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#46: The Revenge of the Radioactive Lady - Elizabeth Stuckey-French (Review & Giveaway)

Synopsis & Book Info:
In this dark comedy wrapped inside a wacky family drama, a vengeful old lady is hell bent on murdering an even older man…who has lost his mind.
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 and 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 flare of a native Floridian, this is a lively, intricately plotted, laugh-out-loud funny, and surprisingly touching family drama that combines the wit of Carl Hiaasen with the southern charm of Jill McCorkle.

Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Doubleday
ISBN: 9780385510646
Purchase at Amazon

Author Bio:
Elizabeth Stuckey-French is the author of a novel, Mermaids on the Moon, a collection of short stories, The First Paper Girl in Red Oak, Iowa, and, with Janet Burroway, Writing Fiction: A Guide to the Narrative Craft. Her new novel, The Revenge of the Radioactive Lady, is forthcoming from Doubleday in spring 2011. Her short stories have appeared in The Normal School, Narrative Magazine, The Atlantic Monthly, Gettysburg Review, Southern Review, Five Points, and The O’Henry Prize Stories 2005. She was awarded a James Michener Fellowship and has won grants from the Howard Foundation, the Indiana Arts Foundation, and the Florida Arts Foundation. She teaches fiction writing at Florida State University.

Elizabeth Stuckey-French's Website


My Opinion:
I love this book with a capital L!
Ava is my kindred spirit, being the Elvis freak that she is, and I connected to her immediately.
The whole crazy family is awesome though, in their own way. And the Radioactive Lady herself, is as intriguing as they get.
I really appreciated this humorous approach to this family, and their lives. The way the author conveyed the story made it all the more interesting.
While I think she did a great job of finishing this story, if she continued into a series, that would be okay too. Any way, I look forward to more from this author.


Recommend? Oh YES!

~I received a copy from DoubleDay. I was not compensated for my opinion.~


Thanks to Liz and DoubleDay, I have 2 copies up for grabs!

Open to US only! Sorry guys!

Mandatory Entry:
(Answer this question in the comment section, along with your email.)
Have you ever met a wacky family?? What was so odd about them?

Additional Entries (Leave a separate comment for each):
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Contest Ends April 9, 8 pm est.


  1. O count me in. I love all things vintage and live in Tallahassee right now :)


    I'm a follower :)

  2. wheeee! waving arms wildly! i've been waiting for your take on this as it sounds hilarious and glad to hear it really was ;-D

    i haven't met any wacky families. but i must say i saw the most wackiest/awful family in a monty python sketch last night.
    watch it here for a laugh --

    vvb32 at

  3. My family is pretty wacky itself -- my husband's first memory of me is when I burst into a friend's room to tell her about how my mom's cousin was chasing her around town with a gun because my mom was with the man the cousin was meant to be with. :)

    situationswhereyoumayneedit at gmail dot com

  4. And I'm a GFC follower. :)
    situationswhereyoumayneedit at gmail dot com

  5. This sounds really good! Both my and my hubby's families are pretty wacky, everyone else seems normal compared to them.

  6. Network Blogs follower as Judy W.

  7. GFC follower!

  8. Email subscriber!

  9. FB follower as Judy W.

  10. FB post at

  11. I've never met a wacky family but I know plenty of imperfect ones ;-) aitmama {{at}} gmail {{tod}} com

  12. Follow on Networked Blogs as dina n. aitmama {{at}} gmail {{tod}} com


  14. I can't remember meeting a wacky family, but it sounds like it would be fun to :) *Thanks* for the giveaway!

  15. Publicly following Freda's Voice with Google Friend Connect [Cheryl F. {The Lucky Ladybug}]

  16. I can't say I have met any wacky families.

    lkish77123 at gmail dot com

  17. I don't really know any wacky families! But dumb puns and wacky humor are rampant in ours.
    mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

  18. -blog follower via GFC
    mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

  19. follower via Networked Blogs
    mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com


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