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The Woman with Two Shadows

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For fans of Atomic City Girls and The Secrets We Kept, a fascinating debut historical novel of one of the most closely held secrets of World War II and a woman caught up in it when she follows her missing sister to the mysterious city of Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Lillian Kaufman hasn't heard from her twin sister since Eleanor left for a mysterious job at an Army base somewhere For fans of Atomic City Girls and The Secrets We Kept, a fascinating debut historical novel of one of the most closely held secrets of World War II and a woman caught up in it when she follows her missing sister to the mysterious city of Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Lillian Kaufman hasn't heard from her twin sister since Eleanor left for a mysterious job at an Army base somewhere in Tennessee. When she learns, on an unexpected phone call, that Eleanor is missing, Lillian takes a train from New York down to Oak Ridge to clear up the matter. It turns out that the only way into Oak Ridge is to assume Eleanor's identity, which Lillian plans to do swiftly and perfectly. But Eleanor has vanished without a trace—and she's not the only one. And how do you find someone in a town so dangerous it doesn't officially exist, when technically you don't exist either? Lillian is thrust into the epicenter of the gravest scientific undertaking of all time, with no idea who she can trust. And the more she pretends to be Eleanor, the more she loses her grip on herself.


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For fans of Atomic City Girls and The Secrets We Kept, a fascinating debut historical novel of one of the most closely held secrets of World War II and a woman caught up in it when she follows her missing sister to the mysterious city of Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Lillian Kaufman hasn't heard from her twin sister since Eleanor left for a mysterious job at an Army base somewhere For fans of Atomic City Girls and The Secrets We Kept, a fascinating debut historical novel of one of the most closely held secrets of World War II and a woman caught up in it when she follows her missing sister to the mysterious city of Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Lillian Kaufman hasn't heard from her twin sister since Eleanor left for a mysterious job at an Army base somewhere in Tennessee. When she learns, on an unexpected phone call, that Eleanor is missing, Lillian takes a train from New York down to Oak Ridge to clear up the matter. It turns out that the only way into Oak Ridge is to assume Eleanor's identity, which Lillian plans to do swiftly and perfectly. But Eleanor has vanished without a trace—and she's not the only one. And how do you find someone in a town so dangerous it doesn't officially exist, when technically you don't exist either? Lillian is thrust into the epicenter of the gravest scientific undertaking of all time, with no idea who she can trust. And the more she pretends to be Eleanor, the more she loses her grip on herself.

30 review for The Woman with Two Shadows

  1. 5 out of 5

    Karren Sandercock

    Lillian Kaufman hasn’t heard from her twin sister Eleanor since she left for her new job at an army base in Tennessee, and she can’t understand why her sister who wants to be an actress is working there? She receives a phone call, Eleanor is missing and the whole situation is rather odd and she decides to visit Oak Ridge. When she arrives in Knoxville, she boards the company bus and pretends to be Eleanor. Lillian is smart, it shouldn’t be too hard to quickly find her sister and return to New Yo Lillian Kaufman hasn’t heard from her twin sister Eleanor since she left for her new job at an army base in Tennessee, and she can’t understand why her sister who wants to be an actress is working there? She receives a phone call, Eleanor is missing and the whole situation is rather odd and she decides to visit Oak Ridge. When she arrives in Knoxville, she boards the company bus and pretends to be Eleanor. Lillian is smart, it shouldn’t be too hard to quickly find her sister and return to New York to continue her studies. Her roommate thinks Lillian is Eleanor, she doesn't question where she's been, and it looks like all her belongings are still present. Eleanor has vanished into thin air, how a person disappear in such a place, surrounded by barbed wire and with high security. Eleanor isn’t the only person to go missing, a cleaner called Betty, her boyfriend went to bases hospital, he’s gone without leaving a trace, and Lillian is determined to solve the mystery of both disappearances. Where Eleanor works is a large white building, Lillian can’t understand why so many women are sitting on chairs and turning nobs and dials on machines twenty four hours a day? She has no idea they're generating fissile uranium and plutonium to create the atomic bomb and the hospital is using radioactive substances on people. Lillian is drawn into the most secretive scientific undertaking of it’s time, she has no idea who she can trust, and two men Eleanor has had romantic relationships with are both working at Oak Ridge! Mr. Max Medelson and a Dr. Andrew Ennis and could either one of them have something do to with Eleanor’s disappearance? I received a copy of The Woman with Two Shadows by Sarah James from Edelweiss and Sourcebooks in exchange for an honest review. The story certainly had a lot of potential, with the mystery around what was happening at Oak Ridge, such a large facility and how it was kept a secret from everyone. My main issue was with the relationship between the sisters, I couldn’t understand Lillian’s attitude towards Eleanor, she seemed rather selfish to me, and I wish the authors debut novel focused more on the secret work they were doing at Oak Ridge, and four stars from me.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Kylie H

    The book is based on an interesting premise of being set in a secret military facility during WWII and having twins of whom one impersonates the other. Unfortunately, I just didn't find the story engaging nor the characters likeable. Lillian is a physics student, who looks after her widowed mother. Eleanor is her identical twin, but who unlike Lillian is very much sociable and into theatre and drama. When Lillian gets a call from Eleanor's boyfriend Max to say she has disappeared while working at The book is based on an interesting premise of being set in a secret military facility during WWII and having twins of whom one impersonates the other. Unfortunately, I just didn't find the story engaging nor the characters likeable. Lillian is a physics student, who looks after her widowed mother. Eleanor is her identical twin, but who unlike Lillian is very much sociable and into theatre and drama. When Lillian gets a call from Eleanor's boyfriend Max to say she has disappeared while working at a military facility, Lillian feels obliged to head there and find out more. When she arrives she is mistaken for Eleanor and decides to play along. I can see that others have really enjoyed this book, and I have to say it is well written and researched. For me, it was just missing something and while I cannot personally recommend it, don't let me deter anyone else who may be interested in reading it. Thank you SourceBooks Landmark and Netgalley for the opportunity to review this digital ARC.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Gwen

    Why did you do me like that with that ending 🥺. First off this advanced copy has whiter pages than a kindle and is soft as butter. I just wanted to hold it and that was before I started reading it! A wonderful story I devoured in a day! A fun intriguing read! I haven’t spoken to my sister in more than monosyllables for more than ten years. I might call her, maybe later.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Morgan

