Review of “Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America’s Shining Women” by Kate Moore

I am giving this book a 3.5 to 4 star review.

This book was very interesting. I rarely pick up a non-fiction book. But I really enjoyed this one. Not for the writing, but more for the knowledge about what happened to these women.

It is about the heartbreaking story of the dial painting “girls.” They used radium to paint watches and dials for WWI and thereafter. But they did not have safety precautions to handle radium and was poisoned. This is after being told it was safe by the factory (factory had information to say otherwise).  They experienced pain like no other from holes in their jaws, cancers, tumors, etc. The women fought for justice many of whom died before seeing the results. Their story impacted companies and lives long after they have died with having safety precautions in place for workers.

This book really shocked me. I had heard of these women before but never read about their story in depth. I felt the book repeated itself at times. I also felt like there was a lot of unnecessary details within the novel. I did not know if the author was trying to make the novel into a narrative or a research paper. This lead to the book being rather “long winded” at times. Additionally, there were a lot of people being talked about in the New Jersey and Ottawa plants. But I felt like I did not know the people as people. It just felt like another name being dropped. She named so many people that had similar stories. But overall, it was interesting. I am very glad that I read this book. It will stay with me a long time.

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