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Hannah's War

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3.92  ·  Rating details ·  221 ratings  ·  75 reviews
A "mesmerizing" re-imagination of the final months of World War II (Kate Quinn, author of The Alice Network), Hannah's War is an unforgettable love story about an exceptional woman and the dangerous power of her greatest discovery.



Berlin, 1938. Groundbreaking physicist Dr. Hannah Weiss is on the verge of the greatest discovery of the 20th century: splitting the atom. She
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Paperback, 312 pages
Published March 3rd 2020 by Back Bay Books
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Average rating 3.92  · 
Rating details
 ·  221 ratings  ·  75 reviews


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Katie B
Even though this historical fiction book is more imaginative than fact based, I still thought it was a worthwhile read. The story revolved around the making of the atomic bomb and essentially which country's scientists were going to be the first ones to successfully pull it off. It was a fascinating read as the story did explore a bit of the science behind it but also what it might have been like to work on a project of this magnitude.

It's 1945 and Major Jack Delaney has been sent to a
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Nenia ⚡ Aspiring Evil Overlord ⚡ Campbell

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I actually ended up enjoying this a lot more than I thought I did. This is a story told towards the end of WWII, right around the time of the Hiroshima bombing and Hitler taking his own life. Hannah Weiss is a Jewish physicist who, after being exiled in Germany, has come to work with Oppenheimer to develop the Atomic bomb. Beautiful and brilliant, she is often unappreciated for her great work, and to make matters worse, the U.S. gov't is
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Kate Quinn
Jul 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Read this one for a cover quote, and loved it. My quote:

HANNAH'S WAR is a gripping cat-and-mouse tale of love, war, deception, and espionage you won't be able to put down. As Hitler's star rises in Germany, brilliant physicist Hannah Weiss is on the cusp of cracking critical atomic secrets, but a Jewish female scientist has no place in the new order. When Hannah escapes overseas into the pressure cooker of the American atom bomb project, a suspicious young CIA agent comes to investigate the
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Zoe
Feb 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
Fascinating, pacey, and engaging!

Hannahs War is an intriguing story that sweeps you away to Los Alamos, New Mexico in the final days of WWII where a female Jewish physicist is on the cusp of making history in a field dominated by men, the race to develop the first nuclear weapon is well and truly underway, and the search and investigation of potential Nazi spies is top priority.

The prose is atmospheric and descriptive. The characters are intelligent, passionate, anxious, and driven. And the plot
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Maine Colonial
I received a free publisher's advance review copy.

According to Eliasberg, this novel was inspired by a little-known historical fact: that among the three Nazi-era scientists in Berlin who first discovered the secret of nuclear fission, one was a brilliant Jewish woman named Lise Meitner. According to a New York Times story published on August 7,1945 (the day American forces dropped a nuclear bomb on Hiroshima), Meitner brought this secret to the Allies. Eliasberg wanted to write about Meitner
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Rama
Jan 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
When Smiles Fade

This is a fictionalized story of Austrian physicist Lise Meitner who discovered nuclear fission that paved the way for power generators using nuclear fuels. Part of the story is actual, and the rest is created by the author.

Hannah Weiss was a professionally battered woman who was treated unfairly in academics because of her gender and Jewish faith in Germany. Deeply hurt by the rising power of the Third Reich and the impact on her life, migrate to United States to work in the
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Mary Lins
Feb 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: complete
Hannahs War, by Jan Eliasberg, would make a marvelous movie or limited series! Fast-paced, a An Atomic Bomb! The fact that Elisaberg is a highly successful screenwriter/director is apparent from the first page. Hannahs War is quite a ride! (And It comes with a Readers Guide which is always useful for Book Clubs.)

