An incredible achievement. . . As ambitious as a Greek tragedy and just as lyrical and unflinching.


Barenbaum burnishes her reputation as an up-and-coming talent with this audacious time travel story... The threads build toward a deeply satisfying denouement, and the author uses the sci-fi plot device to explore parent-child relationships and questions about the morality of changing the past. Barenbaum dares greatly, and succeeds.

Publishers Weekly - STARRED REVIEW

Rachel Barenbaum’s latest novel is about Chernobyl, yes, but also about comic books, the power of math, finding one’s truth, and love, both biological and found... Wonderful... The novel is masterfully plotted.

New York Times

A sweeping generational saga and a unique exploration of the Jewish immigrant experience in the mid-twentieth century, the novel is a captivating portrayal of family struggle and one of the greatest disasters in modern history.

Association of Jewish Libraries Honor Book for the Jewish Fiction Award

If Barenbaum’s debut A Bend In The Stars is read as a quest — a race against time and across the Russian countryside as both World War I and the solar eclipse of 1914 loom over the heroes and their fates — this novel triples down on the author’s ability to see history through the lens of the fantastic as much as the human, to go, like her characters, “beyond what logic dictates.” It’s a leap, and she lands it.

LA Review of Books

In the book’s acknowledgments, Barenbaum notes that her inspiration for “Atomic Anna” was a 2020 New York Times article about a “real-life cosmic ray research station on Mount Aragats.” Countless people read that article. Only Barenbaum used it as a launchpad to create a multi-dimensional, splendidly crafted novel.


Full of breath-holding tension and fraught family dynamics, this sci-fi/historical genre bender is a must-read.

Buzz Feed

Just as the romance of epic literature is timeless, Atomic Anna’s demonstration of what may be learned about the human heart is also outside of time, and certainly beyond the ordinary.

Book Page

Barenbaum masterfully switches back and forth among the women’s lives, detailing their struggles with intergenerational trauma and personal aspirations as well as how they grapple with their Jewish identity.

Hadassah Magazine

Rachel Barenbaum’s new novel, “Atomic Anna,” is brilliant for its intricate plot and the existential questions it poses.

Jewish Boston

Full of breath-holding tension and fraught family dynamics, this sci-fi/historical genre-bender is a must-read.

Buzz Feed: 14 New Historical Fiction Books You'll Want To Pick Up This Spring

Part science fiction thriller, part family drama, Atomic Anna is a unique blend of what's best about these genres.

Book Browse

Most Anticipated Reads for April


ATOMIC ANNA is a dazzling work of ingenuity and imagination.

Téa Obreht

A novel of love, suspense, and nuclear technology. Breathtaking.

Gary Shteyngart, New York Times bestselling author of Our Country Friends

Epic, ambitious, and gripping, Atomic Anna is a wildly inventive novel that teems with life and grapples with the big questions of science, art, love, and humanity. Rachel Barenbaum is a propulsive writer who takes readers on a journey through time via the lives of three generations of extraordinary women who come together to try to change the course of history and undo the mistakes of their past. Atomic Anna is a trip through time well worth taking. I couldn't put it down.

Lara Prescott, New York Times bestselling author of The Secrets We Kept

Rachel Barenbaum is a fiercely talented writer whose latest novel took my breath away. Steeped in the history of the nuclear age, Atomic Anna is a thrilling multigenerational epic that leaps through time and across continents to detail the troubled lives and rich inner worlds of an unforgettable cast of characters. An electrifying novel that holds you in its grip from start to finish, this is one you don’t want to miss.

Lauren Wilkinson, author of American Spy

Deftly plotted and thrillingly paced, Atomic Anna combines unforgettable characters, historical intrigue, and time travel in a remarkable tour de force that shines a new light on an old story. If you’re looking to be transported, this book is for you.

Anna Solomon, author of The Book of V.

(A) philosophical framework supports a fabulous, satisfying swirl of family relationships, historical flex points and alternative futures, with the occasional mathematical paradox thrown in.

Moment Magazine

The only thing I love more than nuclear physics, time travel, comic books and stories with a decided Russia accent, is Barenbaum’s latest splendid novel, a multi-generational tale with strong, passionate female leads. Brilliantly written, it truly makes you believe in the mysteries of both the universe, time, and the human heart.

Caroline Leavitt, New York Times bestselling novelist of Pictures of You and With or Without You

Have fun exploring the time-space continuum.

Goodreads - Travel Back in Time, Historical Fiction Novels

We are ready to sit in the sun with these incred­i­ble books com­ing out this spring. . .

Jewish Book Council Bookshelf: Spring 2022

Well-Read Podcast: Spring/ Summer Book Preview 2022

Well-Read Podcast

20 Must-Read Spring Books

USA Today

The Mary Sue Book Club: April 2022

The Mary Sue

'Sea of Tranquility,' 'The Candy House' and 'Atomic Anna': Strange and beautiful new books this week

USA Today

Trav­el­ing across time, read­ers expe­ri­ence the con­nect­ed­ness of the women in Anna’s life and how their knowl­edge, love, and col­lab­o­ra­tion are their superpowers.

Jewish Book Council

17 Books You Really Should Read Now: ATOMIC ANNA

Kirkus Reviews

This is a novel long on ideas and a moderately sized cast of characters, but no one is left behind and the threads are connected expertly by the end.

Winnipeg Free Press

Best Reviewed Books of the Month of April


One Book One Hadassah Book Club Pick for June 2022: Rachel Barenbaum, author of the acclaimed A Bend in the Stars, tackles the implications of time travel as well as the promises and pitfalls of nuclear science with a Soviet Jewish twist in her inventive new novel, Atomic Anna.

Hadassah Magazine

Drawing Literary Inspiration From Jewish Philosophy

UC Santa Barbara Humanities & Fine Arts Department