Publication Date: February 2011
By the time Marylou Ahearn finally moved into the little ranch house in Tallahassee, she’d spent countless hours trying to come up with the best way to kill Wilson Spriggs. The only firm decision she’d made, however was that proximity was crucial. You couldn’t kill someone if you lived in a different state. So she flew down from Memphis to Tallahassee and bought a house on the edge of Wilson’s neighborhood.
In her twenties and pregnant with her first child, Marylou Ahearn was unknowingly part of a government experiment to study the effects of radiation. Marylou was one of hundreds of pregnant women who were given radioactive cocktails and told that it was vitamins to keep them healthy. The effects of the cocktails were devastating. Fifty years later and Marylou is finally getting the chance to get revenge on Wilson Spriggs, the doctor in charge of the study. She moves to a different state and the same neighborhood as Spriggs, changes her name, and begins to wreck havoc on the life of Spriggs and his family.
It wasn’t until I was in the middle of the book that I found out that the government study that’s talked about is based on one that really happened in 1940s Tennessee. Hundreds of poor, white, pregnant women were lied to and misled about the cocktails were given. Doctors, nurses, and the government didn’t even think to consider the lives of these women and their unborn children.
The book may sound sad but it’s not. It’s amazing to me how the author was able to take such a serious situation that involves death and revenge and turn it into a hilarious story. Once Marylou moves to Tallahassee where Spriggs and his family are at, she learns that the doctor has Alzheimer’s and is slowly losing his memory. How can you get revenge on your enemy who probably doesn’t even remember what he’s done to you? Marylou decides to get her revenge through his family, a group of oddballs who are dealing with Asperger’s syndrome, menopause, workaholism, and a nuclear breeder reactor. Getting revenge on this family may be harder than she thought.
If you enjoy quirky stories, Southern novels, or just strong female characters, this is a book to pick up.