The Green Glass Sea

By

In 1943, Dewey Kerrigan, nearly eleven, finds herself on a train headed toward New Mexico to join her father, a mathematician who has been working on what Dewey can describe only as “secret stuff.” Dewey is bound for a place called “the Hill” – Los Alamos – that is populated by scientists and mathematicians and their families, all working on a mysterious project known only as the gadget, one that everyone hopes will end the war.

The Green Glass Sea – the reason for the title becomes clear only in the last chapter – has many strands running through it. In part, it’s about the budding friendship between two outsiders: Dewey, who reads The Boy Mechanic and who is building her own radio, and her belligerent, artistic classmate, Suze Gordon. In part, it’s a tale of how Dewey copes with loss. In part, it’s a celebration of intelligence and nonconformity. In part, it’s a story of the World War II home front (the scene where Dewey hears of the death of FDR is particularly moving). And in part, it’s a story of how the adults of Los Alamos put in long hours and make sacrifices to create their gadget – with a success that exhilarates some and terrifies others.

Crisply and compassionately written, with period details (like Mrs. Gordon’s chain-smoking) that light up the story without overwhelming it, this is an excellent novel that adults might want to borrow from their children. I’m looking forward to the sequel.

Share this review

Now available to buy on Kindle

Award-winning novel of the Great War.

Details

Publisher

Published

Genre

Period

Century

Price
(US) $16.99
(CA) $22.50

ISBN
(US) 0670061344

Format
Hardback

Pages
324

Review

Appeared in

Reviewed by