World War II has become a fascinating topic for me. A few years ago I felt like I had read enough about this time period, and now have changed completely, becoming more amazed at how the world was impacted by this war with each story I read.
The Girls of Atomic City: The Untold Story of the Women Who Helped Win World War II by Denise Kiernan is a non-fiction account of Oak Ridge, Tennessee, a community established to help build the atomic bomb. Few of the women and men who worked there knew the details of the job they were doing, and there was a definite air of secrecy surrounding the work they were doing.
Kiernan tells the story of several women who worked at Oak Ridge, from their life before Oak Ridge was even established, to what made them interested in working a job at Oak Ridge, and even concludes with what happened in their lives after World War II ended. Although men and women worked at Oak Ridge, it is the women that Kiernan focuses on, as more and more women were forced to enter the work force since many men were already serving their country.
Within The Girls of Atomic City there are many references to Los Alamos, New Mexico, the location where scientists worked on the atomic bomb. There are many similarities between these two locations, yet, I have read many things about Los Alamos, but had never heard of Oak Ridge, TN.
As we celebrate Memorial Day and the men and women who have served our country, The Girls of Atomic City is a book that touches on a little known location during WWII, where women - and men - found a way to serve their country.