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The Atomic City Girls: A Novel

The Atomic City Girls: A Novel

Scritto da Janet Beard

Narrato da Xe Sands


The Atomic City Girls: A Novel

Scritto da Janet Beard

Narrato da Xe Sands

valutazioni:
3.5/5 (76 valutazioni)
Lunghezza:
8 ore
Editore:
Pubblicato:
Feb 6, 2018
ISBN:
9780062842398
Formato:
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Descrizione

In the bestselling tradition of Hidden Figures and The Wives of Los Alamos, comes this riveting novel of the everyday people who worked on the Manhattan Project during World War II.

"What you see here, what you hear here, what you do here, let it stay here."

In November 1944, eighteen-year-old June Walker boards an unmarked bus, destined for a city that doesn't officially exist. Oak Ridge, Tennessee has sprung up in a matter of months—a town of trailers and segregated houses, 24-hour cafeterias, and constant security checks. There, June joins hundreds of other young girls operating massive machines whose purpose is never explained. They know they are helping to win the war, but must ask no questions and reveal nothing to outsiders.

The girls spend their evenings socializing and flirting with soldiers, scientists, and workmen at dances and movies, bowling alleys and canteens. June longs to know more about their top-secret assignment and begins an affair with Sam Cantor, the young Jewish physicist from New York who oversees the lab where she works and understands the end goal only too well, while her beautiful roommate Cici is on her own mission: to find a wealthy husband and escape her sharecropper roots. Across town, African-American construction worker Joe Brewer knows nothing of the government's plans, only that his new job pays enough to make it worth leaving his family behind, at least for now. But a breach in security will intertwine his fate with June's search for answers.

When the bombing of Hiroshima brings the truth about Oak Ridge into devastating focus, June must confront her ideals about loyalty, patriotism, and war itself.

Editore:
Pubblicato:
Feb 6, 2018
ISBN:
9780062842398
Formato:
Audiolibro

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Informazioni sull'autore

Born and raised in East Tennessee, Janet Beard moved to New York to study screenwriting at NYU and went on to earn an MFA in creative writing from The New School. Janet lives in Columbus, Ohio, where she is teaching writing, raising a daughter, and working on a new novel.


