Marie Curie and Her Daughters: The Private Lives of Science's First Family by Shelley Emling
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I picked up this book to gain another role model, but I finished the book with four new ones. Those new role models are Irene Curie, her husband Frederic Joliot, Eve Curie, and of course Marie Curie. In school, I learned that she was a dedicated and brilliant scientist who won a Nobel Prize. But this book made me realize that she was also a mother who nurtured her daughters' potential for success depite being a sickly widow. She was the ambitious founder of two radium institutions. And she was a patriot who invented X-ray to diagnose injured soldiers during World War II.
Her daughters and their spouses were also as incredible, and I'm glad this biography included their lives. It portrayed their lives in intimate detail, and you see the familial bonds that held them together, the courage they showed during the World Wars, and the humanitarian sentiments that have driven them to improve the world.
This book is a must read for any ambitious young woman, especially if she plans to be a mother. The relationship between Marie and Pierre, as well as Irene and Frederic are good models of a relationship that's supportive of ambitious women. In addition, Marie's attitudes towards child-rearing do show how a mother can both work and be supportive of her children.
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