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The Revenge of the Radioactive Lady

by

The Revenge of the Radioactive Lady Cover

ISBN13: 9780385510646
ISBN10: 0385510640
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
All Product Details

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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.

Review:

"Glowing with dark humor, Stuckey-French's fabulously quirky second novel (after Mermaids on the Moon) spotlights a wild would-be killer: Marylou Ahearn, a 77-year-old retired teacher in Memphis, Tenn. She's obsessed with killing Dr. Wilson Spriggs, who gave pregnant Marylou a radioactive cocktail in 1953 during a secret government study. Helen, the daughter Marylou gave birth to, died in 1963 from cancer. Accompanied by her Welsh corgi, Buster, and as 'Nancy Archer' (the heroine of the 1958 movie Attack of the 50 Foot Woman), Marylou moves in 2006 to Tallahassee, Fla., where Wilson lives with his daughter, menopausal Caroline; her husband, Vic Witherspoon, who's contemplating an affair, and their children: 18-year-old Elvis-obsessed beauty Ava; 16-year-old science geek Otis, who's secretly building a nuclear breeder reactor; and overachieving, attention-deprived 13-year-old Suzi. As 'Radioactive Lady,' Nance creates mucho mischief for Wilson, but her revenge plans mutate after discovering the old doc has Alzheimer's, and dang it, she really likes his kinfolk. (Feb.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)

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About the Author

ELIZABETH STUCKEY-FRENCH is the author of the novel Mermaids on the Moon and the short story collection The First Paper Girl in Red Oak, Iowa. She lives in Tallahassee, Florida, where she teaches fiction writing at Florida State University.

elizabethstuckeyfrench.com

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

gaby317, March 27, 2011 (view all comments by gaby317)
Humorous, quirky, offbeat all describe the unusual characters that inhabit The Revenge of the Radioactive Lady by Elizabeth Stuckey-French.

There is seventy-seven-year-old Marylou Ahearn is determined to kill Dr. Wilson Spriggs to avenge his involvement in the medical experiment that cost her her only child Helen. Spriggs had fed pregnant women - Marylou included - radioactive cocktails in a scientific experiment that bore horrific results. When Marylou finally tracks Dr Spriggs down, she moves to his neighborhood and takes on a new identity and introduces herself.

She discovers that Dr. Spriggs has major memory loss - and doesn't seem to recall what he'd done. So, instead of murder, Marylou plans to disrupt his life through his family. She finds a way to meet his grandchildren. And falls for young Suzi - a sporty, outgoing and slightly tormented young girl. As Marylou gets to know Suzi and her sister Ava, she finds a closeness and friendship she hadn't expected. And her carefully laid plans go awry.

The Revenge of the Radioactive Lady has been compared to the movie Little Miss Sunshine because of the quirky, unusual characters and unexpected situations. Elizabeth Stuckey-French's novel is entertaining, engrossing and hard to forget.
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Gypsi, January 21, 2011 (view all comments by Gypsi)
(review based on reading ARC)
In the 1950's, Marylou Ahearn was the unwitting guinea pig in a radiation experiment that had a fatal outcome for her family. The project came to light during the Clinton Administration and now, at age 77, Marylou has decided to exact her revenge on the doctor in charge of the horrible project. She is, in fact, going to murder Dr. Wilson Spriggs.

It took her several years to finally track down Dr. Spriggs, but thanks to the miracle of the internet, she has found him living with his daughter and her family in Tallahassee, FL. So, to Tallahassee she goes, with murder on her mind, and cons her way into the very fabric of his family, with sometimes disastrous consequences and never with quite the results she imagined.

On the surface, The Revenge of the Radioactive Lady is a darkly humorous tale, but it goes much deeper than that. The author uses Marylou and her desire for revenge as a vehicle to explore the family of Dr. Spriggs--one which on the outside seems so perfectly typical, but on the inside, where none but the family can see. . . Well, it's really typical there too--full of miss-communication, heartbreak, love, adversity, disorder, and triumph, both small and earth-shatteringly large. In a word, they are EVERY family.

The novel itself is quite well written, with each chapter continuing on the story from the viewpoint of another character, either Marylou or a member of Dr. Spriggs' family. The characters are fresh, real and engaging. In Marylou, for example, Ms. Stuckey-French has created an appealing character, torn between her better nature and her desire for revenge. With Ava and Otis, as another example, she shows two different, yet similar, sides of Asperger's Syndrome with painful and amusing truthfulness. (As one intimately familiar with Asperger's Syndrome, I found her treatment refreshing: not sappy, not overly optimistic, just quite realistic.)

Overall, though it is touted as a "dark comedy" (and rightfully so), it is so much more than that. The Revenge of the Radioactive Lady is the tale of family triumph, and of how things never quite work out how we have them planned, and of how life is good--despite it all, life is good.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780385510646
Author:
Stuckey French, Elizabeth
Publisher:
Doubleday
Author:
Stuckey-French, Elizabeth
Subject:
General
Subject:
Domestic fiction
Subject:
Humorous fiction
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Humor : General
Publication Date:
20110208
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
352
Dimensions:
9.56 x 6.38 x 1.34 in 1.32 lb

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Humor » General
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

The Revenge of the Radioactive Lady Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$8.95 In Stock
Product details 352 pages Doubleday Books - English 9780385510646 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Glowing with dark humor, Stuckey-French's fabulously quirky second novel (after Mermaids on the Moon) spotlights a wild would-be killer: Marylou Ahearn, a 77-year-old retired teacher in Memphis, Tenn. She's obsessed with killing Dr. Wilson Spriggs, who gave pregnant Marylou a radioactive cocktail in 1953 during a secret government study. Helen, the daughter Marylou gave birth to, died in 1963 from cancer. Accompanied by her Welsh corgi, Buster, and as 'Nancy Archer' (the heroine of the 1958 movie Attack of the 50 Foot Woman), Marylou moves in 2006 to Tallahassee, Fla., where Wilson lives with his daughter, menopausal Caroline; her husband, Vic Witherspoon, who's contemplating an affair, and their children: 18-year-old Elvis-obsessed beauty Ava; 16-year-old science geek Otis, who's secretly building a nuclear breeder reactor; and overachieving, attention-deprived 13-year-old Suzi. As 'Radioactive Lady,' Nance creates mucho mischief for Wilson, but her revenge plans mutate after discovering the old doc has Alzheimer's, and dang it, she really likes his kinfolk. (Feb.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
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