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Recensioni dei lettori

  • (4/5)
    Started out slow but characters deepened as story went along
  • (4/5)
    Jennifer Egan's 2017 novel, Manhattan Beach, was set during WWII, and a big part of the story took place at a war factory, filled with women contributing to the war effort. The novel garnered great acclaim, deservedly so.Janet Beard's The Atomic City Girls will appeal to fans of Manhattan Beach as it tells the fictional account of men and women who worked at a real munitions factory in Oak Ridge, Tennesee. An entire city was created out of farmlands, and hundreds of people were brought there to work on a top-secret project- creating an atomic bomb.Very few workers knew what they were working on; only scientists like Dr. Sam Cantor, a physicist from California, knew the true extent of what was going on. Sam found himself attracted to a young farm girl, June, whose grandfather had his land taken by the government for this project. June and Sam dated, even though Sam was a good ten years older than June, and much more sophisticated in the way of the world. He was also an alcoholic, and had a temper.June's roommate Cici was a farm girl too, but she passed herself off as a society girl, from a good family, there just trying to help the war effort. What she really wanted was a rich husband from a prominent family, and she would do anything or hurt anyone to accomplish that goal.The most compelling character for me was Joe Brewer. Joe was a black sharecropper who left his loving wife and three children behind in Alabama to go to Tennesee to make enough money for his family. Through Joe, his young protegee Ralph, and the young activist Ralph falls in love with, we see a different side to this great society.The white workers have decent housing, and good food. June is impressed with the food, it's better than she had at home. The black workers lived in cold, damp huts, and they ate rice and beans for most meals.Buses would pick up the workers and bring them to the work compounds, but the black riders were frequently tossed off the buses to make room for white workers. White married families were able to live together in houses, black families were separated, men in one hut, women in the other. The black workers on construction crews built the homes, but they were not allowed to live in them.The Atomic City Girls (the title may be a misnomer, we get the male point of view here as well) is strongest when it shows the reader how the war effort worked in Oak Ridge. Workers were constantly reminded not to talk about their work with anyone, and not to write to their families about it. Letters home were read by government officials, and people were encouraged to turn in anyone who violated these policies.I liked learning about this project, and the photos from the Department of Energy that are interspersed throughout the book are fascinating. I was less interested in the love lives of the characters.People who enjoyed Hidden Figures will also find The Atomic City Girls interesting. I recommend it.
  • (2/5)
    I was excited to read this book set in Oak Ridge, TN about women working at a production site of the atomic bomb. This book turned out to be a disappointment. The story focuses on 2 women and primarily their leisure and dating lives at the site. The third main character was an African American man; I think the author wanted to tell us the different experience black workers had in TN but the title of the book is Atomic City GIRLS. I wondered why she didn't include perhaps a black female character. I learned very little about Oak Ridge, the planning that went into building the site, what was happening there, and specifically what the girls were doing besides turning dials. Instead I read about the relationships between the girls, mealtimes, and dances and parties that were held in the evenings. This book could have been set anywhere and that is what was so disappointing. The uninspired storyline and stilted dialog made me wish for this book to be finished.
  • (4/5)
    My family visited Oak Ridge, TN on one of our family vacations--probably in the 1970s or 1980s. At first, I thought the book might be more like "Hidden Figures", focusing on real people who worked at Oak Ridge and the fact that women were hired there during the war effort since so many men were away fighting, but this is more of a novel (fiction but with some historical facts). The novel focuses on several groups of people: people who came to work at Oak Ridge with little knowledge of what their jobs were working toward; people who came to work at Oak Ridge knowing that they were working toward something big; and support people like construction workers and janitors.June Walker is a Tennessee country girl who follows her older sister to the area after losing her soldier fiance in the war. Cecelia Roberts is a girl who taught herself to behave like the rich in order to land a well-to-do husband. At the start, neither really knows what the job they are trained to do is about.Joe Brewer is an African-American man from Alabama, who, along with his friend Ralph, came up from Alabama to take advantage of the better paying construction jobs Oak Ridge could offer. They live in a segregated part of Oak Ridge. Ralph meets Shirley Crawford who encourages him to get involved in efforts to improve the African-American conditions. Joe is more content to let things be. After construction slows, Joe is given a janitorial job and is able to find a position for his wife so that she and his family can move to the area. They are able to live together as a family thanks to the efforts of Shirley and Ralph and others like them.Dr. Sam Cantor is a physicist brought in to work on the project. He's one of the few who has an idea of what the plant is working toward. He's a very unhappy man at his core. He struggles with his Jewish family in Europe probably being killed because of their beliefs. He struggles with knowing that what he's helping to create will have horrific effects, including possibly killing innocent people. When he meets June, being with her seems to stave off some of his unhappiness and he enjoys being able to teach her about things like physics and science, but the effect doesn't last forever and soon he's back to drinking.I