    This book is based on a real place Oak Ridge, Tennessee established in 1942 by the government as a secret location (specifically the Clinton Engineering Works) to carry out top secret experiments. NYC twins Lillian and Eleanor are identical only in looks, their personalities are as different as two people can be. Lillian is the brainy one and Eleanor is the artsy one (…Lillian wanted to solve equations and Eleanor wanted to brush her eyebrows. - Pg.247). It is Eleanor who goes off to Oak Ridge fol This book is based on a real place Oak Ridge, Tennessee established in 1942 by the government as a secret location (specifically the Clinton Engineering Works) to carry out top secret experiments. NYC twins Lillian and Eleanor are identical only in looks, their personalities are as different as two people can be. Lillian is the brainy one and Eleanor is the artsy one (…Lillian wanted to solve equations and Eleanor wanted to brush her eyebrows. - Pg.247). It is Eleanor who goes off to Oak Ridge following her boyfriend who volunteers when the government calls. Shortly thereafter the boyfriend calls and informs Lillian that Eleanor is missing and Lillian goes to find her. When she arrives she is mistaken for Eleanor and immediately fits right in with girls Eleanor has been living with for months. She even manages to take on Eleanor’s job without anyone noticing that she has no idea what the hell she is doing. Page 90 – June 1945 – Lillian has just arrived: first paragraph “…she’d have to tiptoe to avoid waking the roommate whose name she still didn’t know.” Second paragraph: “…afraid Emmy would see her…” Then we have a threesome romance involving spurned lovers. To call this a novel of WWII is TOTALLY misleading. The premise of this book is so preposterous as to make it a comedy. I read to the end only to find out what happened to Eleanor. Two stars is generous and only because I read to the end.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    First let me thank Netgalley for the advanced copy of this book in exchange for me honest review. I was happy to read this book, and I am happy to provide my honest review. I knew nothing going into this book about the camp in Tennessee and its association with the Manhattan Project. So right off the bat this book had an interesting premise, hence my interest. What I enjoyed: finding out more about the inner workings of the Manhattan project, and realizing just how large in scope the project was First let me thank Netgalley for the advanced copy of this book in exchange for me honest review. I was happy to read this book, and I am happy to provide my honest review. I knew nothing going into this book about the camp in Tennessee and its association with the Manhattan Project. So right off the bat this book had an interesting premise, hence my interest. What I enjoyed: finding out more about the inner workings of the Manhattan project, and realizing just how large in scope the project was. I found it interesting that they were conducting experiments on people with radioactive materials, and that they were doing this well past the time of Germany's surrender. The perspective of the scientists on this project, who sought to push the technology in spite of the obvious moral dilemma a weapon of that magnitude posed is compelling. How do we not see these scientists as mad men? I was disappointed in the lack of exploration into the medical experimentation, frankly that was such an interesting component to this story, its what held my attention, but Lillian's trip into the hospital and their learning what happened to Betty's boyfriend, was so short and abrupt that there was really no conclusion. It was like, this happened, it horrible, but that's it, time to move on to the love story. Lillian is not a likable character. I think the author tried to make her complex, the dichotomy of the twins was certainly interesting. But Lillian herself was not at all likable. And the love story between her and Ennis, is sort of a strange addition. The character of Ennis himself, was probably my favorite. He was complex, he had secrets, he was the madman scientists pushing the envelope beyond what is deemed moral. I don't know, I felt like this story didn't go in the direction I thought it would, and therefore the story wasn't quite as compelling as I had hoped. The writing itself was good, it certainly kept my attention. I would have enjoyed more exploration into the human experimentation and the results of the testing of the bombs. And of course an afterward where the characters are force to come to some sort of grip with their role in the morality of creating the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki? did they feel remorse for that? Was the tragedy of the story merely a casualty in the name of progress and intellectual superiority?

  6. 4 out of 5

    Julia Kelly

    THE WOMAN WITH TWO SHADOWS is a twisting, atmospheric page-turner. Sarah James’s debut, which is set against a part of America’s World War II history long shrouded in secret, feels fresh and new, filled with complex characters and plenty of intrigue. You won’t be able to put this one down!

  7. 4 out of 5

    =^.^= Janet =^.^=

    Publication date: July 26, 2022 Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read and review an advanced reader's copy of this book. This in no way affects my review, all opinions are my own and may be affected by the fact that it is snowy, windy and icy outside and we are in lockdown version 5.0, and I have nothing better to do than read three or more books a day??. Synopsis: ******** For fans of ATOMIC CITY GIRLS and THE SECRETS WE KEPT, a fascinating debut historical novel of o Publication date: July 26, 2022 Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read and review an advanced reader's copy of this book. This in no way affects my review, all opinions are my own and may be affected by the fact that it is snowy, windy and icy outside and we are in lockdown version 5.0, and I have nothing better to do than read three or more books a day??. Synopsis: ******** For fans of ATOMIC CITY GIRLS and THE SECRETS WE KEPT, a fascinating debut historical novel of one of the most closely held secrets of World War II and a woman caught up in it when she follows her missing sister to the mysterious city of Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Lillian Kaufman hasn't heard from her twin sister since Eleanor left for a mysterious job at an Army base somewhere in Tennessee. When she learns, on an unexpected phone call, that Eleanor is missing, Lillian takes a train from New York down to Oak Ridge to clear up the matter. It turns out that the only way into Oak Ridge is to assume Eleanor's identity, which Lillian plans to do swiftly and perfectly. But Eleanor has vanished without a trace—and she's not the only one. And how do you find someone in a town so dangerous it doesn't officially exist when technically you don't exist either? Lillian is thrust into the epicentre of the gravest scientific undertaking of all time, with no idea who she can trust. And the more she pretends to be Eleanor, the more she loses her grip on herself. This was a well-written book but I got confused at keeping Lillian and Eleanor and their stories apart and separate but I am sure that is just my ADHD. It is a great historical fiction read that will be enjoyed by patrons, family, friends and book clubs as it melds history, fiction, danger, desperation and mystery in one single book. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

