Glow

Featured
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
768   0
Write Review
Glow
Genre(s)
Age Range
12+
Release Date
September 01, 2017
ISBN
978-0807529638

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?

Editor reviews

1 reviews

Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0  (1)
Characters 
 
5.0  (1)
Writing Style 
 
5.0  (1)
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0

Must Read

'There's a certain kind of light that I should have been afraid of all along.'


Radium was discovered by Marie Sklodowska-Curie and her husband Pierre Curie on December 21, 1898. When radium decays it causes luminescence. With America's entry into WWI came a need for self-luminous aircraft switches and instrument dials.
Marie and Pierre Curie by André Castaigne
Soldiers involved in trench warfare were especially in need of watches that could be seen in complete darkness. The harmful effects of radium were not yet known. Factories that produced the luminescent dials were set up Orange, New Jersey, Ottawa, Illinois, and Waterbury, Connecticut. These factories employed young girls and women to paint the numbers and hands with radium. Enter the radium girls.
Watch hands painted with radium
The painters were instructed to point their paintbrushes between their lips to create finer details on the numbers and hands of the watches. Not surprisingly, soon many of the workers began experiencing sores, anemia, and bone cancer. Radium is treated as calcium by the body and is deposited in the bones. The dial painting companies tried to cover up the adverse effects of radium and insisted that their workers were suffering syphilis (let that sink in for a minute). The tragedy of the radium girls, impart, lead to the forming of the Occupational Disease Labor Law.





'Glow' is told in alternating past and present points of view. Glow's past point of view tells the story of Lydia Grayson and her two sisters, Charlotte, and Liza. Liza works in the Orange, New Jersey dial painting factory. Liza gets Lydia a job there when one of the other girls becomes ill (a bit of foreshadowing here). This POV is told through letters Lydia writes to her beau, Walter, who is an American soldier fighting in Europe during WWI.
Glow's present POV is told from the first person perspective of Julie. Julie is a high school senior who is hoping to go to art school. Her future becomes marred due to family issues. Julie becomes fascinated with paintings she finds in a thrift store. She is then pulled into the search for the artist and the paintings past.


I love historical fiction but I have found that just plain historical fiction can be a bit dry. I really enjoy historical-fiction novels that switch between past and present points of view. When this done well, the past and present POV weave together two seemingly unrelated storylines that come together seamlessly.


YA historical fiction is not a genre that is as popular as it should be. Young Adult historical fiction is often pushed to the side by the flashier fantasy and feel-good contemporary novels. There are so many pieces of history that can tell an engaging story.
I loved so much about 'Glow'. I loved the characters of Liza and Lydia. Both their stories and personalities really brought life to the novel. Their younger sister Charlotte's passion to become one of the dial painters, like her sisters, really illustrated why women would want to work in the dial factories at this time. My one and only complaint with 'Glow' is that I would have liked to know more about Liza, Lydia, and Charlotte's mother. She was mentioned a few times but not really part of the story. I found my self-wondering how she was feeling about everything.



At first, I wasn't sure how I felt about Lydia's POV being told through her letters to her beau Walter. As I read, I realized these snippets of her life lead to the build-up of finding out what happened to her and her family. Their story was definitely a tear-jerker.

Julie's story was equally compelling. Her difficulties with her family and her friend, Lauren, really shows how she was struggling to deal with her own issues. Her love of art and science gave her an escape and gave an explanation why she was so fascinated by the paintings she discovered. Luke as a character was wonderful. Luke had his own issues so he was able to understand Julie's family problems. He was funny and kind and his added knowledge of chemistry added realism to Julie's story. I liked the relationship that he formed with Julie. Julie and Luke's relationship progressed slowly as this type of relationship usually does.

I found 'Glow' completely fascinating. I had never heard about the radium girls before. The radium girl's story is so enthralling and tragic. I can't believe their plight isn't more well known. This is such an important part of history. I have since found out that a non-fiction account of the radium girls story has been published and I am anxious to find out how it compares to 'Glow.'

Was this review helpful to you? 

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.
Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

One Week of You
For Lizzy Winston, one week will change everything. Fifteen-year-old...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Legacy (The Biodome Chronicles #1)
She is from the past, locked inside a world...
 
