The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America's Shining Women (Hardcover)
"Kate Moore discovered the 'radium girls' while directing a play in London by Melanie Marnich, 'These Shining Lives.' The play was based on true events, and as Moore researched the story of these lives, she realized that they had never been given the justice they deserved. Upon the discovery of radium, young women were hired to paint watch faces in radium factories, assured of not only the safety, but also the benefits of this new wonder. The Radium Girls is a compelling page turner that reads like a novel. The strength of these young women, as they literally fight for their lives in the early 1900s, is inspiring, and heart-breaking. From The London Theatre Review: 'bitterness turns to anger as you begin to realize how little value corporations, back then and now, placed on the lives of their workers and the public.' For those who liked The Secret Life of Henrietta Lacks and Hidden Figures, The Radium Girls is another story of the forgotten sacrifices made by women that ultimately changed lives."--Reviewed by Susan— From Susan Recommends
Summer 2018 Reading Group Indie Next List
“This story of the first all-women class action lawsuit is one that everyone needs to read. Moore does a fabulous job of showing these women for who they were: real people, with families and lives that were torn apart by devastating health problems caused by years of working in a watch factory, painting glowing radium onto watch dials. A heartbreaking, inspiring story of strong women who stuck together through the most horrible of circumstances.”
— Maggie Henriksen, Saturn Booksellers, Gaylord, MI
A New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestseller
Emma Watson's Our Shared Shelf Bookclub Selection - May/June 2018
"the glowing ghosts of the radium girls haunt us still."--NPR Books
The incredible true story of the women who fought America's Undark danger
The Curies' newly discovered element of radium makes gleaming headlines across the nation as the fresh face of beauty, and wonder drug of the medical community. From body lotion to tonic water, the popular new element shines bright in the otherwise dark years of the First World War.
Meanwhile, hundreds of girls toil amidst the glowing dust of the radium-dial factories. The glittering chemical covers their bodies from head to toe; they light up the night like industrious fireflies. With such a coveted job, these "shining girls" are the luckiest alive -- until they begin to fall mysteriously ill.
But the factories that once offered golden opportunities are now ignoring all claims of the gruesome side effects, and the women's cries of corruption. And as the fatal poison of the radium takes hold, the brave shining girls find themselves embroiled in one of the biggest scandals of America's early 20th century, and in a groundbreaking battle for workers' rights that will echo for centuries to come.
Written with a sparkling voice and breakneck pace, The Radium Girls fully illuminates the inspiring young women exposed to the "wonder" substance of radium, and their awe-inspiring strength in the face of almost impossible circumstances. Their courage and tenacity led to life-changing regulations, research into nuclear bombing, and ultimately saved hundreds of thousands of lives...