Saturday, January 5, 2013

White Sands, Red Menace, Ellen Klages

"Girls? In the car. Fifteen minutes," Philip Gordon called up from the bottom of the attic stairs. "You can unpack tomorrow."

White Sands, Red Menace is the sequel to The Green Glass Sea. It wasn't quite as good, but I still enjoyed it. It begins about a year after The Green Glass Sea left off. Dewey has moved in with Suze and her family, and they have moved to southern New Mexico, where Suze's dad is working on creating rockets. But there is conflict between Suze's parents; Terry thinks that the atomic bomb is bad and needs to be controlled, while her dad is excited about it, and just wants to move on, and let the government deal with it. Meanwhile, the girls are dealing with their own things. And Terry gets pregnant later on, and Dewey's long-lost mother shows up eventually. As you can see, a lot is going on. Perhaps too much. The most important question is this, though: what defines a family? Is it blood, or love, or both?

I would say that White Sands, Red Menace has less focus; I wasn't really sure where it was going (which could be a good thing, I suppose). I certainly was surprised at some twists that the narrative took. The character of Dr. Gordon (the father) was never developed fully in either books; you don't get to know him as well as you do Terry, Suze's mother. He's a bit more distant from the girls, since he's always working.

One thing that I like about both books is that you kind of forget that they are set almost seventy years ago. The setting almost seems like the present day, except when televisions are mentioned as a new thing, something only the elite own, or something else happens like that. The characters seem so real, so fresh, despite their living in the past. You feel like you know Dewey and Suze. I would probably get along with both of them. Dewey and Suze. They're two different characters. Suze is the more selfish of the two, the more spoiled. She still has both her parents, both of whom are loving. But she has her own problems too. She sees Dewey growing very close to her mother, and she's jealous of that, she doesn't like it. But of course, Dewey has lost her father and her mother (for much of the book).

White Sands, Red Menace explores some new themes, and though it's not as moving as The Green Glass Sea, I did enjoy it.

Read White Sands, Red Menace:
  • if you liked or loved The Green Glass Sea
  • if you like historical fiction
337 pages.
Very Good! I would recommend this book!

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