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Atomic Summer (Volume 1) Paperback – June 19, 2012


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 382 pages
  • Publisher: Barks Out Loud (June 19, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0985566302
  • ISBN-13: 978-0985566302
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #452,353 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

From Readers Favorite
Highly recommended for reading lists everywhere....Main characters Faith, Octavia, Bernadette, Bernadette's mother Savannah, Faith's Allen and his friend Wesley, and all other characters both major and minor are believable and totally of the times back then. Elaine Walsh has written a delightful and sometimes sad book that tells of a period in not so long ago history. She also writes of people's lives as they picked up from mistakes made and went on living as best as they were able to. -- Alice DiNizo

About the Author

Nimitz Highway and River Street is an intersection on the island of Oahu in Hawaii. This is where she impatiently came out of the womb ready to start on her personal history. She grew up in upstate New York against the backdrop of the flowering women’s rights movement with different ideas from her mother as to what her life as a woman should be. In college, she majored in psychology with the intent of being a “death & dying” counselor. This would be her paying job while she wrote the next great American novel. Plan B kicked in and she graduated with a B.A. in English, packed her car, and upset her parents by moving to Florida in search of her destiny. Without ever having taken one business course, she created her own brand and became a successful business executive by day and women’s fiction writer by night. So far, she has lived a Lifetime Movie Network life, a mixture of extraordinary, ordinary, mundane, and terrifying, providing her great inspiration and fanning her creative flame. Her father imbued in her a strong sense of family. He brought to life the words unconditional love. From her mother, she gained an appreciation for the complexities of relationships and richness in life one finds exploring and experiencing everything from a recipe, to a historical site, to lunch with friends, or a glass of wine. Her mother was a collector of experiences. They journeyed together and grew as individuals and as mother-daughter. Elaine shared her mother’s journeys battling cancer, as her mother survived one and succumbed to another. In one of their last soulful conversations before her mother died, she told Elaine she was glad Elaine also had a daughter and hoped she would enjoy her own daughter as much as her mother enjoyed Elaine. The most powerful influences in her life and her stories come from being a daughter, mother, friend, and soul mate. But as a successful women’s fiction writer, does this surprise anyone?

More About the Author

Amazon Breakthrough Award Contest - Quarter finalist, Honorable Mention at the 2012 Southern California Book Festival and Winner of the Chairman's Award for Excellence,

Nimitz Highway and River Street is an intersection on the island of Oahu in Hawaii. This is where she impatiently came out of the womb ready to start on her personal history.

She grew up in upstate New York against the backdrop of the flowering women's rights movement with different ideas from her mother as to what her life as a woman should be. In college, she majored in psychology with the intent of being a "death & dying" counselor. This would be her paying job while she wrote the next great American novel. Plan B kicked in and she graduated with a B.A. in English, packed her car, and upset her parents by moving to Florida in search of her destiny.

Without ever having taken one business course, she created her own brand and became a successful business executive by day and women's fiction writer by night. So far, she has lived a Lifetime Movie Network life, a mixture of extraordinary, ordinary, mundane, and terrifying, providing her great inspiration and fanning her creative flame.

Her father imbued in her a strong sense of family. He brought to life the words unconditional love.

From her mother, she gained an appreciation for the complexities of relationships and richness in life one finds exploring and experiencing everything from a recipe, to a historical site, to lunch with friends, or a glass of wine. Her mother was a collector of experiences. They journeyed together and grew as individuals and as mother-daughter. Elaine shared her mother's journeys battling cancer, as her mother survived one and succumbed to another. In one of their last soulful conversations before her mother died, she told Elaine she was glad Elaine also had a daughter and hoped she would enjoy her own daughter as much as her mother enjoyed Elaine.

The most powerful influences in her life and her stories come from being a daughter, mother, friend, and soul mate. But as a successful women's fiction writer, does this surprise anyone?

Customer Reviews

The plot is good and the characters are very real and interesting to read about.
Juliet GR
There were nights when I didn't get much sleep because I had to read the next chapter...and then the next...and then the next.
Betsy Raimondi
I would recommend this book if you want to keep guessing how each person turn out in the end.
Lindy A Decker

