WOW! Janet Beard, Author of “The Atomic City Girls” manages to write an intriguing and captivating novel. The Genres for this novel and Historical Fiction and Fiction. The timeline for this story is the 1940’s. The story revolves around the Manhattan Project in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. A town is set up with segregated homes, and amenities for the residents working in Oak Ridge. Everything is secretive, and the workers sign confidentiality agreements. Many of the workers are not aware that they are working together to create an atomic bomb. Young women monitor dials on a machine and have no idea why.
The author describes her characters as complex and complicated. Most of the workers come here to make money. My favorite character is June Walker, an 18-year-old working her first job. She works hard and seems to be very laid back and quiet and I love that she shows growth in her character. She rooms with a manipulative roommate, Cici, who enjoys going to dances . June meets Sam Cantor, a Jewish top scientist who knows exactly what is going on with the atom bomb. Many members of Sam’s family were killed in Germany. Other scientists at the top are aware and have different feelings about making this bomb, and yet they can’t discuss it.
I appreciate that the author weaves several stories within the novel, and several of the characters become involved in different ways. This is a time period in history that is hugely ignored and I was amazed to see what is happening, and how the “Atomic Age” started. I would highly recommend this novel to readers of Historical Fiction. I received an Advanced Reading Copy for my honest review.