This is a fascinating story, and it's truly disgusting and disheartening how these women were treated by men who valued their own profits and companieThis is a fascinating story, and it's truly disgusting and disheartening how these women were treated by men who valued their own profits and companies over human life. It's also extremely frustrating that radium regulation wasn't put into place until a rich, white man died from radium poisoning, despite women suffering and dying from it for over a decade by that point. These companies, and the people who own them and work for them, are truly deplorable, and I get more and more angry the more I think about them.
I appreciate so much that author Kate Moore gave voice to these women, and both their physical and mental struggles and their battles in court. For women who died too young, for no other reason than they were doing their jobs, she told their stories and immortalized them for all time. I kept flipping to look at their photos, to remember their stories, and to match faces with the many names.
My only complaint about this book is the attention to detail was so excessive that it moved very slowly for me. For a book I was invested in, it took me a remarkably long time to read - 12 days. I just wasn't motivated. Maybe I was too sad? Maybe I could sense how it was going to go? Who knows. In the end, I feel like the story could have been tightened up, and still maintain it's authenticity and truth....more
**spoiler alert** A story about life and death, race and privilege, family and home. This story benefited greatly from it's alternating narrators. If**spoiler alert** A story about life and death, race and privilege, family and home. This story benefited greatly from it's alternating narrators. If all we knew was Jojo's perspective, it would be easy to classify Leonie as just a selfish person and a terrible mother. As much as those things might be true, when the story is told from Leonie's perspective, we can see that she is much more complicated than that. The violent, senseless, and unvindicated loss of her brother Given as such a young age left a lasting hole in her life. Not only did she desperately miss her brother, but her parents were wrapped up in their own grief, and she was left on the outside, alone, until Michael came along.
This story is also about Jojo becoming a man, and awakening more and more to the reality of the world he lives in. As much as the world changes, it seems some things stay the same. His grandpa, River, was sent to prison just for being black and in the wrong place at the wrong time. Richie died because he was taken by an evil man and ended up black in the wrong place at the wrong time. Given was killed because he was black boy and was better at something than a white man. Jojo, as 13 year old, is handcuffed and thrown to the group for no reason other than he is black and a cop has decided his family is suspicious. Jojo also has to listen to the racist rants of his white grandpa.
The only good thing I saw Jojo's father, Michael, do is defend Leonie to his parents. I almost wish we could have had some chapters from Michael's perspective, because I honestly don't know what that man was thinking. Who even starts dating the sister of the boy his own cousin killed in cold blood? I can't tell if he ever loved his kids or if he just loved Leonie.
I'm still not quite sure what to make of the mystical elements of this book. What makes a spirit stay around instead of heading to it's final resting place? It seemed like Given was staying for his mom. Richie seemed to stay because he needed some sort of closure on how he died, but even when he knew, he didn't seem to be satisfied. That tree of ghosts at the end was certainly creepy, and just made me really sad. Also, what is it about Jojo's family that lets them see these spirits and communicate with them? His grandma seemed to imply that it came down through her family line, but what is the purpose of their powers? To help the spirits move on? It the end I guess we'll never know....more