A skillful recounting of the establishment and operation of Oak Ridge, Tennessee through the eyes of the girls (women) who worked there. The occasional interruption of the story by a companion story of the scientific working to create the atomic bomb was mildly irritating. I read an e-book before publication and there were significant errors of punctuation and numerous “lost” words. I assume these were corrected before publication.
I just bought the "real" book and would recommend that you get this and NOT the ebook. The pictures and other "extras" make a MUCH more enjoyable read. The thumbnail sketches of the "girls" helps keep the characters straight. The book bounces from girl to girl and topic to topic so the sketches are vital to an intelligent read of this book. Lots of information about a part of WWII history that is often overlooked.
The women’s stories were intimate and spared no sensibilities. I was surprised at the rampant racism – Blacks lived in “hutments” and were separated from their husbands and families while white women lived in single family houses with their husbands and families or in single sex dorms. Blacks and women were paid less than males doing the same jobs.
The strain of being separated from community and not knowing anything beyond the basics of job you did was significant. Letters both to and from parents were censored and contained so much “black out” that one parent told her daughter to not bother to write any more because her letters were simply gibberish.
Despite the restrictions what could be said even to other workers, love did find a way to bloom and recreational dances and other events were carried out. One creative woman found a way to use discarded materials to make biscuits and cornbread for workers longing for taste of home.