4.0
 
4.6 (3)
Grenade
It's 1945, and the world is in the grip...
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
The Lines We Cross
Michael likes to hang out with his friends and...
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Uncharted
Seventeen-year-old Annabeth prefers the fantasy of her books and...
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
Dark Divide
Secrets have a way of coming out. Divided by...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Orphaned (Ape Quartet #4)
Before humans, and before human history, there were the...
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
Heirs of the Round Table: Reclaiming Camelot
Imagine discovering that your ancestors were part of King Arthur's...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Wicked Nix
A visually stunning, middle-grade classic in the making about Wicked...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Journey of the Pale Bear
A runaway boy befriends a polar bear that’s being transported...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Camp Valor (Camp Valor #1)
When Wyatt gets framed for a friend’s crime, he thinks...
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
The Attack of the Plants: A Branches Book (The Magic School Bus Rides Again)
Next stop...The Magic School Bus heads to the Galapagos to...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Robot Farm (The Magic School Bus Rides Again)
Wanda proudly hosts this year's school harvest feast, but she...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Aphra's Child
Tula is a chimera in a world where chimera are...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
One week on an Alaskan cruise, three teens, and an...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Homework Strike
Gregory K. has too much homework. ...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)

Latest Member Reviews

Wicked Nix
 
5.0
"Wicked Nix is the foulest of the fairies. He's also the protector of the forest and will keep people out..."
Journey of the Pale Bear
 
5.0
"JOURNEY OF THE PALE BEAR is an inspiring and heartwarming story about a bear and a boy who develop a..."
The Attack of the Plants: A Branches Book (The Magic School Bus Rides Again)
 
4.0
"When Ms. Frizzle gets a job as a professor, her sister takes over her class as the new teacher. Arnold..."
Robot Farm (The Magic School Bus Rides Again)
 
4.0
"Wanda is putting together the Fall Fun Feast, but she forgot about the food! When she starts looking into ideas,..."
Knock Knock
 
4.5
"'Knock Knock' by Tammi Sauer, illustrated by Guy Francis, is a cute picture book about a bear getting prepared for..."
Apex Predator (Horizon, Book 4)
 
4.0
" Both the members of the robotics team whose plane went down and the members of the Cub-Tones from the..."
Seeing Red (Whatever After #12)
 
4.0
"Abby is excited that her nana is coming to stay with her and Jonah while her parents are away, but..."
The Phantom Bandit (Geronimo Stilton #70)
 
4.0
"As fall approaches, Geronimo is busy working in his newspaper office when he starts to see strange things-- his co..."
The Bad Guys in Do-You-Think-He-Saurus?!: Special Edition (The Bad Guys #7)
 
4.0
"To recap the adventures of the Bad Guys so far: they were saving Earth from an alien invasion when their..."
Timmy Failure: It's the End When I Say It's the End (Timmy Failure #7)
 
4.5
"As Christmas approaches, Timmy is ready to give up his detective business, but he has one last mission: to help..."
Genius Ideas [Mostly] (Tom Gates #4)
 
4.0
"There are few things in Tom's life that are NOT made better by caramel wafer biscuits, and after he sees..."
G.I. Dogs: Sergeant Stubby, Hero Pup of World War I (G.I. Dogs #2)
 
4.0
"Stubby was adopted from the streets of Boston by Bob Conroy, who managed to sneak him on the ship his..."
All-of-a-Kind Family Hanukkah
 
4.0
"It's Hanukkah on New York's Lower East Side in 1912. Young Gertie, who is four, is very excited about all..."
Merci Suárez Changes Gears
 
4.0
"Merci lives next door to her grandparents, Abuela and Lolo, and her aunt and younger twin cousins. Her father has..."
Let Sleeping Dragons Lie (Have Sword, Will Travel #2)
 
4.0
"Sir Eleanor and Sir Odo are back with their respective talking swords. After the death of Sir Halfdan and the..."
So Done
 
4.0
"Bean and Tai are neighbors in a low-income housing project and have been friends for a very long time, but..."
The Mac Undercover (Mac B., Kid Spy #1)
 
5.0
"In this notebook novel, author Barnett explains to his readers what he did before he became a children's author. Because..."
The Darkdeep
 
4.0
"When bully Logan and his cronies send Nico's expensive, handmade drone into the bottomless waters of Still Cove, Nico tries..."
Field Tripped
 
4.0
"When the fifth graders of Liberty Falls Elementary School take there annual trip to Mink's Mystery Mansion, the children who..."
Mascot
 
4.0
"Noah Savino lives in the St. Louis neighborhood of the Hill, which is great, because he loves baseball. Well, he..."