Their average age was 25. They came from Berkeley, Cambridge, Paris, London, Chicago - and arrived in New Mexico ready for adventure, or at least resigned to it. But hope quickly turned to hardship as they were forced to adapt to a rugged military town where everything was a secret, including what their husbands were doing at the lab. They lived in barely finished houses with P. O. box addresses in a town wreathed with barbed wire, all for the benefit of a project that didn’t exist as far as the public knew. Though they were strangers, they joined together - adapting to a landscape as fierce as it was absorbing, full of the banalities of everyday life and the drama of scientific discovery. And while the bomb was being invented, babies were born, friendships were forged, children grew up, and Los Alamos gradually transformed from an abandoned school on a hill into a real community: one that was strained by the words they couldn’t say out loud, the letters they couldn’t send home, the freedom they didn’t have. But the end of the war would bring even bigger challenges to the people of Los Alamos, as the scientists and their families struggled with the burden of their contribution to the most destructive force in the history of mankind.
The Wives of Los Alamos is a novel that sheds light onto one of the strangest and most monumental research projects in modern history. It's a testament to a remarkable group of women who carved out a life for themselves, in spite of the chaos of the war and the shroud of intense secrecy.
Editors Select, February 2014 - There’s no doubt about it, TaraShea Nesbit’s debut is a strange one. But it’s also lyrical and lovely and appeals to my inner English major who gets giddy when a novel’s form matches its meaning so perfectly. Being so acclimated to books that delve into the minutiae of individual experience, the use of the first person plural narrative voice was a shock to my ear, though it wasn’t long before I realized what Nesbit was getting at here. Historical women make great fictional fodder (think The Paris Wife, The Women, The Chaperone, just to name a few) because often so little is known about them. But Nesbit take a different tactic. Instead of fleshing out one person from the mass of history she makes this about the common experience of the families who were present during the development of the atom bomb. Her approach allows for a series of vignettes that together encompass a sweeping sense of time and place, and sheds new light on one of the most defining collective experiences in human history. Emily, Audible Editor
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Unique POV Perfect For Telling This Story!
I've listened to over 1,500 audio books and this is one of the best books that I've heard that were written to be ideally presented as audio books. The unique format is perfect for the way this story is told.
The wives of the men creating the atom bomb. They each are part of the group-POV. With this story you get to feel what it was like to be a wife in that place in that time. You get to experience what it was like thru the eyes and ears of all the first wives who first came. This story has the best use of a Group-POV that I've ever experienced. I loved it.
The best scene is when the wives first find out what their husbands were doing all those years and how they were always trying to find out what was going on. These wives were truly an important part of the Greatest Generation.
There was no one character. There were the first group of wives taken as a whole. It is an amazing book to listen to. I think it will always be the most memorable audio book I'll ever hear.
Yes, by all means, listen to this book. I've read reviews of the written book where some readers found it hard to figure out the Group POV format. I can tell you with the great reader used to present this book, I knew for the first words what was going on with the Group POV and I was delighted. The author made this POV work and work as well as I think it can be done. This is a book best heard.