  8. 4 out of 5

    theliterateleprechaun

    “We built something terrible. We’ve made the world terrible. How can you not see that? How can you not feel the weight of that inside you?” This is an ABSOLUTELY FASCINATING debut historical novel about one of the most closely held secrets of WW2 and a woman caught up in it when she follows her missing sister to the mysterious city of Oak Ridge, Tennessee. If you are a STEM teacher or simply interested in learning more about the Manhattan Project, this book will most definitely appeal to you. Like “We built something terrible. We’ve made the world terrible. How can you not see that? How can you not feel the weight of that inside you?” This is an ABSOLUTELY FASCINATING debut historical novel about one of the most closely held secrets of WW2 and a woman caught up in it when she follows her missing sister to the mysterious city of Oak Ridge, Tennessee. If you are a STEM teacher or simply interested in learning more about the Manhattan Project, this book will most definitely appeal to you. Like the author, I found it surprising that a group of the smartest Americans in 1943-1945, ones who daily question everything and rely on evidence, could so easily press pause and ‘stop thinking’ when it suited them. Here was a town of several thousand people doing various seemingly menial, but extremely necessary jobs, day in and day out without knowing how they were helping the war effort. How could they live like that?! Wouldn’t you want to know?! Only a handful could be trusted with the secret of the atom bomb and were threatened if they ever talked about their job to outsiders! Oak Ridge, TN was a secret city. It wasn’t on a map, its existence was never acknowledged by the government during the war, and almost none of the residents know that they were working on a new type of bomb, only some kind of war effort. I’m curious to find out how the knowledge of what they had been doing affected them after Hiroshima. Since learning about the Manhatten Project, I’ve questioned how history would have been different had the scientists and calutron girls working on the fusion reactions known what they were developing. If you enjoy mysteries, cover-ups, missing people, and conspiracy theories, this is a good read! I loved the name-dropping of famous mathematicians and scientists and appreciated the fabulous lessons the author presented in furthering our knowledge in this field. Congratulations to the author for a great title and to the graphic design team for a fabulous cover. I’m still thinking about Lillian putting on Eleanor’s boots and the realization that occurred! Somewhat forgotten after the war, the calutron girls’ stories are making a comeback. Now I’m excited to read Kiernan’s “The Girls of Atomic City” and Beard’s “The Atomic City Girls.” This advance copy was gifted to me by Sarah James, SOURCEBOOKS Landmark, and NetGalley and was under no obligation to provide a review.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Erica

    I just find this book as meh at best, and infuriating at worst. I, personally, cannot relate to this main character. Lillian is definitely neurodivergent, but her ND presents as calculating, single-minded, strategic, and cold. This isn't necessarily bad, but it does make her selfish, and I cannot relate to this. My neurodivergency is near opposite to Lillian's, and I cannot image betraying my sister, let alone my twin in the way Lillian did in this book. I didn't really find the story that belie I just find this book as meh at best, and infuriating at worst. I, personally, cannot relate to this main character. Lillian is definitely neurodivergent, but her ND presents as calculating, single-minded, strategic, and cold. This isn't necessarily bad, but it does make her selfish, and I cannot relate to this. My neurodivergency is near opposite to Lillian's, and I cannot image betraying my sister, let alone my twin in the way Lillian did in this book. I didn't really find the story that believable, either, especially Lillian's interest in a man who abused her sister. Maybe this story is accurate to events in WWII, but reading this book did not give me confidence that this is how events played out. I'm sure that there will be readers who enjoy this story and can even relate to Lillian, but I am not one of them. Hopefully, our patrons who check this book out will find the story likeable, but I would not rush to recommend this book to them.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Guylou (Two Dogs and a Book)

    📚 Hello Book Friends! THE WOMAN WITH TWO SHADOWS by Sarah James was a slow burn mystery. It is about a woman who is determined to solve the mystery of her twin’s disappearance by taking her place in a highly secretive military operation in 1945. Lillian’s efforts were remarkable, but the ending was not as satisfying. I enjoyed the background story about the making of the first atom bomb. Lots of interesting facts were offered in the book. Overall, it is a good read. #bookstadog #poodles #poodlest 📚 Hello Book Friends! THE WOMAN WITH TWO SHADOWS by Sarah James was a slow burn mystery. It is about a woman who is determined to solve the mystery of her twin’s disappearance by taking her place in a highly secretive military operation in 1945. Lillian’s efforts were remarkable, but the ending was not as satisfying. I enjoyed the background story about the making of the first atom bomb. Lots of interesting facts were offered in the book. Overall, it is a good read. #bookstadog #poodles #poodlestagram #poodlesofinstagram #furbabies #dogsofinstagram #bookstagram #dogsandbooks #bookishlife #bookishlove #bookstagrammer #books #booklover #bookish #bookaholic #reading #readersofinstagram #instaread #ilovebooks #bookishcanadians #canadianbookstagram #bookreviewer #bookcommunity #bibliophile #thewomanwithtwoshadows #sarahjames #sourcebooks #bookreview

  11. 4 out of 5

    T

    2.5 stars rounded down. So disappointing. I was really, really looking forward to this book. I even pre-ordered it, and, well, what a waste. My family is from Clinton, TN and my great aunt was a switchboard operator at Oak Ridge during WWII. My Grandma, who was a child then, would sneak into Oak Ridge to go visit her sister. So seeing this book talk about the same holes in fences that my Grandma would use was the only saving grace of this book. All the characters are trash. I had figured out who 2.5 stars rounded down. So disappointing. I was really, really looking forward to this book. I even pre-ordered it, and, well, what a waste. My family is from Clinton, TN and my great aunt was a switchboard operator at Oak Ridge during WWII. My Grandma, who was a child then, would sneak into Oak Ridge to go visit her sister. So seeing this book talk about the same holes in fences that my Grandma would use was the only saving grace of this book. All the characters are trash. I had figured out whodunnit pretty quick, and, did I mention how all the characters were trash? Outside of Betty, not a single sympathetic one in the bunch. I wish I could recommend this. Alas, I cannot.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Lori Sinsel Harris

    Lillian and Eleanor are twins and complete opposites. Lillian is brainy, smart, planning to go to Harvard for graduate school, she is socially awkward and a introvert, prefering to be in a lab or with a book than interacting with other people. Eleanor is a outgoing social butterfly who is intent upon pursuing an acting career, loves the latest fashions and whose social calendar is always full. After a betrayal and falling out between the two sisters Eleanor takes a mysterious job somewhere in Te Lillian and Eleanor are twins and complete opposites. Lillian is brainy, smart, planning to go to Harvard for graduate school, she is socially awkward and a introvert, prefering to be in a lab or with a book than interacting with other people. Eleanor is a outgoing social butterfly who is intent upon pursuing an acting career, loves the latest fashions and whose social calendar is always full. After a betrayal and falling out between the two sisters Eleanor takes a mysterious job somewhere in Tennessee.. Lillian hasn't heard from her in months when she gets a frantic phone call that Eleanor has disappeared. From that point on I will tell no more so as not to give any spoilers.I enjoyed this story it did hold my interest and some of the historical facts, like the size of the army base village where the Manhattan Project was developed, the scope of it was amazing, they had their own city, hidden away, a fully functional city like any other in the country, just secret. The secrecy amazes me, that something that size could even be kept a secret is amazing. What I did not like about this book was for one, Lillian, her character is not likeable, she is selfish and self-centered. I also do not think the scientists were portrayed very realistically, but who knows, that is just my opinion. The story does grab you and leads you through a twisting, turning path to the deadly conclusion which just made me angry at the end! This book is nicely paced and I read it in a day. I will give it a 4 star rating and recommend to historical fiction fans who want a fast paced adventure along with a dose of historical facts. Thank you to the publishers at Source Books Landmark and to Net Galley for the free ARC, I am leaving my honest review in return.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Ali (exercise_read_repeat)

