Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank
In 1959 the crisis in the Middle East comes to a head with the misfiring of a missile into Syria. That stray American missile starts World War III. Now the major cities in the world are destroyed. Fort Repose, Florida, is a small clear zone in the midst of wasted irradiated cities and bases. (Sorry all, New Jersey is pretty much gone.) The day of the attacks is called The Day by all who have survived and life continues in this small town as best it can.
I was amazed at how the author was able to tell such a convincingly set tale. It felt like 1959. One of the main characters is a spinster librarian and you can picture her, and all the other people, in your head. And while she becomes a vital part of the community after The Day the way she is portrayed and treated, and all the female characters are treated, is very much a clear division of women’s work and men’s work. Basically what you would expect in 1959, but very rarely happens in modern day works set in the time period. When I got to the end of the audiobook I found out why. This post-apocalyptic tale was recorded in 2010 yet written in 1959.