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  • The Radium Girls

  • By: Kate Moore
  • Narrated by: Kate Moore
  • Length: 15 hrs and 37 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (101 ratings)

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The Radium Girls

By: Kate Moore
Narrated by: Kate Moore
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Publisher's Summary

Emma Watson’s Our Shared Shelf book club choice

New York Times bestseller

All they wanted was the chance to shine.

Be careful what you wish for…

‘The first thing we asked was, “Does this stuff hurt you?” And they said, “No.” The company said that it wasn’t dangerous, that we didn’t need to be afraid.’

As the First World War spread across the world, young American women flocked to work in factories, painting clocks, watches and military dials with a special luminous substance made from radium. It was a fun job, lucrative and glamorous – the girls shone brightly in the dark, covered head to toe in dust from the paint.

However, as the years passed, the women began to suffer from mysterious and crippling illnesses. It turned out that the very thing that had made them feel alive – their work – was slowly killing them: the radium paint was poisonous.

Their employers denied all responsibility, but these courageous women – in the face of unimaginable suffering – refused to accept their fate quietly, and instead became determined to fight for justice.

Drawing on previously unpublished diaries, letters and interviews, The Radium Girls is an intimate narrative of an unforgettable true story. It is the powerful tale of a group of ordinary women from the Roaring Twenties, who themselves learned how to roar.

©2016 Kate Moore (P)2016 Simon & Schuster
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

Critic Reviews

‘Fascinating.’ Sunday Times

‘Thrilling.’ Mail on Sunday

What listeners say about The Radium Girls

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    5 out of 5 stars

Such a moving and disturbing story!

This was one of the best books I've listened to in a long time. Such a great story of courage and determination. well written, researched and performed by the author. Although I was close to tears many times I it is a story that needed to be told!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A book we all should know about

What a story - an insanely and heartbreaking true story of the horrors of what these women went through and the unbelievable fight they had to endure for justice. The author did a phenomenal job with this book and her emotion is felt through certain parts of the book.

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Such a good story!

Absolutely loved this book! Her voice is so soothing, the true story - just incredible! It was fantastic from beginning to end

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Heartbreaking

This book made me emotional in ways I wasn't expecting. I can listen to gruesome true crime stories and not be phased, but this story struck a cord. It is an important and heart breaking chapter in history that I recommend anyone read in honour and remembrance of the Radium Girls.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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A story like no other!

The Radium Girls is like no other! I gasped, cried, cheered and cried some more with my hand on my heart.

Katherine and her colleagues loved their job. They were paid very well to work hard with their new found friends. After all they were contributing to the war the best way they new how, painting watches, clocks and military dials. The paint was luminous and the powder managed to get everywhere.

“It was perfectly safe” they were told and of course they trusted their employer - until they began to get sick! And their employer denied responsibility. How are they to blame when they only supplied the poisonous radium paint?

The fight for justice while suffering through crippling pain is nothing short of heroic!

A must read! And the audiobook experience was breathtaking!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Devastating but beautifully written

I'm loath to say I "enjoyed" this book due to the subject matter, but it made for incredibly captivating listening. Moved me to tears a couple of times. It is beautifully written, however some of the intonation/emphasis used in the narration is a little odd. Overall this book made me want to know more and I will definitely look up other books by this author.

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Absolutely A must read/listen

This book and the way it is told brought these girls back to life. and helps me understand history so much better. Must listen. Gave me goosebumbs
made me Angry for what had happened to these girls.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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A overlooked part of history

This book is phenomenal. It is very informative, almost too graphic at times (while not being exploitative). This is an overlooked part of history which many people do not know about. I would give a warning to anyone who has a phobia about dentists/dental procedures/teeth that some bits of the book may trigger you.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Fascinating look into history

This was a beautiful journey into the history of radium and an in depth history into the horrible treatment and pain these women went through to provide a product that was so misunderstood.
It was really interesting following different women through the journeys. And heartbreaking to see the end result of such close work with them.

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Gab
  • 15-07-2020

Devestating but interesting

The story of the girls is heartbreaking and it great that its finally being told. the first part of the book was gripping but towards the end I found the there was too much speculating about the feelings of the girls that made the story go in circles and hard to read.
Not an entirely historical read, but you can tell the author is passionate and therefore makes a fine listen.

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