    3.5 stars. The premise of this story really intrigued me, and there were a lot of parts I liked. In particular, the suspense of what happened to Eleanor and what was happening in Tennesse made me invested in this storyline. However, knowing that the inspiration for this story was the Manhattan Project, I feel the author dropped the ball and missed an opportunity to really develop what was happening behind the scenes (purposely vague to avoid spoilers). Instead, she kind of glossed over it and co 3.5 stars. The premise of this story really intrigued me, and there were a lot of parts I liked. In particular, the suspense of what happened to Eleanor and what was happening in Tennesse made me invested in this storyline. However, knowing that the inspiration for this story was the Manhattan Project, I feel the author dropped the ball and missed an opportunity to really develop what was happening behind the scenes (purposely vague to avoid spoilers). Instead, she kind of glossed over it and continued on with the storyline. I would have liked a bit more of the "historical," but the author seemed to really prioritize the "fiction." I also think that a more linear storyline might have helped enhance the reading experience-- the interspersed flashbacks were a little disorienting and confusing at times. Thank you Netgalley and Sourcebooks Landmark for my ARC. Publication date: 7/26/22

  14. 4 out of 5

    Judy Odom

    The Woman with Two Shadows will slowly draw you into the mysterious disappearance of Lillian's twin sister Eleanor. When Lillian receives that terrible phone call that Eleanor is missing she drops everything and hurries to Manhattan where Eleanor is working on a secret mysterious job. Lillian is easily able to impersonate her twin so the hunt for Eleanor begins. Who can Lillian trust. The story picks up the pace , the tension mounts and that's all I can say without giving anything away. The Woman wit The Woman with Two Shadows will slowly draw you into the mysterious disappearance of Lillian's twin sister Eleanor. When Lillian receives that terrible phone call that Eleanor is missing she drops everything and hurries to Manhattan where Eleanor is working on a secret mysterious job. Lillian is easily able to impersonate her twin so the hunt for Eleanor begins. Who can Lillian trust. The story picks up the pace , the tension mounts and that's all I can say without giving anything away. The Woman with Two Shadows is a fantastic debut novel and I can't wait to see what Sarah James writes next. Thanks to Net Galley and Sourcebook Landmark for a intriguing read I wont soon forget.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    The bones of this story are good, taking place as the first atomic bomb is being developed in 1945. There were lots of opportunities to explore important issues like the morality of creating a bomb with such killing potential, like plutonium testing on mostly unsuspecting people, even like the difficulties faced by women wanting a career in physics. Unfortunately, none of those were examined with much depth so the novel felt lightweight. The characters were well developed; the unlikeableness (is The bones of this story are good, taking place as the first atomic bomb is being developed in 1945. There were lots of opportunities to explore important issues like the morality of creating a bomb with such killing potential, like plutonium testing on mostly unsuspecting people, even like the difficulties faced by women wanting a career in physics. Unfortunately, none of those were examined with much depth so the novel felt lightweight. The characters were well developed; the unlikeableness (is that even a word?) of each did add to their believability. Thanks to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Landmark for the ARC to read and review.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Darla Abney-Cox

    I enjoyed the historical aspect of this book but it was sometimes boring. I wish I could say I enjoyed it completely but I can't. I pushed through the boring and repetitive parts and enjoyed the research the author put into the history of Oak Ridge's not-so-humble beginning. I enjoyed the historical aspect of this book but it was sometimes boring. I wish I could say I enjoyed it completely but I can't. I pushed through the boring and repetitive parts and enjoyed the research the author put into the history of Oak Ridge's not-so-humble beginning.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jenn

    Thank you Sourcebooks Landmark and NetGalley for this advanced copy of The Woman with Two Shadows. I enjoyed the mystery in this book! Lillian is searching for her missing twin sister Eleanor who went to work at an army base in 1944. Lillian pretends to be her sister at the base and goes hunting for clues of Eleanor or what she may have found out to solidify her disappearance. I really liked Lillian, she was such a smart woman in a time that didn't value that in a woman. She was fearless and doe Thank you Sourcebooks Landmark and NetGalley for this advanced copy of The Woman with Two Shadows. I enjoyed the mystery in this book! Lillian is searching for her missing twin sister Eleanor who went to work at an army base in 1944. Lillian pretends to be her sister at the base and goes hunting for clues of Eleanor or what she may have found out to solidify her disappearance. I really liked Lillian, she was such a smart woman in a time that didn't value that in a woman. She was fearless and does get into some trouble because of that. Overall, 3 star read!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Nancy Lepri

