Another reviewer has objected to the fact that the Amazon synopsis claims this is not a sci-fi book. I can see why sci-fi fans might find this snobbish, but I think the point is that this book can have a far wider appeal than just one genre. Beginning with a bizarre and fantastic event - the transportation through time of three scientists from the 1940s - this book takes us on a journey which not only demonstrates in a simple, unemotional manner the devastating and disgusting effects of nuclear weapons, but poses interesting questions about the nature of religion and science. Above all, the characters are beautifully realised, the story is compelling and the quality of writing puts Millet up there with the likes of Don Delillo and Paul Auster. I don't deny that the plot of this book falls into the science fiction category, nor do I see anything wrong with that. But I would urge people who think they have no interest in sci-fi to read this book, because it offers more than just one genre can explain.
The pompous synopsis above states that this novel is not SF. The judges of one of the UK's major literary prizes thought differently, shortlisting it for the Arthur C Clarke Award, and Ms Millet was reportedly considering attending the Award ceremony suggesting she doesn't disagree.
It takes three men through time asa consequence of a nuclear explosion, and investigates the impact their work as scientists has had on the world and the impact the future has on them. In what way is this not Science Fiction?
O Pure And Radiant Heart is a thoughtful, challenging work. Poignant at times, passionate and calm also. Try it with an open mind and ignore the snobbery above.