liked that the epilogue told us what happened to the characters after they left Oak Ridge. I'm glad June found someone to love her (and whom I hope she loved) and that she was able to surprise others with her love of and understanding of science at a time when the scientific world probably wasn't as popular with women. CeCe got what she wanted--she got to be part of high-society--though she didn't fool her mother-in-law one bit with her act. But she may have found that wanting is not the same as having. Ralph sacrificed himself for his beliefs. Joe and Moriah lived out their lives and raised their children. Sam discovered too late that he really had loved June. It was an interesting look into history and into how secretive the atomic bomb project was at the time. I did think it was odd that after all the secrecy, the President just announced it after the first bomb was dropped on Hiroshima--but it was a different time, perhaps a more trusting time. It just seemed odd to go from secrecy to being able to discuss many aspects all in a day's time. It made it doubly odd that June was dismissed for saying the word "bomb" and being overheard by others a day or so before it became known to the world.
  • (2/5)
    This was a interesting slice of WWII history. The story is about the plant and town that grew in the later days of WWII to work on separating uranium for the bombs later used in Japan. For many local farm families in Tennessee, it was a boon to their economy to have family members go work at the plant. Secrecy was a must, and I thought the historical parts about loose lips and what would happen if they even wrote something in a letter very interesting. June Walker follows her sister to Oak Ridge, but I thought it was strange they didn't have much interaction. June lives with roommates who do work similar to her new job, watching needles and dials in a big factory setting. One of her roommates, Cici, is there to find a husband among the many eligible Army men. A black man from Alabama provides the viewpoint from their side of the town, and the jobs that are available to them. Rounding out the main cast is a somewhat disillusioned professor from California. While I thought the bones of the story were very interesting, I didn't connect much with the characters because I had trouble believing that they would all interact so conveniently.
  • (4/5)
    Interesting historical fiction
  • (4/5)
    I enjoyed this. We see Oakridge Tennessee as they are working to extract the uranium needed for the Manhattan Project. Thousands of people are needed and we see how the all the different layers of this new city live together. The conditions they lived under, especially the African Americans, is remarkable.
  • (4/5)
    I really enjoyed this. It was a glimpse of a part of WWII that, although the subject of several recent books and movies, I knew very little about. The book was about much more than just the experiences of the girls in Oak Ridge. June and Cici were young women whose job was to monitor levels and dials on a machine they knew nothing about. Joe and Ralph were African Americans living in substandard conditions but making more money doing construction than they ever could farming in Alabama. Sam was a physicist, and one of the few who knew what was really going on. These are just a few of the thousands of people helping to create an atomic bomb and living in a city created solely for that purpose. What was amazing was the level of secrecy - most people there didn't know what was really going on there and how their small part fit into the big picture.
  • (4/5)
    I enjoyed this book. The setting reminded me of the Atomic Weight of Love as they were very similar- 1940's, World War II, scientific work on weapons. It's an easy read meaning it's easy to get caught up in the story for a few more chapters than you meant to. lol. For a impulse buy, I wasn't disappointed in it. Just wished I could have finished it sooner rather than taking half a year to do so (my life got very busy for a bit).
  • (3/5)
    THE ATOMIC CITY GIRLS is not for me, and that is why I give it only three stars. However, it is very good and deserves all the praise it has received for readers of young adult novels, be they teenagers or adults who enjoy that writing style.This is easy reading, which I did like when I was a teenager . And I also consider this to be a YA novel because most of the main character’s chapters deal with her love affair with a much older scientist and are predictable and so immature that even her period is discussed at one point. Frankly, periods are a bigger deal to teenage girls.Even so, THE ATOMIC CITY GIRLS is full of historical fiction. Readers get an overview of life in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, when that city was built to help create the atomic bomb, which, in turn, helped end World War II. But this book’s title, THE ATOMIC CITY GIRLS, is inaccurate. Yes, the main character, June, is an 18-year-old girl, and several other characters are girls. But a couple other main characters are male, and Janet Beard even devotes chapters to them.June’s scientist, Sam, is prominent in the book. Another main character is Joe, a black man working in construction and living in a “hutment” in an area separate from living quarters for white people. Although another girl, Cici, figures in the storyline, Sam and Joe give the lie to the book's title. And no character, male or female, is portrayed in depth. This is mostly a plot-driven YA story.
  • (2/5)
    The story was just ok, disappointing for me since I was expecting a historical fiction. This lacked true historical facts and was just a fictional story about a group of individuals. I was disappointed since I was expecting historical facts.
  • (3/5)
