Thursday, October 19, 2017

Review: Glow by Megan E. Bryant

Title: Glow
Author: Megan E. Bryant
Format: Ebook
Publisher: Albert Whitman Company
Publish Date: September 1, 2017
Source: PR

What's the Story?:

From "When thrift-store aficionado Julie discovers a series of antique paintings with hidden glowing images that are only visible in the dark, she wants to learn more about the artist. In her search, she uncovers a century-old romance and the haunting true story of the Radium Girls, young women who used radioactive paint to make the world's first glow-in-the-dark products—and ultimately became radioactive themselves. As Julie’s obsession with the paintings mounts, truths about the Radium Girls—and her own complicated relationships—are revealed. But will she uncover the truth about the luminous paintings before putting herself and everyone she loves at risk?"

My Two Cents:

"Glow" is a dual timeline story about Julie, a young artist with a penchant for finding interesting things in thrift stores, and three sisters living during World War I who all get jobs painting dials of clocks for the troops overseas. This practice uses radium, which at the time was seen as actually having health benefits although we recognize it as being quite harmful these days.

There has been a crop of books that have come out over the past few years that have been about the infamous radium girls. In this book, the historical story of the sisters working in the factory takes a backseat to the modern story of Julie discovering the historical mystery. While we get to hear directly from Julie in a more forward fashion, the story of the radium girls in this book is told through letters and diary entries, which while interesting made the history feel further away. I wanted to know so much more about the sisters and what they thought about what they were going through in the factory and about the choices they made even when those choices could prove to be dangerous.

Although the focus on the modern day story does takes precedence over the historical story, there is still some really interesting historical facts. I just wanted more there. I wanted to get to know the historical characters better and wanted more detail about their lives and the difficulties they faced from working in the factory.

This book is geared for young adult readers and while mystery lovers will enjoy how Julie uncovers the secrets of the past, this book only gives you a tiny taste of the story of the radium girls but that taste is still good.



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