Graduating from Harvard at the height of World War II, brilliant mathematician Charlie Fish is assigned to the Manhattan Project. Once the atomic bombs strike Hiroshima and Nagasaki, feelings of culpability devastate him and his wife, Brenda, who attempt to make amends for the evil they feel responsible for bringing into the world.
Stephen P. Kiernan writes with heart and humor. Both Brenda and Charlie are flawed and interesting, dealing with the disruptions of young love and uncertain war. Kiernan manages to balance serious historical questions and ethical issues with lively characters, sharp dialogue, and marvelous historical detail ... a great read.
With Charlie’s narration being told through present-tense war time, and Brenda’s looking back through older and wiser eyes, this telling is an effective tool to merge both the urgency of the moment and the lessons learned from it ... neither a justification nor an apology. Rather it is an even-handed examination of the urgency of war against our own complicity in the violence we visit upon others ... carries within it a powerful story of hope without minimizing the weight of the effects of war. It is an honest, compelling tale of the human cost of war and the fight that occurs when war ends and redemption begins.
... this fascinating novel delves into the guilt and remorse that wracked him for his part in the development of the atomic bomb. The story moves slowly but steadily, highlighting daily life during World War II. The two main characters are complex and flawed, but when they come together, their world is in harmony ... General readers and those interested in the time period will enjoy this brutally honest novel by the author of The Baker's Secret.