The Cassandra by Sharma Shields

 

The Cassandra by Sharma Shields

" Like the tragic figure of Cassandra in Greek mythology, Mildred Groves—a dowdy twenty-something stuck living at home with her difficult mother—is cursed with the ability to see the future. When she goes to work at a research facility in 1944, she doesn't know that the facility is aiding in the production of plutonium for atomic bombs, but she can't escape visions of the destruction that's to come. Shields renders Mildred and her terrifying visions in language so vivid and memorable, and shows how frighteningly easy it is to ignore evil when it's happening to other people. "  - Recommended by Erika

Staff Pick Badge
The Cassandra: A Novel Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781250197412
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Henry Holt and Co. - February 12th, 2019

Mildred Groves is an unusual young woman. Gifted and cursed with the ability to see the future, Mildred runs away from home to take a secretary position at the Hanford Research Center in the early 1940s. Hanford, a massive construction camp on the banks of the Columbia River in remote South Central Washington, exists to test and manufacture a mysterious product that will aid the war effort. Only the top generals and scientists know that this product is processed plutonium, for use in the first atomic bombs.

 

Mildred is delighted, at first, to be part of something larger than herself after a lifetime spent as an outsider. But her new life takes a dark turn when she starts to have prophetic dreams about what will become of humankind if the project is successful. As the men she works for come closer to achieving their goals, her visions intensify to a nightmarish pitch, and she eventually risks everything to question those in power, putting her own physical and mental health in jeopardy. Inspired by the classic Greek myth, this 20th century reimagining of Cassandra's story is based on a real WWII compound that the author researched meticulously. A timely novel about patriarchy and militancy, The Cassandra uses both legend and history to look deep into man's capacity for destruction, and the resolve and compassion it takes to challenge the powerful.