Friday, January 20, 2012

Book Review Friday - Radium Halos by Shelley Stout

This is reposting of my previous review of this book but it is worth mentioning again. Radium Halos is an excellent read. Shelley has added a study guide that is available for free here. Shelley will be my guest on March 28th, so stay tuned for more from Shelley.

Rating: 5 stars

Radium Halos is a very lightly written, full of humor and sadness and other aspects of life novel that has the potential to be a made-for-TV movie. The characters are really brought to life by Ms. Stout's descriptions and often humorous flashbacks of all the people who had passed through her main character's, Helen Waterman, life over the span of fifty years.

Helen worked at the Radium Dial Factory in Illinois one brief summer and only did that through her older sister's urging. The journey takes us from the early 1920s to the mid 1970s (although the latter date is not really known, it is elluded to through a description of Helen's niece's hairdo and that she is out of the times). The flashbacks are woven in quite nicely and don't really take away from the story at all. I felt like I was listening to my grandmother (in a sense) recollecting her time during certain periods of her life. I found myself cheering for Helen, crying with her, crying for her and hoping that just once she would stand up for herself and let it be known.

I really hope this novel does get made into a movie as it would be very eye opening to folks who know nothing of this time period. I had never heard of the radium dial factory info until I met the author at a writer's conference a couple of years ago. I'm sure in its heyday, the factories did get a lot of attention but there are folks who are still around today that possibly have some connection or other to these terrible conditions and should definitely be shown the dangers of radium and how it has affected or impacted the lives of those exposed to the harsh working conditions.

I have already recommended this book to several folks and will continue recommending and will keep my eyes open for the movie to come out - E :)

Product Details
Paperback: 226 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace (October 13, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1448696224
ISBN-13: 978-1448696222
Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.5 x 0.6 inches
Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces

Radium Halos is available for kindle for the low price of only 99 cents.


Susanne Drazic said...

Hi, Elysabeth. Thanks for sharing your review of this book. It sounds interesting.

elysabeth said...

Susanne, it kept me reading. At first I wasn't sure I'd enjoy the book because it is written from Helen's side of things and she is a bit mentally slow and so it is told from that side of things, but after the first couple of pages, I really got into it and couldn't stop reading.

It's only 99 cents on Kindle if you would like to get a copy. If you know any teachers who possibly could use it in their classes, I'm sure Shelley wouldn't mind you passing her information on. Thanks for stopping by. E :)