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The Wives of Los Alamos

los alamosOur May book club pick is The Wives of Los Alamos, by TaraShea Nesbit.

Told in the collective voices of the wives of the men who created the atom bomb, this is the bold and emotionally charged story of the women of Los Alamos.

Their average age was twenty-five. They came from Berkeley, Cambridge, Paris, London and Chicago – and arrived in New Mexico ready for adventure. But hope quickly turned to hardship in the desolate military town where everything was a secret; including what their husbands were doing at the lab.

They lived in barely finished houses with no addresses, in a town wreathed with barbed wire, all for the benefit of ‘the project’ whose existence eluded the greater world. They were constrained by the words they couldn’t say out loud, the letters they couldn’t send home, the freedom they didn’t have.

Though they were strangers, they joined together – babies were born, friendships were forged, children were raised. But then ‘the project’, was unleashed and even bigger challenges faced the women of Los Alamos, as they struggled with the burden of their contribution towards the most destructive force in mankind’s history – the atomic bomb.

‘Hypnotic and filled with elegiac details; Nesbit offers fascinating and disturbing insight into the secret life of the Los Alamos families’ Madeline Miller, author of The Song of Achilles

Author TaraShea Nesbit teaches creative writing and literature courses at the University of Denver and the University of Washington in Tacoma. A graduate of the MFA programme at Washington University in St. Louis, TaraShea is currently studying for a PhD in creative writing at the University of Denver, where she is a Presidential Fellow.

The Wives of Los Alamos is available online and from all good book sellers. If you receive one of our free copies don't forget to leave your comments and questions on the thread - we will be doing a Q&A with TaraShea towards the end of May.