Sunday, October 16, 2011
My God, What Have We Done? by Susan Weiss
In My God, What Have We Done?, Susan Weiss alternates between the lives of Clifford and Pauline and the men at Los Alamos, contrasting their lives. The scientists are drawn together from all over the United States, chosen for their brilliance. They work together to build the ultimate weapon, able to make the project happen even though they had divergent backgrounds and agendas.
Weiss also follows the early marriage of Clifford and Pauline. They settle in Boston, where Clifford is a teacher. Pauline has worked as a homeless advocate until their marriage. She looks for a job, then discovers that she is pregnant. They have their first child, a son, and when he is old enough that she starts looking again, discovers that she is pregnant again, this time with a daughter. Pauline continues as a stay-at-home mom and soon falls victim to the loneliness and disconnect that this role can have.
This book is recommended for readers who enjoy stories outlining familial relationships and how they work or do not work. The men at Los Alamos came together with a grand purpose, fought through strife and loneliness to accomplish a purpose and created a weapon that, when it exploded, changed the world. Weiss shows the similarity to a marriage. Two divergent personalities come together for a grand purpose; that of making a new life and family. There are issues and differences to work through. The family either melds into a strong unit capable of taking on all stresses or explodes, throwing the members hither and yon. Readers will take away this analogy and be able to apply it to their own lives. This is a strong book with an inspiring message.