As World War I raged across the globe, hundreds of young women toiled away at the radium-dial factories, where they painted clock faces with a mysterious new substance called radium. Assured by their bosses that the luminous material was safe, the women themselves shone brightly in the dark, covered from head to toe with the glowing dust. With such a coveted job, these “shining girls” were considered the luckiest alive—until they began to fall mysteriously ill. As the fatal poison of the radium took hold, they found themselves embroiled in one of America’s biggest scandals and a groundbreaking battle for workers’ rights. – Goodreads.com
I received this book free from the publisher via netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review.
This is an area of history I have never really explored. I actually had no idea that radium was first thought of as a healing agent (aside from it’s use in treating cancer, of course). It was initially thought to be a cure-all and also a harmless reflective paint, perfect for war accessories that would be used in the dark.
The glowing Radium Girls seem just as ignorant and fascinated with this new material as you could imagine but the horrible truth of what it can do to your body, and how rapodly your health can decline was kept from them.
If you’re squeamish, skip the areas of this novel that speak of dentist and doctor visits. If you’re a history or science or women’s history buff, you’re going to love this insight.