Happily, The Atomic City Girls is also a good read. Beard manages to imbue this well-researched novel with warmth and charm. The book also feels personal rather than academic or dry, maybe owing partly to the fact that the author’s aunt work at Oak Park.
The plot sluggishly moves from November 1942 to 1945, just after the defeat of the Japanese ... The novel, does, however, find some urgency once the first bomb drops on Japan. After it hits, the characters get at least a scrap of the complexity they had been missing for the previous 300 pages ... Maybe her next work will have the urgency, maturity, and detail that The Atomic City Girls struggles to find.