On the first page, Hannah is being taken to prison for treason. The central question of the novel that will have the reader wondering to the very end is: was Hannah blinded by love into
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Joni Rodgers
Sep 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This meticulously researched, beautifully written novel opened my eyes to a facet of history I'd never even considered. Hannah's story is entertaining, thought-provoking, and full of unexpected twists right to the very last page.
Donna Hines
A richly based time in history in which one woman in particular Lise Meitner made a huge discovery related to uranium and nuclear fission. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lise_Me...
However, this book deals with another such woman with a few twists.
This sets the stage for the rest of this fascinating story in which espionage and romance is woven throughout this explosive and yet passionate historical fictional piece.
The main question readers must ask is who in fact is investigating whom?
It's 1938
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Fgolum
Nov 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Really enjoyed this historical fiction book about the development of the atomic bomb. It sparked an interest to explore further the involvement of women in this.
C Swayze
Feb 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Because when I read, I dont really read; I pop a beautiful sentence into my mouth and suck it like a fruit drop, or sip it like a liqueur until the thought dissolves in me like alcohol, infusing the brain and heart and coursing on thought the veins to the root of each blood vessel. - Bohumill Hrabal, Too Loud a Solitude

I came across Hrabals words in the sidewalk of Library Way by the New York Public Library, just as I was in the midst of reading Jan Eliasbergs luminous novel, Hannahs War. The
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Aisling
Feb 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I was skeptical at first when I saw it was historical fiction relating to science, as a chemist myself my past experience of reading things of that genre have been somewhat disappointing as the science is made to sound unrealistic or the scientists themselves are portrayed without much human quality/the idea that they have ideas and lives outside of the lab. This book struck a good balance, the science was delicately woven throughout in a manner that helped hold the story together without ...more
Nancy Schecter
Mar 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I loved Hannahs War, a delicious mix of espionage, nuclear physics, ethics, romance and history. Eliasbergs writing is cinematic, no surprise given her experience as a director and screenwriter. The characters ring true, its clearly well-researched. As a woman in science myself, I appreciate how Dr. Weiss is drawn with depth and complexity. The story behind the book, how Lise Meitner was not credited for her Nobel Prize winning discovery, brings the importance of Hannahs War to another level. ...more
Elizabeth Schmidt
Feb 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
I read an Advanced Reader copy - compelling fiction inspired by the real life female "non-Aryan" physicist, Dr. Lise Meitner, who was an important contributor to the Manhattan Project that developed the Nuclear bomb during WWII. The author asked herself the question "Why did the Germans never develop an atomic bomb?" This book is her imagined answer. Loved it!
Nancy
Mar 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
Captivating historical fiction about a female physicist on edge of making history in a totally male dominated field. Story is about life during WWII, love, friendship, tragedy and survival.

I found some of the characters werent that developed but Im guessing more books will be forthcoming..
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Jenny Q
Mar 03, 2020 marked it as to-check-out
Guest Post + Giveaway @ Let Them Read Books!
Sharlene
Mar 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A gripping story about the German physicist who in Berlin 1938 is on the verge of splitting the atom. The is a book that is very hard to put down and you will be pulled into the mystery of who in the top-secret nuclear lab at Los Alamos has been leaking encoded equations to Hitler's scientists.
I recommend this book to all that love a fast paced story with remarkable characters and well research history. All historical fiction fans will love this one..
Alma
Feb 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Lise Meitner, a physicist who discovered nuclear fission, is an unknown figure to those of us not part of the scientific world. Eliasberg wrote Hannahs war to get Lises story out there, and to explain why Hitlers scientists were never able to produce an atomic bomb of their own. Read the rest of the review on my blog: https://shouldireaditornot.wordpress.... ...more
Shirley Freeman
The question is, did Hannah, a brilliant physicist, leak secrets about building the atomic bomb to her counterparts in Germany? This one kept me guessing. The character of Hannah is inspired by real-life scientist Lise Meitner, the woman who discovered nuclear fission and of course was never recognized for it. The novel, which will be published in March, is part spy story, part love story, and a fine piece of historical fiction.
Diane
Feb 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I loved reading Hannah's War from the first page to the last. I know it is fiction but love that it was based on a brilliant Jewish female physicist who played an essential part in discovering nuclear fission. It is fast paced, beautifully written and thought-provoking. I hated coming to the end but have continued to think about Hannah/Lise Meitner.
Amy
Jan 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Deliciously entertaining--truly a page turner--and in addition insightful love story, history lesson and a tale of suspense. Warning: You'll want Eliasberg's next book, and soon!
murderino.booklover
Feb 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Strong, Smart, Independent Woman!!! If you are looking for a book about a woman holding her own - this book will not disappoint. Dr. Hannah Weiss is a dynamo. She knows her stuff and isnt giving anyone access to her brilliant brain.
This book had me in the edge of seat longing to know what happens next. I feel in love with the main characters.
If you are into historical fiction, I strongly recommending. Its a must read!!
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Sara Grace
Jan 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I cried on the subway in the middle of New York City rush hour while reading one of the most exciting sequences in Hannahs War.

