This provocative, rollicking story is the much-anticipated new
novel the first in over a decade from acclaimed author Bobbie Ann
Mason. In An Atomic Romance we meet Reed Futrell, a sexy,
thoughtful hero who grapples with radioactive contamination, a
midlife crisis, and string theory all while falling in love.
Reed is an engineer at a uranium-enrichment plant near a riverside
city in heartland America. He has deep roots in this community: He
was raised there; his father worked at the very same plant before
him. And it was here that Reed met, married, and then divorced his
wife. Reed spends countless nights camping at a local wildlife
preserve, gazing at the stars, fishing and hunting that is, until
deformed frogs are discovered at the site. Though his father was
killed in a tragic accident at the atomic plant years ago, Reed
stays on, proud to perform demanding and dangerous work for the
benefit of the nation. As for the radioactive incidents he has
endured, Reed prefers to think about other things Hubble
photographs of distant galaxies, Albert Einstein, his dog.
Reed s casual attitude toward danger infuriates his
on-again-off-again girlfriend, Julia, as much as his quirky mind
and muscular body intrigue her. Julia, a biologist, is truly Reed s
match or maybe more than his match. They both are witty, curious,
and fascinated by science. Indeed, their courtship began with
banter about Stephen Hawking s theories of space-time, and ever
since it has been an up-and-down adventure of sexual attraction,
intellectual game-playing, and long silences when Julia refuses to
return Reed s calls.
When news reports reveal evidence of radioactive pollution in the
land surrounding the plant, Reed and Julia s relationship faces an
unprecedented challenge. In An Atomic Romance, Bobbie Ann Mason
delivers a brilliant novel set against a backdrop of atomic power:
a love story between a motorcycle-riding loner and an independent,
strong-minded biologist; between the peaceful present in a typical
American community and the nation s violent nuclear past; and,
finally, between a good man and the work he takes pride in, though
it may be putting his life in danger.
"From the Hardcover edition.""
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