The Half-Life of Marie Curie by Lauren Gunderson

Posted June 10, 2020 by Amber in Reviews / 0 Comments

The Half-Life of Marie Curie

The Half-Life of Marie Curie

by Lauren Gunderson

Publisher: Audible Studios on December 5, 2019
Genre: Historical Fiction, Plays
Target Age Group: Adult
Rating: ★★★★★

Check out this book on Goodreads

In 1912, scientist Marie Curie spent two months on the British seaside at the home of Hertha Ayrton, an accomplished mathematician, inventor, and suffragette. At the time, Curie was in the throes of a scandal in France over her affair with Paul Langevin, which threatened to overshadow the accomplishment of her second Nobel Prize.


How refreshing this play was. <3

One of my favorite things about audiobooks is that they feel like a radio play to me.  I loved those growing up.  But it’s such a treat when the book is an actual play.  With actors and sound effects.  It was very much not what I was expected from this Audible Original, particularly after my recent listen to A Mind of Her Own, another Marie Curie-centric Original.

In a mere hour and a half, The Half-Life of Marie Curie focuses on so many things.  Love.  Regret.  Passion.  Friendship.  Fear.  Depression.  Desperation.  Loss.  War.  Pride.  So many things.  Lauren Gunderson’s scriptwriting is so good – there are so many small, profound statements that lit my heart up.

I am very interested in Marie Curie – she was an incredible woman who contributed so much even though it was her contributions that killed her.  I thought The Half-Life of Marie Curie addressed so many aspects of her as a scientists and balanced it really well with her as a person.  It’s a play I think I would enjoy actually seeing, and it’s certainly woken me to Lauren Gunderson as a playwright.  In looking into her, I found that she recreated Peter Pan for the Shakespeare Theatre Company in such a way that brings both Wendy and Tiger Lily powerfully and respectfully to the spotlight, and I am here for that.

If you like plays and are interested in historical figures or womens’ contributions, 110% I recommend this quick little play.  I loved it.

Ratings Breakdown

Setting: ★★★★★
Plot: ★★★★★
Characters: ★★★★★
Writing: ★★★★★
Pacing: ★★★★★
Narrator: ★★★★★
Personal Enjoyment: ★★★★★


Are you familiar with the works and contributions of Marie Curie?  As a history buff, I tend to latch on to inspirational historic figures, and Marie’s courage and determination makes her one of these people for me. 🙂 Tell me about your favorite historical figures in the comments!

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