The Radium Girls by Kate Moore is one of those books where, once you get past the volume, you realize that it is such an important, yet sadly-concealed story that we all should come to understand because of its future repercussions. In its pages, it holds various controversial topics involving gender, workers’ rights, and corruption that still remain issues in today’s society. Seeing how so many women were actively neglected by most of the world, despite the extent of their outcries, versus how one male chemist’s death starting changing the playing field manifested the gender inequalities in society. While such inequalities would likely not be ignored in today’s American society, we see how there are still unfair standards between women and men today. Also, workers’ rights from the early 1900s to now have improved significantly proving that (unfortunately) it takes bold voices in the midst of tragedies to make a difference. Truly, I think I were in these women’s shoes, I would not have pushed through because I would be in constant fear of when my end would be nearing. It might just be a storyline, but when you see the faces of people actually experiencing such excruciating pain, you wonder how they were able to power through and manage to shed light on such important problems. Overall, I think this is a book that students should definitely read in their classes to really appreciate how far America has luckily progressed and the importance of having our voices heard.
Evidently, I believe this book is a great one to add for readers that want to uncover a dark secret in our American history; however, it should be considered that a book of such volume (400 pages) and complicated storylines (from the characters in both the New Jersey and Illinois firms) can be difficult to read. It was only after finishing the entire novel that I noticed that I continuously reread sections to remember which character I lost track of or which event happened where to clear up the confusion. From there being three different Catherines, over forty characters to recall, and two alternating locations, I personally found it to be very tedious to keep rereading. In the end, my interest to see the aftermath of this tragedy pulled me through the book, but I feel as though the same cannot be said for every reader. Thus, if readers are genuinely interested in the topic, I would definitely recommend it!