The Girls of Atomic City: The Untold Story of the Women Who Helped Win World War II by Denise Kiernan

15801668

Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

“The Girls of Atomic City,” tells the story of Oak Ridge, TN, during the Manhattan Project in a way that is unique and gives insight until now hidden.  The author takes an intimate and personal approach to telling this amazing story in Oak Ridge (where 60% of the approximately $2 billion “Project” was spent) using the eyes (and memories) of some of the working ladies who actually did the real work of separating uranium (without knowing it), checking the leaks in pipes (not knowing where the pipes went), keeping the statistical data, doing the hard work of a janitor, a chemist (who got closest to the “product”) and secretaries who saw documents they could never discuss. This approach results in a more realistic telling of the day to day activities in Oak Ridge and the government sites of X-10, Y-12, K-25 and S-50.

The stories of these nine ladies Helen, Colleen, Celia, Toni, Jane, Kattie, Virginia, Dot and Rosemary, each unique, yet each holding much in common, is bound together by the authors wonderfully talented skill as a writer. She paints a composite picture of Oak Ridge and the Manhattan Project that will become a classic in the literature of this extraordinary historical accomplishment that has led to so many technological advances of the Nuclear Age.

This amazing world changing experiment was begun using many women from various backgrounds as workers. The interviews and detailed memories of the lives the author touched while researching this book have produced more than a mere book, she has created lasting relationships with the last of the living who actually experienced something many cannot imagine. They were personally involved in what has been labeled the most significant military industrial scientific breakthrough in the history of the world.

Remember, these nine represent literally thousands of other women who worked just as diligently, just as courageously, to help win that war.  Reading “The Girls of Atomic City” is a delightful and spellbinding tale that were it not true would be fiction of the highest order, but it is real…these women lived it.

The book is a must read…seriously!

The Accident Season by Moïra Fowley-Doyle

23346358

Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

So let’s raise our glasses to the accident season, To the river beneath us where we sink our souls, To the bruises and secrets, to the ghosts in the ceiling, One more drink for the watery road.”

The accident season has been part of seventeen-year-old Cara’s life for as long as she can remember. Towards the end of October, foreshadowed by the deaths of many relatives before them, Cara’s family becomes inexplicably accident-prone. They banish knives to locked drawers, cover sharp table edges with padding, switch off electrical items – but injuries follow wherever they go, and the accident season becomes an ever-growing obsession and fear.

But why are they so cursed? And how can they break free?

A blend of mystery, suspense and magical realism, The Accident Season blurred the lines between reality and fantasy. With an unreliable narrator and engaging prose, it has become confusing (in a good way) to know where the fantasy ends and the reality begins and that’s how I like it.

 

Annabel Lee (Coffey & Hill #1) by Mike Nappa

25795228

Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

On a farm fourteen miles east of Peachtree, Alabama, a secret is hidden–a secret named Annabel Lee. Her uncle’s last words before he hid her away: “Don’t open that door for anybody, you got it? Not even me.”

I will completely admit that the title first drew me to this book. I’ve always appreciated Edgar Allen Poe and with a reference like the title, I knew I was in for a good read.  While there are many elements that relate this book to the stories of Poe, this novel is not a fan fiction or anything like that. This story is full of mystery, suspense and many -many- twists in the story that will leave you wanting more.

The story is told from three points of view, with only Annabel’s being in first person. Annabel lives on a farm in Peachtree, Alabama. She is months away from her twelfth birthday, and has been home schooled by her uncle. When she is left in the bunker with the guard dog, she does not understand why. We experience this through her eyes.

Trudi Coffey has a degree in English lit but now works as a private investigator. Her part of the narrative is told in third person, and it is in her sections that we get to know Samuel Lee, her ex-husband (a descriptor that she generally follows up mentally with “the pig.”) and former business partner.

The third perspective is that of an Iraq veteran known as The Mute. Also told in third person, it is primarily in his sections that we learn more about Leonard Truckson’s past.

Each of the characters that are developed in the story are ones I wanted to know more about. Whether a good guy or bad guy, they are written so well I found myself wondering about them more and more. Even the dog that Truck leaves with Annabel Lee makes me wonder about his training and where he came from in the first place.

This was a GREAT book!  Highly recommend!