The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America’s Shining Women by Kate Moore
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Read May 25-June 2, 2017
Kate Moore’s well-researched true story tells us of the lives of the “shining girls” condersided the luckiest girls alive to have found the most coveted jobs using the “wonder” substance radium to paint dials. We learn of their feelings of joy, excitement, and independence at having such glamorous jobs, to them becoming ill and their bodies starting to deteriorate and then some to their deaths. To others realizing their jobs are causing their illness, to their fight against the companies and their legal battles and then for some realizing they are going to die.
Moore doesn’t shy away from the vivid details of the agonizing deaths and suffering the women went through and it’s not for the faint hearted. I think that might be me as I found the torment they went through relentless and their agonizing suffering and the deaths after deaths started to become too overwhelming for me. Some of what I was reading just became a blur to me and at times I just wanted to get through the book.
As much as the girls suffering broke my heart, the greed, dishonesty and the refusal to protect the young women from the danger was shocking and angered me.
I think Radium Girls was one of the most unsettling books I have read and even though I did not enjoy it, I am glad I read it. The courage and tenacity of the women is an important story that needed to be told and Kate Moore is remarkable to have told it and honoring the women and their deaths by doing so.
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher Sourcebooks for a copy to read and review.