What a sad, somber, horrific and mesmerizing read. Teenage girls, some even younger, were told by their employers that radium could not hurt you. So, yes, dip that brush into the radium paint, put the brush in your mouth, get a tip and paint the dials. Paint carefully now, we don't want to waste the paint.
One company even did medical tests on their employees, but never allowed the girls to see the results. The executives saw the results, they knew what was going on and that their employees were being poisoned.
This was all happening around WWI. Years later when these women started having "problems" the radium companies refused to own up to anything. This book tells some of their stories. The good days when they were happy little girls and the bad days when their bodies were full of poison. Most of the women started having problems with their teeth. The radium would insert itself right into the bones of their mouths losing teeth and jaw bones. It affected others in their legs or backs.
This book is a true story and not for the faint of heart. It is also a great book in that the author lets you see these girls/women before and after. While they were sharing each other's misery and tears, I was right there with them doing the same. Well, the tears part anyway. I couldn't imagine the pain or misery.
Definitely one of the best books I've read this year.
Thanks to Sourcebooks for approving my request and to Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley for an honest, unbiased review.