Tuesday, 26 September 2017

The Radium Girls

Subtitled  "the Dark Story of America's Shining Women", the title is sufficient to spark fear - of content, of just how shocking this story can be, of more abuse against women. You get the picture.

I've read quite a dose of non-fiction lately, and this stands out.

It's not that difficult to read. Ok, some reviewers have commented that it's not a quick and easy read, and it isn't. Reading about radium poisoning was always going to be an experience for which you wanted some interruptions. But I loved the way that Kate Moore personalised these stories. She owned each one. It felt like she had tea with them, their families, their neighbours, and she understood the inflections, the uniqueness of each powerful story, and most importantly, the character of the woman who should have been alive to tell it herself.

As should be the case with a good historical account too, you should learn something about what you're reading. I hadn't realised that not only was radium not considered dangerous in those times - it was only good for you - the green juice of the times, as it were.

I couldn't read enough of these women's powerful stories, I couldn't put the book down, and I was enthralled by every minute.

ISBN: 9781492649359
4 stars
You may also enjoy Hidden Figures by Margot Shatterly or what about Difficult Women, by Roxanne Gay?

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