    Reviewed for New York Journal of Books. "The Woman with Two Shadows" by Sarah James July 26, 2022 Sourcebooks Landmark 10-1728249538 It is 1945 and sisters Lillian and Eleanor Kaufman live in New York City. Lillian is older than Eleanor, her identical twin by seven minutes and the two are as different as day and night. Lillian is analytical and resolved to become a physicist. In her senior year at Columbia, she is no-nonsense and determined to make it to her goal as a Harvard grad student. Eleanor is Reviewed for New York Journal of Books. "The Woman with Two Shadows" by Sarah James July 26, 2022 Sourcebooks Landmark 10-1728249538 It is 1945 and sisters Lillian and Eleanor Kaufman live in New York City. Lillian is older than Eleanor, her identical twin by seven minutes and the two are as different as day and night. Lillian is analytical and resolved to become a physicist. In her senior year at Columbia, she is no-nonsense and determined to make it to her goal as a Harvard grad student. Eleanor is the type of gal everyone is drawn to: flamboyant, captivating, flighty, and heading for a career on the stage. Lillian spends almost every waking hour at the college lab, working tirelessly and quickly irritated with anyone and anything inconsequential or emotional. Emotions are to be kept inside and smothered, and though she loves her baby sister, her actions and manner irritate Lillian. If only they hadn't lost their father, which turned their mother despondent and barely able to get out of bed, Lillian would have no problems planning her life. All aflutter, Eleanor is scheduled to audition for a show. Yet when the phone call comes in for her, Lillian answers it, posing as Eleanor taking the message about a revised tryout date. Thinking of telling Eleanor later, Lillian heads off to school with half a mind on the call. Lillian's primary concern is getting her Ph.D. at Harvard, but she wonders If Eleanor acts in a play, who will take care of their mother? She has worked too hard to give up now and refuses to let Eleanor overshadow her as she always does. Every man falls for Eleanor; everyone looks at her and wants to befriend her. Even their mother shows a preference for her over Lillian. It's just not right. Absorbed in her schoolwork and preparation to win the Allerton Prize, a scholarship to gain acceptance to Harvard, she loses track of time, only to later remember Eleanor's schedule change. Oh well. Lillian, who does not let her mind get caught up in trivial matters, figures she'll tell her sister later. She doesn't even consider Eleanor will find out she passed herself off as Eleanor. Members of Lillian's class are offered jobs at the Clinton Engineer Works on an Army Base in Tennessee, promising the men deferment from the draft and the ability to continue their education. Max Medelson, Lillian's classmate and Eleanor's beau, jumps at the chance. He is sure Eleanor will attain the lead to open in Chicago, but before he departs, he proposes to Eleanor. Lillian, unintentionally eavesdropping, is shocked. Eleanor does not love him. Tension elevates when Lillian voices her dislike for Max. A gulf grows between them, simmering with anger and animosity. Lillian considers him hallow and low class, firing many arguments, widening the chasm between the women. Max leaves, and when Eleanor learns about Lillian's deceitful deeds, she signs up for employment in Tennessee and goes after Max. Lillian brushes this off as her sister's capriciousness and decides it will blow over and she will be home soon. Time passes, and Lillian hears nothing from her, no calls or addresses to send her letters. One day, while at the school lab, a summons has Lillian racing to reception to take a phone call. Heart leaping, she hopes it is Eleanor calling. But it isn't Eleanor. It's Max! What the heck? "'Don't hang up,' he said quickly as if reading her mind. 'It's important. Have you heard from your sister?"' "She did not want him to have the satisfaction of knowing that he was in more regular contact with Eleanor than she was. And yet, there was something in his voice, some hitch of desperation that made Lillian fear honestly was required. 'No.' "The rest of the office faded away. Lillian clutched the phone. 'What do you mean?' "'She disappeared from the facility. Almost two weeks ago. No one's heard from her since then. Did she tell you where she might have gone?'" This is more than one of Eleanor's moods—something serious has happened to her. With Max's instructions to travel and to meet him upon arrival, Lillian lies to her mother and flees, worry churning in her gut. After a long and tedious journey, Max is nowhere in sight. What seems hours later, Lillian spots an Army bus approaching. A young woman excitedly runs up, believing her to be Eleanor, and drags her to the vehicle to return to the base. Now she must pass herself off as Eleanor, for no one believes she is Lillian. No one but Max, but where is he? Arriving at the dorm, Lillian scrabbles through Eleanor's things while her roommate Emmy prattles on. She desperately needs to find a clue as to her sister's location. There is nothing. So Lillian takes on Eleanor's identity, imitating her, hoping to discover her whereabouts. Working at Eleanor's job, she learns of rumors of an affair between Eleanor and Andrew Ennis, a renowned big-wig physicist Lillian would love as a colleague. Again, where is Max? When she eventually encounters him, he fills her with tales of subterfuge and secret projects allegedly using people as test subjects. Lillian thinks he's crazy and will not listen to his stories. Her search is hopeless, so she hunts down Andrew to see if he and Eleanor are involved. He claims to have no idea where Eleanor is, and, unlike anything Lillian ever experienced, she becomes captivated by the physics genius, soon finding herself working for him, falling under his charms. When someone besides Eleanor is known missing, Lillian's pulse quickens, and her rational mind points her to trust no one. Her discoveries regarding assignments she once desperately wanted to be part of being brought to light have her rethinking her whole purpose and existence. She now knows she has her work cut out for her—unearth the actual function of this facility. Although fiction, this comprehensive and descriptive novel demonstrates factual occurrences during the 1940s. At first, Lillian is portrayed as a dedicated scholar intent on making her mark on the world. Yet, as we delve deeper into her relationship with Eleanor, we see she is opinionated, self-centered, and egotistical. Jealousy plays a key role, though her mind focuses on herself as a self-affirmed caretaker of her baby sister and mother. What she deals with throughout her experiences makes her look inward and become more retrospective. For a debut author, "The Woman with Two Shadows" provides a little bit of everything: romance, suspense, and history, along with human emotions, failings, and soul searching. Author Sarah James is someone to be watched.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Brenda E

    The Woman with Two Shadows is intriguing beyond compare. Sarah James crafts an ingenious story based on perhaps the most threatening world event in the 20th century; she articulates a mystery as fascinating as anything I have previously read. The narrative is in the first person of Lillian Kaufman, the 7-minute-elder twin to Eleanor Kaufman. Lillian is a brilliant mathematician with ambitions to win the Allerton Prize and gain her place at Harvard University. She was obsessed; mathematics was her The Woman with Two Shadows is intriguing beyond compare. Sarah James crafts an ingenious story based on perhaps the most threatening world event in the 20th century; she articulates a mystery as fascinating as anything I have previously read. The narrative is in the first person of Lillian Kaufman, the 7-minute-elder twin to Eleanor Kaufman. Lillian is a brilliant mathematician with ambitions to win the Allerton Prize and gain her place at Harvard University. She was obsessed; mathematics was her life, and there was no room for typical girly pastimes. On the other hand, Eleanor represents the epitome of girly and uses her outgoing personality to gain her most wanted desire; a critical acting role. She gets an immense opportunity to try for a lead role, but the timetable threatens Lillian's plans to go to Harvard, and the two have a falling out. When Eleanor's acting role gets postponed, she joins the army on March 30th, 1945, and goes off to Tennessee, leaving an unusual coolness between the twins. After two months, Lillian has heard nothing from Eleanor; Max Medelson phones Lillian and asks her to come to Tennessee because Eleanor has disappeared. I love the way Sarah James juxtaposes identical twins with different personalities and provides a detailed look at how Lillian manages to assume Eleanor's psyche. I enjoyed the construction technique, which includes using parts of the beginning and end of the story in layers and repeating the method as many times as required, thus making the story exciting all the way through. In addition, the prose expeditiously moves the story along in all its intricate details. A bonus for this reader is the inclusion of many rules of physics to explain both scientific and non-scientific concepts. The author reveals a delightfully complicated coming-of-age interest for Lillian and Eleanor: involving Max Medelson, a physicist whom Lillian thinks of as an idiot; and Dr. Andrew Ennis (famous as the man who yelled at Niels Bohr), who occupies the critical position of Project Director at the Clinton Engineering Works in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. I rate The Woman with Two Shadows 5 out of 5 stars for its passion, creativity, and research - all in a highly readable package. I found nothing to dislike; however, some readers may not wish to ponder the moral dilemmas re-examined through Lillian's, Max's, and Andrew's discussions. I recommend it to scientists, physicists, politicians, and institutions of learning with the caveat that a critical theme represents a dark reflection of human nature.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Firetruckmama

