by TaraShea Nesbit

Reviewer Rating:
4

Review

The Wives of Los Alamos is historical fiction about the women who accompany their husbands to Los Alamos during the height of nuclear-bomb production during World War II. The book is written without dialog and is told by the collective "we". Each paragraph is told according to more than one viewpoint, so we can see how different the wives truly were. For example, "We arrived newlyweds, or with a seven-year itch, or still great friends, or no longer in love but trying to keep it together for our children, or for ourselves. Some of us always expected disaster and kept the shades drawn low, some of us were quietly skeptical, although no one could tell, and we were nicknamed Polly. Some of us always made do and we quickly established knitting circles and book clubs." This narrative style allowed the author to absolutely cram the book with historical fact, without making it sound like a history textbook.

Each chapter tells of a different aspect of Los Alamos: the move there, the husbands, the housing, the winter, etc., but the chapters also follow a linear timeline, so we witness everything from the establishment of the town to the end of the war.

I know quite a bit about the history of Los Alamos, but this book was fresh and interesting.

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