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

41 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Jill Brooks on June 24, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
Atomic Summer follows several adolescents and adults through their unforgettable summer of 1953, in the small upstate New York town of Port Pompeii. The author has perfectly molded them into remarkable characters, and people we could relate to, whether we lived through the 1950s or not.
Having been a child in the 50s, I found the book to be very true to the period, from the threat of Communism, bomb shelters, air raid drills, and teens obsessed with their virginity as well as burgeoning sexuality. The desire to be normal, though no one knew what that was, was always out of reach. The 50s was a very conservative time, with judgement and pain in the wings at any given time.
The way author Elaine Walsh sets up the main characters, Faith, Octavia and Bernadette, and her mother, the insufferable Savannah, you know them early on, although this doesn't make them predictable. Savannah single-handedly brought back memories of how mothers can embarrass us, and each of the girls had recognizable qualities and faults.
The young men in the book are full of surprises, but Stephen, who returns to Port Pompeii from the Korean War offers the most poignant dialog, and is wise beyond his years. Then there's Rev. Pappy who offers mystery and color and a surprising background. Friends Wesley and Allen are central characters as well and they certainly reminded me of boys I knew, and showed sense of fun and angst.
Each character is illustrated in a way that draws the reader to feel that he/she knows them personally. When things happened, I felt that they were happening to people I knew, and I went through a range of emotions as well.
Drawn in, I finished the book in two days, and it was one of those stories that I didn't want to end. I'm hoping that Ms. Walsh will treat us to more of her talent, because after reading Atomic Summer, I plan on reading anything she writes! I haven't felt this way about an author since Anne Tyler and Joyce Carol Oates.

Jill Brooks
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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Matie Tomkins on June 24, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
What woman today cannot relate to the Fifties? Either our mothers or grandmothers passed through that era, with its post-WWII political and cultural rebirth (and of course the most classic fashion statements in modern history!). Elaine D. Walsh has captured the essence of budding female adulthood with the concerns of the times in this terrific summer read. Two thumbs up for Atomic Summer!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Nancy on July 3, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
WOW - I am super energized woman who does not sit still well. OH boy two days straight in a chair reading Atomic Summer. Every page every character came alive and what a mix of roles they all played - Genius. You never knew what was going to happen next. This is a book I will read again to make sure I did not miss anything. My husband is an avid reader and the minute he saw me sitting he said, "WOW, I get to read that next if you have not moved it must be great." So as I write this I must ask the Author - when is your next book coming out so I can sit again and lose myself into a great book?
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Chrys on September 4, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I got to tell you. Atomic Summer was an enjoyable read!

I certainly commend Walsh on her characterization. Normally when I read a book in two days, I am not that impacted by characters at all. However, Atomic Summer is an exception. Each character evoked different emotional responses from me. Faith's character was eponymous of her name. She is a loyal Catholic, and though she tries her best to uphold morality, she is often gullible. There are times when I feel so sorry for her when she cannot interpret how vicious the world is. Octavia is socially-awkward, and for a part of the book, I grew tired of having to read her narration. Surrounded by books and constricted by her responsibilities for Archie, Octavia though intelligent, is quite mundane considering her age. Then I realized, "wait - this girl has adult responsibilities to fulfill". So I must confess, I began to grow fond of her because I felt pitiful for her. Also, she had the most pain to deal with. My favorite characterization was for Bernadette. She is a vicious adolescent with dictating hormones and no conscience. Though Bernadette did not narrate, Walsh gave us a lot of information on her via her loyal friends. I think Bernadette represents a lot of people we know today. She is manipulative and mocking, covetous and crazed. Sometimes I wish Walsh made her break an arm. There are many other characters in the book - Susannah, Stephen, Lyle, Allen, Wesley, etc - that not only enhance the plot, but make the book more authentic by presenting personalities we are familiar with.

The plot was fast-paced - perfect for a summer read. I spent two nights reading this on my tablet, often finding out that morning came upon me.The novel is chronicled well by both Octavia and Faith.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Sharalea on June 25, 2012
Format: Paperback
The characters are developed in such a way you can visualize who they are and as the story develops it is so easy to compare Faith, Bernadette and Octavia to your own childhood friends. As the story develops you are taken along the journey, and i never found myself jumping ahead. Easy summer read, great story line, and i could definately see this as a movie.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Gopokes12 on July 13, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Atomic Summer is the quintessential summer/beach novel. Elaine Walsh does such a great job of developing the characters of the novel so that by the end of the book you feel like you had grown up with them. I felt the pace of the book was also very good and the blending of each characters view on the events happening around them was accomplished flawlessly. To me one of the marks of a good book is when you can draw parallels between the characters and people you grew up with or currently know, and I found myself certainly doing that with this story. Elaine also does a very good job of drawing the reader into the story so you really find yourself wanting to find out what happens next. I did not notice any lull's in the story line and really enjoyed the history and description of the township. I really enjoyed reading this book.
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