    I received an eARC of this book from NetGalley and the publisher. “The Woman with Two Shadows” is a debut novel by Sarah James. I had a difficult time keeping Lillian and Eleanor apart for about 20% of this book. Eventually I realized that the main focus was on Lillian trying to find out where Eleanor went. Lillian and Eleanor are identical twins with very different personalities. Lillian is more orderly thinking (science is her jam) while Eleanor is more whatever happens, happens. Lillian gets a I received an eARC of this book from NetGalley and the publisher. “The Woman with Two Shadows” is a debut novel by Sarah James. I had a difficult time keeping Lillian and Eleanor apart for about 20% of this book. Eventually I realized that the main focus was on Lillian trying to find out where Eleanor went. Lillian and Eleanor are identical twins with very different personalities. Lillian is more orderly thinking (science is her jam) while Eleanor is more whatever happens, happens. Lillian gets a phone call from a man Eleanor dated - saying that Eleanor’s gone missing. Lillian decides to go to Oak Ridge, TN in order to find her sister. While in Oak Ridge, Lillian (who is pretending to be Eleanor) learns that Eleanor was seeing a prominent scientist - and Lillian becomes a member of his scientific group. From there, questions arise - what happened to Eleanor? Who are the ‘spies’ in Oak Ridge - and on whose side are they passing on secrets? What is the big secret in Oak Ridge? That’s the background of the story. I will admit that while I’ve read a tiny bit about Oak Ridge previously, I ended up doing a bit of research online - which at times cleared up what was happening on the pages. I think that Ms. James did a good job at explaining things in Oak Ridge, but for this reader, I needed more to understand what was going on - fission vs fusion was okay, but I actually ended up chatting with a science major friend for further scientific details (unlike Lillian, I don’t think in physics, math, and science - it needs to be explained a lot). There was another part where, I have to admit, I ceased reading and polled a few science friends - none agreed with a point mentioned in the book (it’s minor, but it’s about a safe). I didn’t really find Lillian likable, but I could understand (at times) why she thought and behaved the way she did (although not telling her sister something and then betraying her sister’s trust I found, well, hurtful and odd for someone with such ‘high’ values). In some ways this book moved along at a slow pace, but then it rather galloped to an ending. I would’ve preferred this book to be more linear in telling - opposed to the flashbacks. I liked the idea of this book, but it didn’t always work in execution. I think I wanted to like this book more than I actually did. As this is Ms. James’s debut novel, I’d read another book by her as I found this, as I said, an interesting idea. 3.5 stars, rounded up to 4.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Smitha Agy

    A fantastic gripping America's World War 2 story with expertly crafted story line and characters by the author Sarah James. Eleanor Kaufman is missing after she left home in New York for a mysterious job at an army base somewhere in Tennessee. Lilian Kaufman's non identical twin sister Eleanor was supposed to return home in December just about the time when Lillian was to bid Farewell to Columbia University forever and go to much greener pastures of Harvard to do her doctoral program with real r A fantastic gripping America's World War 2 story with expertly crafted story line and characters by the author Sarah James. Eleanor Kaufman is missing after she left home in New York for a mysterious job at an army base somewhere in Tennessee. Lilian Kaufman's non identical twin sister Eleanor was supposed to return home in December just about the time when Lillian was to bid Farewell to Columbia University forever and go to much greener pastures of Harvard to do her doctoral program with real research involved. The location were Eleanor left to was so secretive and not an address given. Lillian was talented, brave, Intelligent and ambitious practicing for winning the Allerton Prize. If she wins the Allerton prize she gets to go to Harvard. Nothing and no one could stop Lillian from winning a full scholarship to Harvard. As the late news was the end of the battle of Berlin, the death of Hitler - celebrations in the streets of Europe had lined the NEW YORK TIMES for a week and a half. What was Eleanor doing at the Army base. Lillian didn't hear from Eleanor. Lillian had no interest in joining the war effort. Her mother needed care. Eleanor avoided responsibility by disappearing. Lillian and Eleanor grew up together, spending every second together. Although they had differences in the way they behave and silent feuds that go on for days they had looked similar. On an unexpected phone call from Max Medelson who was half the physicist she was anyway, she learns that Eleanor is missing, Lillian takes a train from New York down to Oak Ridge to find Eleanor and clear up the matter. Max had courted Eleanor and Lillian hated it. Eleanor well being brought petty jealousy to Lillian. The story is about a town and its people that officially never existed and the secrecy behind one of the Manhattan Project's top-secret cities responsible for creating the atom bomb used on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. James's debut is wonderfully written and captivating. An unputdownable book with plenty of mysterious twists and turns in the story creating suspense along with history. I just reviewed the book, The Woman with Two Shadows by Sarah James, Thanks to the publisher Sourcebooks Landmark and Netgalley for an advance copy for my honest review.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Amanda Bennett

    Despite being twins, Lillian Kaufman couldn’t be more different than her sister Eleanor. Lillian, a student of physics at Columbia, spends her days at the lab working on complicated problems in hopes of winning a scholarship to continue her studies at Harvard. Lillian doesn’t put much effort in her appearance, which wouldn’t bother her, except she has a twin to remind the world of what she could look like if she tried. Eleanor sees her futures under the bright lights of the stage. She wants to w Despite being twins, Lillian Kaufman couldn’t be more different than her sister Eleanor. Lillian, a student of physics at Columbia, spends her days at the lab working on complicated problems in hopes of winning a scholarship to continue her studies at Harvard. Lillian doesn’t put much effort in her appearance, which wouldn’t bother her, except she has a twin to remind the world of what she could look like if she tried. Eleanor sees her futures under the bright lights of the stage. She wants to work for the famous Rogers and Hammerstein duo on their latest project Carousel, and she will do what it takes to snag a spot. Unlike her sister, she charms everyone she meets, including Max, one of Eleanor’s fellow students in the physics department at Columbia. When the government comes to Lillian’s physics class offering spots at a top secret research project in Oak Ridge, Tennessee to defer deployment, many of her colleagues go, including Max and surprisingly Eleanor follows. When she suddenly goes missing, Lillian does the only things she can, she assumes the identity of her sister at this top secret facility to try to figure out what in the world has happened to her. In the search for Eleanor, Lillian discovers some secrets that the government certainly doesn’t want to get out to the general public, and struggles to figure out who exactly she can trust. This book started a little slow for me, but picked up quickly when Lillian got to Tennessee to find her sister. Perhaps she is neurodivergent, but Lillian seems to me a little cold and calculating, which makes her hard to relate to and selfish. Her worry for her sister, only seemed to come when she realize her disappearance would affect her own future. The story was interesting for sure, but I struggled to like the main character, which makes it less enjoyable. Thank you to NetGalley, Sourcebooks Landmark, and of course Sarah James for the advanced copy. The Woman with Two Shadows comes out on July 26th. All opinions are my own. Www.Instagram.com/passionforprose

