Radioactive: Marie & Pierre Curie: A Tale of Love and Fallout by Lauren Redniss

Marie and Pierre Curie, Lauren Redniss

I forget where I heard about this book, but I knew that I was keeping an eye out for it because it sounded good. And then lo and behold, I saw it on the library shelves last week! So of course I grabbed it up, and I’m glad I did.

Marie Curie was a famous scientist, known for her groundbreaking work on radioactivity and for discovering polonium and radium. This book is mainly a story of her life, including her marriage to Pierre Curie. (I know the book coverΒ says it’s a tale of love and fallout, making it seem like it’s about them as a couple, but it’s really more about her by the end.)

I didn’t know anything about Marie Curie before reading this book, but it was a pretty beautiful introduction. And I say beautiful because the book is artistically gorgeous, as well as the writing. I loved that the story was sprinkled with direct quotes from Marie and Pierre, I’m assuming from their journals. It was interesting and lovely and I read it in about an hour or so. I’m probably going to buy my own copy because I enjoyed it so much, but it’s also made me want to read a more extensive biography about the Curies someday. The attention to detail in this book is quite impressive – even the style of the fontΒ was selected because it wasΒ somehow related to Marie Curie.

And now, some pretty pictures from the book.




So cool, right? Throughout the story of the Curies, there are little stories here and there about scientific or historical events that occurred after their deaths, but that their work partly influenced. It was interesting, but I wish there had been a little less of the current event-type stuff and more details about their own lives. It was still really fascinating, and I’m glad I got the chance to read it!


Sarah Says: 4 stars




  1. This book looks awesome! I’ve just put a hold on it at my library … can’t wait to check it out. I don’t read a lot of non-fiction, but non-fiction told as a graphic novel? Sounds great. πŸ™‚

    Thanks for sharing!


  2. Marie Curie was amazing in how much she contributed to science. It’s such a shame that her work was responsible for her death. The book looks amazing. Those illustrations are so cool.


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