In her impressive debut, The Wives of Los Alamos, TaraShea Nesbit delves into the minds of the women married to the creators of the atom bomb. Nesbit spent years researching oral histories, memoirs, and archival documents to craft this unsentimental yet deeply moving story.
Her choice to write in the collective (we) voice of the wives works surprisingly well. In less capable hands, this treatment could easily grow irritating, even gimmicky, especially if the novel were a doorstopper in weight. Wisely, Nesbit keeps the story taut with spare but powerful prose that brings these women and their unique circumstances to vivid life.
The book opens in 1943 when across the United States, in cities and college towns, scientists' wives many in their twenties and some from abroad learn they'll be moving to the Southwest, where their husbands will work on a war project (See '...
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