  23. 4 out of 5

    Aarohak

    3.5 So, this book has an interesting premise, but the characters and/or climax screwed it up for me. Let’s start with the positives. I appreciate a well researched novel, especially when I get to learn something new. I devour historical novels as if there’s no tomorrow. Of all the books on WWII I have read so far, this is the first time I have come across the reference to Manhattan Project. It was a R&D undertaking during WWII that produced the first nuclear weapons led by USA with the support of 3.5 So, this book has an interesting premise, but the characters and/or climax screwed it up for me. Let’s start with the positives. I appreciate a well researched novel, especially when I get to learn something new. I devour historical novels as if there’s no tomorrow. Of all the books on WWII I have read so far, this is the first time I have come across the reference to Manhattan Project. It was a R&D undertaking during WWII that produced the first nuclear weapons led by USA with the support of the UK and Canada. Scientists conducted most of this work at the Clinton Engineer Works at Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Nuclear physicist Robert Oppenheimer (often credited as the "father of the atomic bomb") was the director of the Los Alamos Laboratory at the time. He was among those who observed the Trinity test in New Mexico, where the first atomic bomb was successfully detonated on July 1945. Thin man, Little Boy and Fat Man, do the names ring a bell? In August 1945, the weapons were used in the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. All the above forms various plot points of this book. There are various physics and mathematical references; scientists like Bohr, Oppenheimer; the secrecy of Clinton Engineer Works etc… Although I had studied all these back in the school, the true weight of it hit me when I read this book, and went back to brush my memory. It could have been an exceptional work, if the characters and the ending was less theatrical. Twins; sisters with opposite personalities; one with flair for theatre and other for mathematics; one goes to work in Knoxville and ends up missing; the other twin goes in search of her. I was fine up to this point, but the ending spoiled it for me. Just way too dramatic, and very unrealistic; I mean I get it’s supposed to be fictional, but I wished it could have been within some logical boundaries. But this book has definitely peaked my interest to read more in this area.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Susan F

    Lillian, the main character of the book and most certainly the main character in her own world isn't very likeable in my mind. Early in life she is deeply affected by her father's death and mother's existence thereafter. As a twin she makes the decision that she must be responsible for her sister Eleanor. This is an interesting enough story. Unraveling threads give hints as to why Lillian is driven to find her missing twin. Her journey into a secret military 'town' crosses paths with Eleanor's f Lillian, the main character of the book and most certainly the main character in her own world isn't very likeable in my mind. Early in life she is deeply affected by her father's death and mother's existence thereafter. As a twin she makes the decision that she must be responsible for her sister Eleanor. This is an interesting enough story. Unraveling threads give hints as to why Lillian is driven to find her missing twin. Her journey into a secret military 'town' crosses paths with Eleanor's former boyfriend and the new man her family has no knowledge of. Lillian becomes acquainted with the head of the top secret project her sister went to work in. Andrew is intriguing and at least equal to her intelligence level. In ways he is like her. Self centered, self important. As she has assumed her sister's identity things get intense. The reader learns about the historical significance of this project and how it marks the world and it's future. The descriptive writing about the life and 'job' was quite interesting to me. I want to thank NetGalley and the publisher for my advanced reader's copy of this book. If nothing else, it has made me think. I learned something years ago and that is that no character can be perfect. No character can be all evil nor can one be all good. This story shows this very well. There is a lot going on in this story. In my honest opinion there was no main character who I cared about. I'm not sorry I read the book. It is different. You will have to make your own decision if you would find it interesting.

  25. 5 out of 5

    joyce w. laudon

    The Woman with Two Shadows offers a fascinating and involving look at the work that was done in Oak Ridge, Tennessee during WWII. Readers will find themselves quite involved with the history, the story and the characters. Here we have twins who, while the same in many ways, want different things. What happens when one needs to assume the other’s identity? Lillian strives for a prestigious math prize. The author says that she wants to go to Harvard which is a bit off, so a small criticism here. I t The Woman with Two Shadows offers a fascinating and involving look at the work that was done in Oak Ridge, Tennessee during WWII. Readers will find themselves quite involved with the history, the story and the characters. Here we have twins who, while the same in many ways, want different things. What happens when one needs to assume the other’s identity? Lillian strives for a prestigious math prize. The author says that she wants to go to Harvard which is a bit off, so a small criticism here. I think that, at that time, female students went to Radcliffe. Still, that should not spoil the story for readers. Younger twin Eleanor wants to be an actress but this is not happening so she takes a job in Oak Ridge, TN, only to disappear. Ironically, Lillian who doesn’t want to act, takes on the biggest acting job imaginable when she has to pretend to be Eleanor. What has happened to Eleanor? How will Lillian manage her new life and what will she learn? I recently read a book called The Physicists’ Daughter. It was different from this title but shares with it the work that led to the development of the bomb in WWII. Each of these novels offers a sense of history, engaging characters, twist and turns, and menace. They can be read as bookends. Readers will be drawn into the story. Fans of historical fiction, take a look. Many thanks to Sourcebooks Landmark for this title. All opinions are my own.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Amanda Hagerty

    I want to start off by saying that I received a complimentary ebook copy. In return for my honest thoughts and review. I haven’t read anything from this author before. I do plan on adding more of this authors book to my tbr. I know this book is already released. But I still wanted to get my review up everywhere. I knew I had to read this book I have twins in my family. I love to historical fiction and this book has twin sisters. Yes I am reading. I like that this book had two different time line I want to start off by saying that I received a complimentary ebook copy. In return for my honest thoughts and review. I haven’t read anything from this author before. I do plan on adding more of this authors book to my tbr. I know this book is already released. But I still wanted to get my review up everywhere. I knew I had to read this book I have twins in my family. I love to historical fiction and this book has twin sisters. Yes I am reading. I like that this book had two different time lines. It’s where Lillian was thinking back about her sister. Some of Lillian actions kinda threw me off. But I don’t have a sister and I know that having a sister they do things because they curious how the other lives. When Lillian learns that no one has see or heard from her sister Eleanor. Who went to Tennessee for a top secret military base with her boyfriend. Lillian decides to go and find her sister. But Lillian discovers there more going at the military base then they are leading on. when her sisterYes this book did take me longer to read. But I needed to know what happened with Eleanor. I wish the ended was different but it was still a good ending. I do still recommend this book. I loved all the historical and twin part of this book. Thank you to netgalley and the author again for allowing me the opportunity to read such amazing book. I love the strong female characters in this book.

