Monday, April 11, 2011

Book Review: Revenge of the Radioactive Lady

The Revenge of the Radioactive Lady
Revenge of the Radioactive Lady
By Elizabeth Stuckey-French
Doubleday, 2011
English, 352 pgs


This lively, intricately plotted, laugh-out-loud funny, and surprisingly touching family drama combines the wit of Carl Hiaasen with the southern charm of Jill McCorkle.

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 stum­bling 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.

I really enjoyed this book. Sure, I don't promote revenge or murder, but geez, Marylou was funny! Once she finds Dr. Spriggs and realizes he really has no idea about who he used to be or what he used to do, she decides to destroy his family in his place. And oh boy, does she destroy them!

I like that the chapters shift perspective between the characters. This helped to understand what was going on way better than it would have if it all came from Marylou. You learn a lot more about motives and feelings.

There were parts of it that I really cringed and wish could have been done differently. I also don't understand why Asperger's is the "it" diagnosis all of a sudden. Seems like I'm seeing a lot of characters in books lately with it.

All in all, I enjoyed the book and have already passed it along to someone else to read.

I received a copy of the book in exchange for a review. No additional compensation has been received and I was not required to write a positive review.

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