Book Review. The Radium Girls by Kate Moore.

And he continued to reassure the girls: ‘Radium will put rosy cheeks on you!’ he told Marie with a grin, then he turned to Marguerite Glacinski and said cheekily, ‘Radium will make you girls good-looking!’

The Radium Girls by Kate Moore

I found The Radium Girls by Kate Moore difficult to get into at first. The writing felt thick and the information repetitive. I was surprised that radium used to be a substance that was used in products like drinks and were very popular in the 1920’s. We know now it’s not a good idea to put radium into our mouths, but at this point in time, the general public were ignorant and indeed the girls who painted the clock dials with radium certainly were, although their bosses may well have been aware, they cared only for their business and profit. I found the whole story very sad. These young women were infected by radium, the material they were working with, and it was eating them from inside. Doctors fobbed them off, as did other people, who they sought to get help from, or at least answers. It must have been so difficult for them, as their health failed and the radium was killing them, but they kept going. Their employers failed them and they wanted to cover their own interests, and wouldn’t take responsibility. Fucking shocking, really.  

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