Atomic Love Review
Updated: Sep 11, 2022
This ended up being much different than I expected. Not a bad thing, I was just hoping for a little bit more than what we got.
Chicago, 1950. Rosalind Porter has always defied expectations--in her work as a physicist on the Manhattan Project and in her passionate love affair with colleague Thomas Weaver. Five years after the end of both, her guilt over the bomb and her heartbreak over Weaver are intertwined. She desperately misses her work in the lab, yet has almost resigned herself to a more conventional life.
Then Weaver gets back in touch--and so does the FBI. Special Agent Charlie Szydlo wants Roz to spy on Weaver, whom the FBI suspects of passing nuclear secrets to Russia. Roz helped to develop these secrets and knows better than anyone the devastating power such knowledge holds. But can she spy on a man she still loves, despite her better instincts? At the same time, something about Charlie draws her in. He's a former prisoner of war haunted by his past, just as her past haunts her.
As Rosalind's feelings for each man deepen, so too does the danger she finds herself in. She will have to choose: the man who taught her how to love . . . or the man her love might save?
This ended up being much different than I expected. Not a bad thing, I was just hoping for a little bit more than what we got. That being said, I did enjoy this quite a bit. I loved having a strong female lead who pushed back against the society norms. But I didn’t love everything about our female lead, Rosalind.
I loved having a strong female lead who pushed back against the society norms.
In Atomic Love, we primarily follow female scientist Rosalind who was on the team for the Manhattan Project. Rosalind fell in love with a fellow scientist, Weaver who after the bombs were dropped breaks her heart and then destroys her career. 5 years later, Weaver attempts to contact Rosalind, at the same time an FBI agent Charlie pushes for Rosalind to start seeing Weaver again as they believe he’s been selling secrets to Russia. Conflicted Rosalind struggles to sell out her former lover while also realizing she’s starting to feel for the FBI agent Charlie.
As characters go, our two main characters were interesting to follow. As I mentioned, Rosalind was a strong female lead to follow throughout the story. Especially in the 1950s, most women are expected to be content being only housewives and mothers. Rosalind pushed back and became a scientist, against her sister’s wishes.
Speaking of her sister, Louisa, I really didn’t like her. I felt she took us away from the main story too much. Lousia would constantly insult Rosalind and throw “jokes” at her that were really just more insults about how Rosalind ruined her sister’s life. It was obvious Louisa was just jealous of her. For me, I thought Louisa was more of an unnecessary character who just created too much drama that was completely not needed.
Our other main character, Charlie was more of a favorite of mine. He was so easy to love. We got to learn his past and experiences during his time at war. I especially enjoyed getting to see how the bomb Rosalind helped create affected Charlie. I think Rosalind learning this helped her accept she did more than ruin lives. Charlie was such a caring man, even after everything he went through, he was so tender-hearted.
Charlie was more of a favorite of mine. He was so easy to love. We got to learn his past and experiences during his time at war.
As I mentioned I enjoyed this one, it was definitely a slow burn though. There just wasn’t a whole lot of events for the majority of the book. The first half was mainly getting to know our characters and their backgrounds. We didn’t see many interactions between them until we reached the second half of the story. Being more a slow burn, I don’t think this will be a book for everyone. Unless you’re really into Historical Fiction, I wouldn’t suggest picking this one up.
That being said, although I enjoyed it. I had expected more. When I first came across this book, the summary came across as being much more suspenseful. Especially with the idea of this being Spy Fiction, and obviously expecting to see some sexpionage, I assumed this would be a much raunchier story. It was the opposite. Everything about this was tame. I couldn’t help but be a little disappointed in that fact.
I assumed this would be a much raunchier story. It was the opposite. Everything about this was tame.
I will say, I was not a fan of the ending. Mainly for Charlie’s character, it made me love him way less. He became much less attractive. From the beginning, Charlie was this supportive character, especially about Rosalind and her career. After all the events that happened, Rosalind finally gets a chance to become a scientist again, a chance she didn’t think she’d ever get again. But when Charlie finds out, he starts acting so petty about it. From what we knew of him, he just didn’t act at all how I assumed her would have, should have. It was very upsetting.
Going back to the norms of 1950s, I enjoyed Rosalind pushing back, going to college and becoming a scientist. Even though she was on the Manhattan Project we were able to see her regret in taking part after the bombs were dropped. It was heartbreaking to see that her career had been destroyed pushing her back in a more “conventional” life of being a girl who just sold jewelry. Where her sister pushed her to marry. I liked seeing at the ended she got to get her career back.
Overall, this wasn’t what I expected but I did genuinely enjoy it. It was a great Historical Fiction to read and my first Spy Fiction. I definitely suggest giving this a shot if you’re a fan of Historical Fiction.