book beginnings on Friday: The Girls of Atomic City by Denise Kiernan

Thanks to Rose City Reader for hosting this meme. To participate, share the first line or two of the book you are currently reading and, if you feel so moved, let us know what your first impressions were based on that first line.


Friends, I am quite excited about this book. The subtitle reads: “the untold story of the women who helped win World War II,” and the blurbs indicate that this is the story of Oak Ridge, Tennessee, where much work on the Manhattan Project took place in a secret purpose-build city; and the stars are the female workers in particular. I will also say that the fact that this is a finely-bound, good-looking galley doesn’t hurt my first impressions, either.

Speaking of first impressions:

There have long been secrets buried deep in the southern Appalachians, covered in layers of shale and coal, lying beneath the ancient hills of the Cumberlands, and lurking in the shadow of the Smokies at the tail end of the mountainous spine that ripples down the East Coast. This land of the Cherokee gave way to treaties and settlers and land grants. Newcomers traversed the Cumberland Gap to establish small farms and big lives in a region where alternating ridges and valleys cradle newborn communities in the nooks and crannies of the earth. Isolated. Independent. Hidden.

That is a striking beginning, I’m sure you will agree. As soon as I read those lines I knew I wanted to share them here.

I hope you’re equally excited about your reading choice(s) this weekend!

This quotation comes from an uncorrected advance proof and is subject to change.

One Response

  1. […] know I just shared with you this book’s beginning, but that’s how good it is! Below you will find a quick picture of life in World War II. The […]

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