Overview (No Spoilers): I must be getting soft with my reviewing because The Radium Girls marks my fourth five star review in a row, or perhaps I’ve just been very lucky with the books that I’ve recently picked up. Having read many wonderful reviews, it was an choice to pick up Moore’s tragic, real life story behind the young girls who painted radium on dials in the 1920s. Alas, I found myself wishing this subject matter had been as easy as the choice was to read. I’ve likely read thousands of books in my life and within the aforementioned books I’ve encountered countless deaths. It is fairly safe to assume most people ponder their own death, alongside the more macabre possibilites for the worst case scenario. Upon reading The Radium Girls, I have added a new type of death to the list of unimaginable horrors, radiation poisoning. Moore flawlessly captures the exuberant nature of youth surrounding these young vibrant workers, with the hope of their whole future still ahead of them. Previously receiving radiation training during my graduate research, I was physically cringing as the story transitioned into the girls beginning work in the radium factories. It is so hard to imagine a world in which the dangers of radiation are not known and radium was in fact thought to be a health boost. Moore weaved a story in which this relatively new substance could be perceived as magical, due to the glowing aftereffects and especially with so many influential individuals touting its benefits. Fairly quickly, these young women started presenting mysterious, terrible symptoms, eventually resulting in suffering a death beyond comprehension. Furthermore, infuriating is a vast understatement regarding the actions of the radium companies. I still cannot fathom how those men in charge could live with themselves, knowing that they had and were actively, in some cases, poisoning their workers. I can think of only a handful of books that have caused me to rant and rage for days after reading, and this topic might have superseded all others. Overall, The Radium Girls was one of the most difficult reads that I’ve ever encountered, however in literature that characteristic is far from synonymous with bad, often being quite the opposite. I’m so thankful Moore chose to tell the story of the The Radium Girls and the indescribable suffering they endured, alongside the relentless drive these women exhibited throughout their tragically shortened lives to reveal dangers of radium.