Come Down Somewhere

Come Down Somewhere

4.09 (217 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 
4.09 (217 ratings by Goodreads)

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For fans of WWII fiction comes a powerful novel by Jennifer L. Wright about two young women coming of age during the Trinity nuclear bomb test in 1945.

Sixteen-year-old Olive Alexander has lived on a ranch in the Jornada del Muerto region of southern New Mexico her entire life. But when World War II begins, the government seizes her family's land for the construction of a new, top secret Army post.

While her mother remains behind, Olive is forced to live in nearby Alamogordo with her grandmother and find a place in a new school. When Jo Hawthorne crosses her path, Olive sees a chance for friendship--until she learns that Jo's father is the Army sergeant who now occupies her beloved ranch. Already angry about her new reality, Olive pushes Jo away. But as she struggles to make sense of her grandmother's lapses into the past and increasingly unsettling hints about what's happening at the ranch, she slowly warms to Jo's winsome faith and steady attempts at friendship . . . until one devastating day when the sky explodes around them and their lives are torn apart.

Seven years later, Jo returns to Alamogordo, still angry and wounded by the betrayals of that fateful day. Determined to put the past behind her once and for all, Jo hunts for answers and begins to realize the truth may be far more complicated than she believed, leading her on a desperate search to find her friend before it's too late.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 416 pages
  • 144.78 x 213.36 x 35.56mm | 458.13g
  • Wheaton, United States
  • English
  • 1496471679
  • 9781496471673

Review quote

Jennifer L. Wright's intelligent and arresting historical novel focuses on two girls who witness the atomic bomb test in New Mexico. In 1944, the US Army claims Olive's family ranch through eminent domain. Against her will, she's sent to live with her grandmother in Alamogordo. There, Olive meets Jo, the Christian daughter of the sergeant in charge at the ranch. Olive's animosity--fueled in part by her feelings of displacement, her agnosticism, confusion about her grandmother's dementia, and the secrecy surrounding what's happening back home--push Jo away. But Jo's faith draws Olive closer, and the girls become friends. A few years after the war, disillusioned Jo returns to New Mexico to put old ghosts to rest. The period of Jo's transformation is represented as a fascinating, fertile gap; questions about what happened with Olive arise. The girl's rift ties into the historic test in Jornada del Muerto. Alternating timelines fuel suspense as they move toward that fateful event, mining the changes that led the girls farther from their roots. Faith plays a clear role in Olive and Jo's stories--as do family betrayals. Though Olive is at first repulsed by what she perceives as naïve Christian piety, she thaws as she witnesses the actions of her grandmother's warm congregation. And Jo's steadying presence, paired with her vulnerability, pull Olive into the unexpected joys of friendship. Still, the girls are impacted by the tragedies of war, which touch their loved ones. In time, they experience the pain of abandonment, the relief of returning to faith, and healing. In the moving historical novel Come Down Somewhere, a nuclear test has explosive consequences for a burgeoning friendship.--Foreword Reviews
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Rating details

4.09 out of 5 stars
- 217 ratings
5 39% (85)
4 39% (84)
3 16% (34)
2 5% (10)
1 2% (4)
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