Ruby Pickett didn't have any say about the family move to Tennessee. Her daddy's new job will help the war effort, though no one has told her exactly how. Brand new, government-built Oak Ridge quickly proves a curious and intriguing place for the sixteen-year-old's rampant curiosity. A voracious reader, Ruby wonders at mysteries in books and sees possible mysteries in the secrecy that surrounds Oak Ridge. She finds a kindred spirit in Iris, a young wife and mother who has moved to Oak Ridge with her scientist husband, and who chafes at the intellectual emptiness of her new home and life. Faraway events don't seem likely to answer any of Ruby's questions, but as the war grows more destructive Ruby begins to realize that her curiosity--like her deepening feelings for Iris--may be more dangerous than she could possibly imagine.
LGBTQ (Gender and Sexuality); Gay/Lesbian; homosexual; lesbian; lesbian teenager; same sex relationship
mother and father
Golden Crown Literary Award, 2014, Winner, Young Adult
Lambda Literary Award, 2014, Finalist, LGBT Children's/Young Adult
teenage girls; housewives; World War II; secrets; Oak Ridge; reading; journal; social class
Watts, Julia, "Secret City" (2013). Diverse Families. 1345.