I loved the way this book was written. Sometimes I have a hard time with non-fiction books, because they’re not very exciting. Don’t get me wrong – I love facts, and I understand that certain things need to be built up to and earned before they make sense. I just find some non-fiction dry. This was not dry. It probably helped that it was told through the eyes of the actual “Radium Girls”.
I just read the author’s final words, and she was actually struck by the fact that only legal and scientific accounts of the Radium girls lives existed. She wanted to share their excitement, youth, love, and eventually their pain and sorrow. It made a potentially dry and horrific story so much more.
I want to say that I loved this book, but that seems crass. I loved hearing about the characters and learning about their lives. It made their deaths that much more heartbreaking.
Although this book is sad, it’s not all sad, and it’s so worth the read. Please read this book!
This line stuck with me…
That was the tragedy. Radium had been known to be harmful since 1901. Every death since was unnecessary .
This story is about the brave women who unknowingly gave their lives so we could be safe. They fought and persevered so nobody else had to suffer the same terrible fate they did. As the author noted, the dial-painters case ultimately led to the creation of OSHA, which protects all workers in the U.S.