The Wives of Los Alamos
I haven't had time to read as much as I would like lately but I was excited when the library called that they had this book in for me. It was excellent and I highly recommend it. I am surprised it is the author's first book. It took me awhile to get used to the writing style. It is written in first-person plural. A little strange, but because of the subject matter I decided, 3/4 of the way through the book, that actually it was brilliant. I don't think I have ever read a novel written in first-person plural before, and as I said, strange, but don't ditch it without finishing the book.
Having grown up in New Mexico, and born a decade after the war, I have always known about Los Alamos. If you are not familiar with it, Los Alamos is a town in northern New Mexico, not too far from Santa Fe. During WWII it was "the secret city" and no one knew what was going on there. It was not a "city" but a place created for scientists recruited for the Manhattan Project, creators of the atomic bomb. The bombs eventually dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. To say that it was blanketed with secrecy is quite an understatement.
Wives of Los Alamos is the story of the families that came to live there for three years. I can not even imagine. The average age of the wives was 25 and they came from everywhere but this part of the world. They knew no one, except for their husbands, who could not tell them anything about their work. Their names were changed, their parents could not visit, they had no phones, mail was censored, they could not own a camera, they could not leave unless it was for a close family member's funeral, so tight was the secrecy. This is their story.