The small California town of Fernville in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains was the beneficiary of the Defence Department's spending sprees over the thirty years that span this novel. We see the emergence of the nuclear deterrant in the mid-1950s, its evolution into the Mutually Assured Destruction theory in the 1960's, and finally the Strategic Arms Limitation talks of the 1980's. The cast of characters here include people inside and outside of government and shows how the passage of time has compressed all of those historic events like the Cuban Missile Crisis, into a vision of the past that obscures its significance.
The beauty of this novel is the interweaving of the characters as we observe them first in 1955 and then in 1986. Its an insightful tale of how the two Superpowers engaged in the build-up of nuclear weapons and kept us at the brink of annihilation for more than 3 decades. A great summer read.
Rainbo Electronic Reviews published this review in our May, 2008 issue.
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