  27. 4 out of 5

    gwendalyn _books_

    𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐖𝐨𝐦𝐚𝐧 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐓𝐰𝐨 𝐒𝐡𝐚𝐝𝐨𝐰𝐬 𝐀 𝐍𝐨𝐯𝐞𝐥 𝐨𝐟 𝐖𝐖𝐈𝐈 𝐛𝐲 𝐒𝐚𝐫𝐚𝐡 𝐉𝐚𝐦𝐞𝐬 . Thank you @poisonedpenpress @sourcebooks @bookmarked and @the_sarahjames for my gifted ARC . For fans of Atomic City Girls and The Secrets We Kept, a fascinating debut historical novel of one of the most closely held secrets of World War II and a woman caught up in it when she follows her missing sister to the mysterious city of Oak Ridge, Tennessee. . Lillian Kaufman hasn't heard from her twin sister since Eleanor left for a mysterious job at 𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐖𝐨𝐦𝐚𝐧 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐓𝐰𝐨 𝐒𝐡𝐚𝐝𝐨𝐰𝐬 𝐀 𝐍𝐨𝐯𝐞𝐥 𝐨𝐟 𝐖𝐖𝐈𝐈 𝐛𝐲 𝐒𝐚𝐫𝐚𝐡 𝐉𝐚𝐦𝐞𝐬 . Thank you @poisonedpenpress @sourcebooks @bookmarked and @the_sarahjames for my gifted ARC . For fans of Atomic City Girls and The Secrets We Kept, a fascinating debut historical novel of one of the most closely held secrets of World War II and a woman caught up in it when she follows her missing sister to the mysterious city of Oak Ridge, Tennessee. . Lillian Kaufman hasn't heard from her twin sister since Eleanor left for a mysterious job at an Army base somewhere in Tennessee. When she learns, on an unexpected phone call, that Eleanor is missing, Lillian takes a train from New York down to Oak Ridge to clear up the matter. . It turns out that the only way into Oak Ridge is to assume Eleanor's identity, which Lillian plans to do swiftly and perfectly. But Eleanor has vanished without a trace—and she's not the only one. And how do you find someone in a town so dangerous it doesn't officially exist, when technically you don't exist either? Lillian is thrust into the epicenter of the gravest scientific undertaking of all time, with no idea who she can trust. And the more she pretends to be Eleanor, the more she loses her grip on herself. … Hastings #thewomanwithtwoshadows #sarahjames #sourcebooks #poisonedpenpress #newbooks #mustreadbooks #bookstagram #reading #read #bookstoread #bookworms #booknerds #seekthesimplicity #hyggelife #simplethingsmadebeautiful #aquietstyle #smallmomentsofcalm #bookish #bookishhygge

  28. 4 out of 5

    Patty

    This is fiction, but it is based on a real place in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, a highly secure, top secret, military facility during WWII. When Eleanor, who is in college, hoping to win a prestigious award that will get her into Harvard, is made aware that her twin sister, Lilly (Lillian) has disappeared, she makes arrangements for their mother's care and heads to Tennessee to find Lilly. While Eleanor's character is highly focused on winning the Allerton prize, she is not otherwise particularly likea This is fiction, but it is based on a real place in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, a highly secure, top secret, military facility during WWII. When Eleanor, who is in college, hoping to win a prestigious award that will get her into Harvard, is made aware that her twin sister, Lilly (Lillian) has disappeared, she makes arrangements for their mother's care and heads to Tennessee to find Lilly. While Eleanor's character is highly focused on winning the Allerton prize, she is not otherwise particularly likeable. She is an introvert (takes one to know one!) and she'd much rather work alone than with anyone else, and is often rude to others in her classes. When she arrives in Tennessee, she realizes she will have to deceive everyone in order to find out what happened with her sister. This is where the plot kind of fell apart for me. An introvert wouldn't be comfortable sliding into the role of an outgoing, vivacious party girl. She wouldn't be able to successfully deceive all the necessary people, and really, was our nation's security that bad at a top secret facility that she could get away with it? Let's hope not. The book was well researched, fast moving, but it missed the mark for me. I'm sure there are others who will enjoy it. Thanks to the author, publisher and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this book, but my opinions are my own.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Sharon Dene

    A very interesting book now one sister named Lily Her twin Ellen. These twinklers are so different and everyone respect but Lily was the one who was very mastermind behind Everything. Elle N Was very popular and outgoing and she wanted to be an actress Lily was very into physics and it was very sharp with numbers. Things got really weird when Eleanor left to go to work at Oakridge On my atomic bomb project. Lily a man or a man was flirting with man and sleeping with him you'll find this out in t A very interesting book now one sister named Lily Her twin Ellen. These twinklers are so different and everyone respect but Lily was the one who was very mastermind behind Everything. Elle N Was very popular and outgoing and she wanted to be an actress Lily was very into physics and it was very sharp with numbers. Things got really weird when Eleanor left to go to work at Oakridge On my atomic bomb project. Lily a man or a man was flirting with man and sleeping with him you'll find this out in the book gets very intense. But Eleanor goes missing Willie comes to the The rescue. Max started all like calling Lily Say her sister was missing. Max post her boyfriend and he ended up in the same place she did. So I know they got there everybody thought she was the other sister. So she went on to find out what really happened with her sister. There are some interesting points in this book about how black people were treated. There's a lot of Tristan terms in this book and I think it's really well written. The men are very evil in this World. Lily also got sprung along with Doctor Andrew. You had a lot of problems and it was quite violent at some point 2. You'll find this outbetter in the book.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Anne

    I’m surprised to read some negative comments here, especially the ones complaining that they wanted the character(s) to be more likable. Something I found truly enjoyable was the main character Lillian’s eye-rolling snarkiness. In fact, I’ve recently told a bookish friend that I didn’t think I could get through one more novel where the heroine is a) amazing beyond belief and b) has no idea how amazing she is. Thank you, Sarah, for providing much-needed relief from that stereotype with Lillian! ( I’m surprised to read some negative comments here, especially the ones complaining that they wanted the character(s) to be more likable. Something I found truly enjoyable was the main character Lillian’s eye-rolling snarkiness. In fact, I’ve recently told a bookish friend that I didn’t think I could get through one more novel where the heroine is a) amazing beyond belief and b) has no idea how amazing she is. Thank you, Sarah, for providing much-needed relief from that stereotype with Lillian! (And I’ll admit, I felt vindicated in that characterization when I read the notes at the end where you thanked the people who helped produce this book for never asking you to make her “less difficult.”) Also, I’m impressed that despite my unfamiliarity with any of the subject matter or geographic settings of the story (physics? New York City? Not familiar.) - there was enough very specific detail to allow very clear pictures to develop in my mind’s eye. Yes, I’m one of those readers who simultaneously reads and creates a screenplay in my head. Can’t help it. Shall I summarize? Great characters, solid writing style, thorough subject knowledge, well-paced plot development, economy of words - all added up to a quite enjoyable read.

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