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  • 3 person found this review helpful

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    A thoroughly absorbing read - couldn't put it down

    Kate Moore states at the beginning of the book that she wants to write the story of the people involved in this case, of the girls and their struggles - and she does it very well. I found myself hooked from the first chapters, as she spoke of a world enthralled by radium and its possibilities; the wonderful things it was believed it could do, including its curative properties; the way even those who did know of possible dangers would handle it carelessly, recklessly, as if the fascination it held far outweighed any consequences. In the midst of this is the glamour and mystique of being a dial-painter, having a job that not only paid well but offered access to a substance usually affordable only by the richest.. Girls that left work still glowing with the remains of the luminous dust they worked with. To a modern reader, aware both of the fate of the radium girls and the dangers of radioactive materials, the consequences loom large - and when they arrive, they are horrific. But not only must they search for any possible treatment and seek some for of justice or compensation, they have to prove that radium - a substance doctors the world over praise for its 'health benefits' - actually caused their sickness in the first place. And the human aspect threads through it all: the girls with their lives ahead of them, the lies and the cover-ups, the greed and despair and outrage. I found myself quite invested in their legal battle and its outcome, even though I knew this was long since settled - or was it? A brilliant read to the very last page.

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