    During WWII, a small farming town in Tennessee was quietly demolished and a government facility popped up nearly overnight. The facility at Oak Ridge hired many young woman to spin dial and push levers, but none of the young women knew what they were working on, only that they received decent pay and housing. Among the young women were scientists, military and families all living and working under tight security and keeping secrets. Many people working there didn't know what they were working on or the consequences. One of the women working at Oak Ridge is eighteen year old June, a local girl whose grandfather once lived where Oak Ridge now sits. June and her roommate Cici quickly become acclimated to the strange life at Oak Ridge. Cici's goal while at Oak Ridge is simple to strip away her penniless background and emerge as a well-bred young woman who can catch the eye of an affluent man. June, on the other hand would like to move on from the death of her fiance, Ronnie and enjoy life again. June may find the answer in physicist, Dr. Samuel Cantor. However, as their relationship grows, Sam shares the secrets of what exactly everyone at Oak Ridge is working on and the mental toll of what they are doing begins to trouble Sam more and more.This is a fictionalized account of the historic town of Oak Ridge that captures a small piece of several employee's stories. The Atomic City Girls is a lighter story than the non-fiction The Girls of Atomic City; however, it is still just as important in the sense that it brings to light the important work that was done during the war by a variety of people. Throughout the book, we follow the stories of June, Cici, Samuel and Joe. So, I did find the title a little bit of a misnomer, although, all of their stories are important. One aspect that is very well highlighted are the stories of Ralph, Joe and Shirley, the African-American workers at Oak Ridge. While working, they were segregated and discriminated against and worked towards as well as gained some equal rights while at Oak Ridge. June's story was the most compelling to me as we learned about the tight security and how the young women were trained as well as the diverse social life offered at Oak Ridge. Sam's point of view offered a look at the mental struggle of the people who knew exactly what they were building and what it would accomplish. The story was accompanied by actual photos of Oak Ridge, which helped to beef up the historical aspects, however I do wish there was just a little more history in my historical fiction. This book was received in exchange for an honest review.
  • (4/5)
    I did have high hopes for this book. It is a story about the government-made city in Tennnesee that was tasked with working on the top secet atomic bomb during WWII. Because it was wartime, the majority of the workers that worked the machines were women. This story tells about their social, work and private lives during the two years or so that they worked in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. I found the book subject interesting, and the descriptions of their lives, social lives and personnel lives rather enjoyable while they lived and worked in this man-made city. What I was disappointed with was the writing skills of the author. I found the writing quite simplistic, and I didn't think the characters were developed fully enough. I did find though that Janet Beard did shed some illuminating light on this top-secret and disturbing piece of American history.
  • (4/5)
    I typically enjoy WWII books, so I was looking forward to reading this book. I did relate to June, the small town girl looking for adventure and love. Furthermore, I loved the pictures from the U.S. Department of Energy. The billboards were a terrific glimpse into the secrecy that blanketed Oak Ridge, Tennessee. This book was easy to read and very enjoyable. However, I would have liked to learn more about the actual work of women of Oak Ridge. How much did they really contribute to the Uranium-235? I would suggest that people also read The Bomb by Stephen Sheinkin for a contrasting view of what was happening with the U-235. Great book and I would recommend it to others. If you want non-fiction and facts, there are plenty of other books about this subject. Atomic City Girls is a novel and is thoroughly entertaining.
  • (4/5)
    *I received this book through a GoodReads Giveaway.*This novel chronicles the experiences of four fictional characters in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, during World War II. Oak Ridge was a city built nearly overnight to process uranium for the Manhattan Project. Only the scientists understand what they are working on, the rest of the workers and residents of Oak Ridge only know their work is important to the war effort and are subject to constant security checks. I really enjoyed reading about this town, how people made it home during the war, and how they lived under secrecy for so long. Fascinating reading and highly recommended for anyone interested in the WWII-era.
  • (3/5)
    I received this book from the LibraryThing Early Reviewers in exchange for an honest review.Unfortunately, I found this book to be very lacking. First off, its title is extremely misleading and is clearly trying to ride the coattails of Denise Kiernan's earlier nonfiction book covering the same events. Also, there are 4 perspectives and 2 are male--not great for a book allegedly about women. The two women are both heavily reliant on men--Cici is a gold-digger and June has little self-confidence throughout the book. The two women also hate each other through most of the book. I would have preferred a book showing their friendship or June gaining self-confidence through her own initiative. Sam could have been written out entirely in my opinion.I liked Joe and his storyline though the blurb made it sound like he was going to have a much bigger role. I also would have loved to see Shirley's perspective.Overall, I found this to be a totally average work of historical fiction. I didn't love it or hate it and I didn't find it particularly memorable.
  • (4/5)
    Oak Ridge, TN was created by the army during WII as a secret facility to aid in the development of the first atomic bomb. Young women came to work there with the promise of high wages, but they didn’t know what they were working on, and were not allowed to talk to anyone about their jobs. I enjoyed learning about the facility, but had a hard time engaging in the story. I just didn’t want to keep picking up the novel. The vintage pictures, however, were delightful. I’m so glad they were included.
  • (3/5)
