Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Review: The Revenge of the Radioactive Lady by Elizabeth Stuckey-French

Publishing Information:
Title – The Revenge of the Radioactive Lady
Author – Elizabeth Stuckey-French
Publisher – Doubleday
Date Published – Feb 2011
# of pages - 334

Genres & Themes:  Fiction, Contemporary, Humour (quirky), Medical issues (cancer, aspergers), Family, Revenge

GoodReads – 153 Ratings, 3.37 Average Rating – 47 Ratings, 4.0 Average Rating

My Rating: 4/5

Plot Summary:

Seventy-seven-year-old Marylou Ahearn is going to kill Dr. Wilson Spriggs come hell or high water. In 1953, he gave her a radioactive cocktail without her consent as part of a secret government study that had horrible consequences.

Marylou has been plotting her revenge for fifty years. When she accidentally discovers his whereabouts in Florida, her plans finally snap into action. She high tails it to hot and humid Tallahassee, moves in down the block from where a now senile Spriggs lives with his daughter’s family, and begins the tricky work of insinuating herself into their lives. But she has no idea what a nest of yellow jackets she is stum¬bling into.

Before the novel is through, someone will be kidnapped, an unlikely couple will get engaged, someone will nearly die from eating a pineapple upside-down cake laced with anti-freeze, and that’s not all . . .

Told from the varied perspectives of an incredible cast of endearing oddball characters and written with the flair of a native Floridian, this dark comedy does not disappoint.


* Heavy on the multiple points of view (at 7 different people)

What I thought:

What a crazy book. Elizabeth Stuckey-French has created a hodge-podge so rich that I barely know where to start. I’m having trouble even coming up with ways to explain what it’s about that the unread (ie. those who haven’t had the opportunity to read it yet) might understand fully. But I think it might be fitting to call this an “onion book”. There are layers upon layers upon layers and you just have keep reading until the very end to see how exactly everything fits together.

So here’s a taste of what you get when you read The Revenge of the Radioactive Lady:
There’s 7 different points of view.  Or is it 8? There were so many I may have lost count! There were people dealing with Asperger’s syndrome, issues of pedophile, a middle aged man contemplating an affair, a senile old man (or is he?), a kid playing around with radiation, a woman on the verge of a nervous breakdown, hurricanes, beaches, kids in love, photo shoots, secret government projects, aliases, churches and church groups, and to top it all off, a 77 year old woman who is determined to get closure by getting revenge.

I didn’t know this book would have multiple points of view before I started reading. I do happen to love multiple points of view but there were so many people while beginning that it was a bit overwhelming learning about a new person every time I started a new chapter. But as the seasons changed I got to know each character a little bit more and get a better feel on where Stuckey-French was going with this. And this is one of the reasons that I do adore books with multiple points of view. Because as readers we have no idea what all these different things have to do with one another but when done right the ending is usually one big convergence of brilliance. And it was. I was impressed by all the ways Elizabeth Stuckey-French handled all these different points of view but even more so I was impressed with the way she handled all the various issues the characters had to deal with in the story. The story is told very much in the style of Carl Hiaasen – with quirky characters and that weird sense of humour that actually makes you laugh at things that don’t always seem appriopriate to laugh at in real life. Because it’s just the way the characters are and the situations they find themselves in and you just have to laugh at the oddity of it all.

Overall a good solid book that I enjoyed very much. I will definitely be on the look out for more books like this from Elizabeth Stuckey-French in the future.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Recommended to: Fans of quirky characters and multiple points of view, those who like family-oriented stories, people interested in Aspergers

Where you can purchase this book: (Hardcover) - $16.95 
Amazon Kindle - $12.99
The Book Depository (Hardcover) - currently $16.08 plus free shipping

Add this book to your tbr list:
Visit the  The Revenge of the Radioactive Lady  Goodreads page.


  1. When I read the description of this book I didn't really get a feel for what was inside. Your review peaked my interest a bit. Thanks for writing it!

  2. Nice review, now Im very interested in reading this.


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