Well, I stopped short of wanting to throw the book across the room but overall it was a disappointment. And a lot of stuff with the bomb just doesn’t make sense to me.
It started out promisingly enough, and I thought Poddy’s (Podkayne’s) jocular tone was fun at first. Her mother is even a big shot engineer, so I thought there might actually be some truth in Heinlein’s earlier stuff being better. But boy oh boy does he start showing his true colours as the story progresses. It started with little things, like comments about how all a woman has is her looks, despite any other accomplishments. That scene with the makeup was just cringeworthy. And I’ve honestly never met a teenage girl who was baby crazy, or who judged that her hips made her designed for making babies. Maybe things were different back then, but…I’m thinking it was some authorial projection. I’m not saying she can’t like babies, it’s just the way it’s presented, you know? Up to that point she’d been spaceship crazy. The book presents forgetting about trying for traditionally male careers as “growing up”, to which this engineer offers a middle-fingered salute.
Oh, and in the end Poddy’s mother is portrayed as being negligent for having a career instead of spending all her time raising her kids, so between that and the ending…I’d generally recommend taking a hard pass on this one.
It’s so depressing to think that Heinlein is still worshipped today as a master of SF.