    The Atomic City Girls is an exceptionally detailed historical fiction novel. It follows the lives of several fictitious individuals living in Oak Ridge working, unknowingly, on helping to create the Atomic bomb. The first half of the novel is pure imagery - setting the stage, portraying the lives of people living through the war and just trying to get by any way they can. I loved the included pictures of Oak Ridge, which really set the foundation for this historical novel. But, the characters were lacking an essential element - I simply did not like them. With the one exception of Joe, the only character who did not lie his way through the story, every other character was someone I would not have wanted to bump into on the street. The one redeeming quality was the very end of the book, as the characters begin to deal with the implications of what they have done, in participating in the creation of a bomb that killed so many people. They suddenly became real people, well-rounded, while up until this point they were very flat and unlikable. I really wanted to like this book, even if simply for the fact that it was depicting a little-known facet of American history, but in the end I was disappointed.
  • (4/5)
    In Janet Beard's The Atomic City Girls, we met June, who at age 18, is leaving home for the first time during WWII to work at Oak Ridge, a government run town that promises that the work they're doing is meant to end the war as soon as possible.During her stay, she meets Sam, a young scientist who slowly grows troubled about the weapon that he and his fellow researchers are developing. Over time, June and other residents, like her roommate Cici and segregated construction worker Joe, soon realize that the ultimate goal of Oak Ridge is to bring the atomic bomb to terrifying life.Historical photos are added into to give more of a sense of time and place to the story yet Beard's writing is more than vivid enough,making them that extra dollop of icing on top of a supremely crafted cake. For a fictional take on the real life men and women on this project, The Atomic City Girls are grand company to keep up with.
  • (3/5)
    The Atomic City Girls, Janet Beard, author.I thought I was actually going to be reading the non fiction book called “The Girls of Atomic City”, so my bad, since that one is non-fiction and this one is fiction. Still, I thought there would be more history in this novel. Instead, it seemed to morph into a good beach read that was basically about various romantic relationships.Four different kinds of characters were featured. One was June. She graduated from high school and went to work in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, where scientists were secretly experimenting with Uranium to develop a bomb to end World War II, and all wars, they hoped. Her family’s land had been confiscated for the project. She was a simple and naïve young woman who had been engaged to someone who died soon after he enlisted. She realized she did not truly love him.Another character was Cici. She was a mean liar and a phony who was like a chameleon. She took on the character and personality of those she wanted to surround herself with and did it well. She pretended to be someone other than who she was and was pretty unscrupulous about it, hurting those who stood in her way or threatened her. She pretended to be of the upper class. She wanted a rich husband, and she wanted to find him at Oak Ridge where men were plentiful.Then there was the young Jewish scientist, Dr. Sam Kanter. He was unconcerned about his appearance and was deeply concerned about the purpose of the project. He was consumed with his worries and was largely unable to relax and enjoy himself. He drank too much and was a bit arrogant, pompous and condescending.The fourth character was Joe, a black construction worker who was subservient in his behavior, by choice and necessity. He was content to be making more money than he ever had but disappointed and lonely because he was not allowed to have his wife and family with him. He missed them, but only white workers were allowed to have family housing. Joe wanted to remain neutral and not make waves, so he stayed out of trouble. As contented as Joe was, Sam was discontented. He was not happy with much at Oak Ridge and made sure to let everyone know. As naïve and kind as June was, Cici was the opposite. Both June and Joe had alter egos, it seems, in those characters, and the author used the contrast in her storyline.The author did a fine job of placing the reader into the time and place of the community of Oak Ridge. It felt authentic. Also, the racial conflicts of those times were definitely emphasized as the difference between the salary, lifestyles, food, accommodations, civil rights and social scenes were described and were alarming and unfair. They were all working to end the war, but some were far more equal than others and the racial divide was difficult to stomach. The characters seemed a bit like caricatures of real people. June was an uneducated hayseed who loved her family. She had undiscovered talent and absorbed information like a sponge. Cici was a femme fatale who could play any part she wished, even though she was without a pedigree and without a family she cared about. She was hiding her past from everyone and never seemed to recognize her own faults, but rather embraced them. Sam was self-centered, a know it all who thought he was better than everyone else. Perhaps his redeeming feature was that he seemed to be the only one with a conscience about the war’s ultimate carnage. I thought he would want revenge because his family was being wiped out by Hitler, but he seemed to place himself above it all. Joe was the only one who seemed content with his job and his family. He had so little, that what he was able to get at Oak Ridge was a boon for him. He was happy with the lifestyle he had achieved for himself and grateful for the money he was able to send back to his wife and kids to improve their lives.Some of the dialog was far fetched and overly dramatic. It was also a bit confusing at times, for me, since I thought it was odd that the Jewish character did not want to end the war, as much as everyone else, by any means possible. I guess I also wondered why the author chose Sam to be the malcontent. The hayseed, June, became a well educated character in later life and married a very educated man. The sneaky femme fatale found her rich husband and succeeded with all of her manipulative efforts and was satisfied with her life, even when it didn’t turn out exactly as planned. Joe was the only one who was not really able to move on and improve any part of his life. He had far less opportunity and choice. All of the characters, though, seemed to be a bit contrived to prove some point that escaped me.In the end, however, the writing style was simple and easy to follow. It was straight forward. The setting was authentic, the racial divide and lifestyles of the characters were contrasted well and the author tied up all the loose ends neatly, although it seemed to end a bit abruptly as the characters lives into the future were described in only a few pages.
