At 1:30 p.m. Aug. 16 at the Lake Geneva Public Library, Books by the Lake book discussion group will talk about “The Atomic City Girls” by Janet Beard.

The group meets in the library’s Smith meeting room. Registration is requested at the library’s reference desk, and copies of the book will be available on a first-come, first-served basis at the reference desk and may also be placed on hold in the library’s Share catalog. Coffee will be served, and the program is sponsored by the Lake Geneva Public Library.

“The Atomic City Girls” is an historical novel that covers the details of the Manhattan Project. In November 1944, 18-year-old June Walker boards an unmarked bus, destined for a city that doesn’t officially exist. Oak Ridge, Tenn., has sprung up in a matter of months. There, June joins hundreds of other young girls operating massive machines whose purpose is never explained. They know they are helping to win the war, but must ask no questions and reveal nothing to outsiders.

The girls spend their evenings socializing and flirting with soldiers, scientists and workmen at dances, movies, bowling alleys and canteens. June longs to know more about their top-secret assignment and begins an affair with Sam Cantor, the young Jewish physicist from New York who oversees the lab where she works. When the bombing of Hiroshima brings the truth about Oak Ridge into devastating focus, June must confront her ideals about loyalty, patriotism and war itself.

Everyone is welcome to attend the program at no charge. More information can be obtained by calling the library at 262-249-5299 or visiting the library’s Facebook page or website at


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