Books·Books of the Year

Sarah Henstra's favourite Canadian book of 2018: Radiant Shimmering Light by Sarah Selecky

As the year draws to a close, CBC Books is asking Canadian writers for their favourite titles of 2018.
Sarah Henstra's favourite book of 2018 was Radiant Shimmering Light by Sarah Selecky. (

As the year draws to a close, CBC Books is asking Canadian writers for their favourite books of 2018. Sarah Henstra is the author of the novel The Red Word, which won the 2018 Governor General's Literary Award for fiction.​

Henstra recommends reading Radiant Shimmering Light by Sarah Selecky.

"This remarkable, hard-to-categorize novel is written with the same keen insight into female friendships and the same passionate attention to sensory details that got Selecky's previous book shortlisted for the Giller Prize. In Radiant Shimmering Light, however, the relationships unfold in the context of a women-centred self-help MLM (multi-level marketing) enterprise called Ascendency, headed up by a magnetic, mysterious and monomaniacal leader named Eleven. Sounds like satire? There's a definite edge of squirmy comedy in watching the earnest seekers fall down the Ascendency rabbit-hole and wind up selling products like 'Conscious Chocolates' at their sharing circles. Yet this story also has huge heart, and I came away from it with eyes newly open to the shimmer of enchantment in the world around us."


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