My reading glasses were picked up at noon on Friday. I then placed a succession of books in front of myself and continued to read through very late Saturday evening. Sunday was spent in an adventure with the old (“everyday bifocal”) pair. I was told the new pair should definitely come this week and to pester on Thursday if I’ve not heard before. Well, it should help me get through the week (is it Thursday yet? … How about now?) As a result of being able to see text clearly and in focus it should surprise no one that there was some significant book completion happening this past week.
Today, however, I will only write up one in detail and slowly fill out the balance as time and writing energy permit. This book is special in that I consumed it Thursday evening before the new glasses came. It’s a young adult book and while not perfect in every single way, really caught me and wouldn’t let me go until I completed the last word.
Any book with a train or the prospect of a train journey within the first 10 pages has me at hello. Any book with a girl who moves to her own drummer and enjoys maths or sciences has me at hello. Any book with a girl who has a non-traditional-uber-happy family life has me at hello. That The Green Glass Sea accomplishes all of these things within the first five pages set me up to enjoy the journey.
Dewey, an eleven year old who was living with her grandmother while her father did something important and secret for the War, embarks on a journey not just to see her father, but to that she’s not alone or different in a bad way.
I enjoyed this book for several reasons. I enjoy reading about this time period and the Manhattan Project and have a soft spot for historical fiction.
First, it is an approachable book of the social side of the Manhattan Project. My (limited) reading has been on the other side and dealing with the decisions surrounding “the device”. Here we see a bit of the land of Los Alamos and what life was like when not in a lab. Second, Klages writes Dewey to be human and I can picture her and would love to invite her in for a mug of hot chocolate and talk about what she’s read in The Boy Mechanic. Third, is Mrs. Gordon. I wish she had mentored me when I was eleven.
The characters are lifelike. I love the name dropping and casual encounters. I’m quite embarrassed it took me a page or so to realize who exactly the young man who helped Dewey on the train, “Dick” was but when it clicked I smiled. The interactions between the children are real. And the story is nice.
I want to see a second book continuing on life after the encounter with The Green Glass Sea In doing research for this post, I learned that there is a sequel! White Sands, Red Menace is now available.
If you want to read more of Ms Klages‘s work, I highly recommend that you check out Portable Childhoods. I discovered her through the PodCastle podcast, they have at least two of her stories included in this collection of short stories in recent podcasts.
Proper reviews for all of these books are coming as soon as I write them up. This past week I also completed the following books: