"Every time she heard someone shout 'Victory in Japan,' she pictured a young mother with narrow eyes and sallow skin--a woman who except for the fact they were enemies, was like her: conflicted, grief-stricken, filled with love for her surviving children but resentment for her absent soldier-husband. And then, in a flash of light, she was gone. Burned to death. Was the woman grateful to be relieved of her complicated life? No. She was nothing anymore. It was an evil way to win the war was what Stella thought. She didn't approve of the atom bombs they had used, but she couldn't say that, not to anyone. Except, perhaps, Bill."

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