The Physicists’ Daughter by Mary Anna Evans

Book Blurb:

The Nazis are no match for the physicists’ daughter.

New Orleans, 1944

Sabotage. That’s the word on factory worker Justine Byrne’s mind as she is repeatedly called to weld machine parts that keep failing with no clear cause. Could someone inside the secretive Carbon Division be deliberately undermining the factory’s war efforts? Raised by her late parents to think logically, she also can’t help wondering just what the oddly shaped carbon gadgets she assembles day after day have to do with the boats the factory builds…

When a crane inexplicably crashes to the factory floor, leaving a woman dead, Justine can no longer ignore her nagging fear that German spies are at work within the building, trying to put the factory and its workers out of commission. Unable to trust anyone—not the charming men vying for her attention, not her unpleasant boss, and not even the women who work beside her—Justine draws on the legacy of her unconventional upbringing to keep her division running and protect her coworkers, her country, and herself from a war that is suddenly very close to home.

I received a copy of this book from Netgalley. All thoughts and opinions are entirely my own, and I am writing a voluntary review.

AnnaScott’s Review:

A girl who knows how to weld, can understand complex physics, speaks fluent German, and can read braille is a unique asset in World War II. The question is which side will get to her first?

This was a fascinating book. I’ve read so many books set in World War II, and pretty much all of them take place in Europe. I loved seeing how America was affected by the war, and getting a glimpse into the roles that women got to step into because all of the able-bodied men were overseas. Justine’s story also gave us a glimpse into the history of physics and how – before the war – there was a spirit of international collaboration that went away once the war broke out.

On to the actual story, I loved that there are two spies that we see at work, and I loved the plot twist. I had no idea how it was going to end, and that’s always a fun experience. Justine was an interesting protagonist, and I think she was both relatable and unique. I also really appreciated that there was a romance, but it was a fairly minor side plot instead of the driving motivator for the main plot.

My only teeny-tiny complaint is that I feel like the book could have been a bit more captivating. It felt rather evenly paced, and so even though it was enjoyable to read, I could also put it down fairly easily. With all of the mystery and intrigue in the book, this was a bit surprising.

Overall it was a lovely read, and perfect for anyone who enjoys stories set in World War II.


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