Windblown. Mercurial. Potrero—“dry tongue of land.” Buzz of enterprise. Los Alamos, the birthplace of the atomic bomb, comes alive in TaraShea Nesbit’s debut novel The Wives of Los Alamos. The fictional story depicts a Los Alamos that hums with secrets, slights and insights. Set in the early 1940s, the book is told from the perspective of the wives of nuclear scientists newly arrived in the northern New Mexico town. Nesbit draws from firsthand accounts and other research to tell the tale of these women and their involvement (or lack thereof) in Los Alamos social and laboratory life. The voices of men are absent, the purpose for arriving “out west” hazy, and the reader’s awareness transforms alongside the women who attempted the routine in precarious conditions.