Scarred by his experiences as a war correspondent, Matthew flees to Paris to heal and forget—even as he must stir up the past to write the memoir he’s promised to his impatient literary agent. Resurrecting a friendship with Jack, a Vietnam vet and ex-mercenary, Matthew enters Jack’s alcohol-dimmed world of shadowy bars and calculating lovers. But there is also Saida—beautiful, damaged and proud—who fled Lebanon with her family and now runs a café. Matthew is drawn to her kindness, and to her fierce love for her teenage son, who is growing into manhood on the treacherous streets of the North African quarter.
This is Paris far from the glimmer of tourist lights. Here secrets are divulged, guilt and passion revealed, and Matthew is caught up in an inescapable final confrontation. The Radiant City is a novel of astonishing depth and power.