This book is a fast-paced spy thriller, but for all the great, page-turning plot (you will delight in the intricacy) it was the quieter scenes in Berlin that moved me most. Here is a woman, Hannah, navigating life - as a Jew, as a scientist, as a parent figure - as hitler and the nazis tighten their grip on Germany. It felt all too relevant. What decisions does she make?
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Hallie Friedman
I won HANNAH'S WAR in a Goodreads Giveaway and, quite literally, couldn't put it down. I started reading in the afternoon and finished at about 3:00 a.m. I think I ate something for dinner but I was so engrossed in this remarkable story that I can hardly remember. I was completely immersed in the mesmerizing character of Dr. Hannah Weiss (inspired by the real nuclear physicist, Lise Meitner, who discovered nuclear fission only to be robbed of credit because she was female and Jewish). Hannah's ...more
Jayenron
Oct 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I was given an advanced copy of HANNAHS WAR by the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.
This is a superbly written romantic thriller set against stakes that could not be higherthe race to build the Atomic Bomb, waged between the Third Reich and the Allies. Sparkling with period detail, it is reminiscent of Jennifer Egans Manhattan Beach and Anthony Doerrs All The Light We Cannot See with its absorption into a carefully researched time period. The story is brought to sparkling life by
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Naomi McDougall
Oct 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I was lucky enough to receive an advance copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I opened the first page in the middle of quite a busy moment in my life and was so swept away by the story and characters that I ignored my growing to do list, glued to the page, finished the book in a day and a half. There is almost no greater pleasure for me than a book you can't put down and, if you feel the same, this is the book for you. Eliasberg is a wonderful, enchanting writer ...more
WillWorkForBooks
Oct 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
My favorite works of historical fiction -- Michael Ondaatje's THE ENGLISH PATIENT; Michael Cunningham's THE HOURS; Hilary Mantel's WOLF HALL -- are gorgeously crafted; deeply researched; brilliantly plotted, and filled with characters so rich and compelling that they make history urgent and mesmerizing. HANNAH'S WAR fulfills those expectations and even exceeds them. Its been a long time since Ive read a beautifully-crafted, gloriously-written novel with three-dimensional characters and ...more
Jane Weinstock
Dec 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I was lucky enough to receive an advance copy of "Hannah's War." I took it on a trip and read it in four days. It's beautifully written, the characters are complicated and unusual, and I found it hard to put down. The parts about Nazi Germany are devastating. It was great to read a book about a woman scientist that is told with such complexity and compassion.
Leslie Lindsay
Feb 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
A gripping story of one woman's bravery and brilliance during WWII, exploring themes of identity, deception, and more.

With HANNAH'S WAR (Little Brown/Back Bay Books, March 3 2020), award-winning screenwriter and film director, Jan Eliasburg turns her gaze toward fiction, but staying true to form, she is continuing to highlight strong, independent female characters. I was blown away with the writing in HANNAH'S WAR and had to remind myself this is a debut novel for the author. The writing is
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Sabreena - Books and Prosecco
Hannah's War by Jan Eliasberg

Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Disclaimer: The amazing humans at Hachette Book Group Canada were kind enough to send me an arc of Hannahs War in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions below are my own.

I will protect you, Hannah. If I can.

Hannahs War is a beautifully written story told from two different times, before and during World War II. Hannah and Jack tell us their stories, from Hannah being on the verge of the greatest discovery of her time in 1938 to Jack finding the spy who has been
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Jan Eliasberg is an award-winning writer/director with an MFA in Directing from the Yale School of Drama and an MFA in Fiction from the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson, where she was mentored by Charles Baxter, Joan Silber and Antonya Nelson. HANNAH'S WAR is her debut novel -- HANNAH'S WAR will be published by Little, Brown on March 3, 2020.
Eliasberg has a notable career as a
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