WWII Brooklyn. The Brooklyn Navy Yard has begun to employ women, and Anna Kerrigan has a job measuring tiny ship parts. Once she becomes aware of the divers repairing ships underwater, her job seems boring and she wants with all her being to become a diver -- something women aren't allowed to do. How will she convince Lt. Axel to give her a chance?
Egan paints a vivid picture of wartime New York City. The Navy Yard is humming with activity, as are the nightclubs. Anna, in green silk dress or 200 lb diving suit, takes the reader through all of it.