  • (5/5)
    I absolutely loved the WWII setting of this story. And I learned so much about Atomic City and the atomic bomb. The characters were well rounded and entertaining! I received this ARC from William Morrow via librarything early reviewers program in exchange for an honest review.
  • (4/5)
    I knew about the Manhattan Project and the goings on in the desert of New Mexico. Or at least what was taught to us in school and what I later read about in books. Who knows what really went on? What went on in Oak Ridge, Tennessee? Clueless. I will note that I am not a real student of American history – I have always been far more interested in the times that happened much earlier than the founding of this country. That being written, there are the tales like this one that open my eyes to our history and make me want to learn more.The Atomic City Girls is a number of stories really; it’s a tale of patriotism, a tale of government overreach, a love story, and most of all a story of its time. I don’t suppose any of us living in the connected world we currently inhabit could begin to understand the fear and worry of the people living during World War II when news was not as available.There is the tale of June, a young woman from the area who goes to work in Oak Ridge not fully understanding initially what she is doing there but knowing that the money is better than any other job available. Joe is a Negro family man who came to the complex to better his situation but the black men could not bring their families and live together. And they are paid at half the rate of the white men – but he is still encouraged because he will be able to put money aside for the first time. Finally there is Cici, all class and breeding – or is she. She claims to be there because she wants to support her country but her motives are less than pure.There were a couple of additional side plots involving characters in the orbits of the three main story lines. Ms. Beard does a good job of weaving all of her ancillary characters but a few bits do get dropped leaving some unanswered questions. Some significant events happen off site as it were and are simply relayed in a couple of sentences which leaves the reader a bit deflated. The book also ended a bit rapidly for me – I would have liked a bit more of the post WWII life. Not chapters and chapters but maybe a few more pages.Overall though, I did enjoy the book despite these minor complaints. I found myself quite involved in the story – especially June’s. It has made me want to learn more about what went on in Oak Ridge.
  • (3/5)
    I found this book to be intriguing. The fact that women played such a important part in history and war is very intriguing. The pictures included throughout this book was a nice surprise. It helped to bring the story more to life as I was able to image life back then. The women that were featured in this book was good. The issue is that I couldn't connect with them. No matter how much I wanted to, except for maybe June. Yet, even than it was more like a casual acquaintance then a friend. This was sad as this story was an interesting one that should be told. However, without the right elements of intriguing and an emotional connection to the characters, the story falls flat. A nice effort.
  • (2/5)
    I was excited to see that this novel focused on the cities made specifically for developing the atomic bomb, but extremely disappointed in the execution. I would describe all of the characters as surface level, no depth at all. An incredibly predictable story line cements this as a 2/5. Not a 1 because I didn’t feel the need to give up on it. Bonus points because it’s a quick read, just unfortunately not one that I would recommend.
  • (3/5)
    A good read about how the atom bomb came to be and the people who worked on it in various capacities. Of course, a love story is involved . Incite into the prejudices of the time are in the forefront.
  • (4/5)
    imageWOW! 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.
  • (3/5)
    Loved the photos. Very interesting story. Characters not always great.
  • (3/5)
    I loved the idea of a fictional account of the creation of the atomic bomb. Atomic City Girls gives us just that a fictional account of the people working at Oak Ridge. It is filled with a cast of characters that gives us a home like feel . Atomic City Girls fictional account is so good you want to go and read more of the non fictional account of this time in our nations history. Thank you Ms .Beard for enlightening us to this period of time in our nations history.
  • (5/5)
    I loved this story, which was a fictional account of the lives of some of the people who lived and worked at Oak Ridge creating the atomic bomb (most unknowingly). The characters captured my imagination and were extremely relatable. I also loved all of the real pictures from the actual community. I found it fascinating how the community came together. It was growing extremely fast and most of the workers did not know what they were working on. It was also interesting learning about the security measures that had to be undertaken during this time. All of this was intertwined with some interesting characters and events. Reader received a complimentary copy from LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
  • (3/5)
    Scenarios of three people whose lives intersect in Oakridge, TN, during WW II, working for the government. Only Sam, the NY physicist knows the project and the impact it will have when completed and used. Historically it rated five stars. I found the writing to not be that engaging. But I would recommend it.