sarah Selecky’s radiant, shimmering novel. In the person of Lilian Quick, Selecky has created an irresistible heroine. She has once again proven that she is a writer perfectly attuned to the music of the present moment.’
‘Radiant Shimmering Light is inventive and modern. Sarah Selecky delivers a cast of characters who are both recognizable and utterly unique inthis novel that is as luminous as its title.’
‘Fresh and original, Sarah Selecky’s novel cleverly satirizes our insta-world but also takes its characters seriously enough to give them an ending that’s moving and transcendent.’
‘Selecky has written a satirical and contemporary novel about the enlightenment and life-branding industries…An intriguing novel which will elicit a wide range of responses from readers. I can’t think of a more perfect novel for a book club.’
‘This meditative, funny, groovy, and absolutely beautiful book kept me entranced beginning to end. The intrigue and mystery of self-help movements shimmers throughout the narrative, and our narrator, so full of life, hearkens back to the plucky heroines of Jane Austen, but with a modern wit and vivacity all her own. I loved the rich, meaningful hours I spent with this book.’
‘Selecky’s great strength is her tone…she sits quietly and observes, letting all that commodified spirituality satirise itself.’
‘A polished and crisp satire…a journey depicted with both humour and sharp reflection.’
‘Selecky’s biting, tragicomic first novel is an insider look at the intersection between the sincerity of belief and the commodification of aspiration… [Her] deadpan tone, punchy writing, and vivid characters transport readers to a specific, highly diverting world that hits close to the bone and sparks the self-reflection it’s spoofing.’
‘Selecky’s sharp parody explores female friendship and questions the role of consumerism in women’s empowerment and self-improvement trends.’
‘If you’ve ever fallen asleep during savasana in yoga class or gotten a headache from your essential-oil mix, Sarah Selecky’s hilarious debut novel about self-help gurus and the people who follow them is for you…There’s plenty of laughs—but lots of truth, too.’
‘Selecky bucks expectations in her satirical portrait of estranged cousins Lilian, an artist obsessed with social media and finding enlightenment, and Eleven, a guru behind the cultish organization called the Ascendancy…A radically gentle takedown of capitalist spiritualism…[Selecky] still finds plenty to make fun of in this ridiculous – yet frighteningly familiar – world.’
‘This sharp, smart read is a timely warning to put your devices down now.’