Manhattan Beach

by Jennifer Egan

Modern and Contemporary Fiction Historical Fiction Family Drama Thriller and Suspense eBooks of the Month Books of the Month Literary Fiction

LoveReading Expert Review of Manhattan Beach

An impressive historical novel of struggle and determination with a strong heroine in a WW2 Brooklyn Naval Base from the author of the Pulitzer Prize winning 'A Visit from the Goon Squad'.

I first came across the author with The Keep, a hypnotising duel-time, multi-narrative work. Then came her Pultizer Prize winning A Visit From the Goon Squad, an impressive novel which spans decades through the lives of complex characters. So I was really surprised to find this, her first 'historical' novel follows a linear pattern, a more conventional read than I was expecting, but nonetheless totally absorbing. Beginning in the Great Depression and closing at the end of WWII, it concentrates on Anna, her father and initially her very disabled sister. Her father is mixed up in organised crime, working for gangster Dexter Styles, whom Anna first meets when she is twelve, their paths cross dramatically again when she is in her twenties. She works as a diver in the Brooklyn Naval Yard, the first woman to do so, and we are presented with a heroine fighting for recognition and breaking the mould of what is expected for a young woman at that time. I loved it. Highly recommended.

Sarah Broadhurst

Manhattan Beach Synopsis

Tauchen Sie ein in das vibrierende New York der 30er und 40er Jahre, folgen Sie einer unvergesslichen Heldin in eine Zeit, in der alles auf dem Spiel steht.New York - von der Marinewerft in Brooklyn zu den schillernden Nachtclubs in Manhattan, von den Villen auf Long Island zu den Absteigen in der Bronx. 1942 sind die Manner an der Front, die Frauen stehen in der Fabrik. Aber Anna mochte ein besseres Leben. Seitdem der Vater verschwunden ist, sorgt sie fur ihre Mutter und die pflegebedurftige Schwester. Wahrend Anna den Vater nicht vergessen kann, verfolgt sie bestimmt ihren groen Traum: Unter die gigantischen Kriegsschiffe an den Docks mochte sie tauchen, um sie zu reparieren. Ein Beruf zu gefahrlich fur eine Frau - genauso wie die New Yorker Unterwelt, in der sich die Spur ihres Vaters verlor.Der Pulitzer-Preistragerin und New York Times-Bestsellerautorin Jennifer Egan ist ein Meisterwerk mit erzahlerischem Sog, mitreiender Atmosphare und unvergesslichen Figuren gelungen - ein groes Zeitpanorama!

About This Edition

ISBN: 9783104906614
Publication date: 29th August 2018
Author: Jennifer Egan
Publisher: FISCHER E-Books
Format: Ebook
Primary Genre Historical Fiction
Other Genres:

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Manhattan Beach Reader Reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title.

I found this book to be so engrossing that I couldn’t put it down until I had turned the very last page.

The story follows the life of a girl called Anna Kerrigan and her relationship with her father and family, set during war time it takes us on a journey with Anna from her 12 year old self who meets an interesting man called Dexter Styles whilst accompanying her much loved father on one of his business trips out of the city to his large house on the beach. Years later we discover that Anna’s life has changed dramatically as she is now working at the Naval Yard measuring parts for the war effort, her father left years ago and she has been left with her mother and disabled sister that she adores very much.

The story is both intriguing and beguiling and you find yourself lost in the authors beautiful descriptions of times, places and people – along with the beautiful use of prose I found this book to be so engrossing that I couldn’t put it down until I had turned the very last page.

Nikki McMath

Jennifer Egan's first historical novel is a triumph. I was absolutely enthralled, drawn in and couldn't escape the shady world of Gangsters, sailors, union men - I couldn't put it down.

Who would have thought that a book with a central character working in the Brooklyn Naval Yard, and training as the first female diver, could hold my interest? I didn't hold out much hope - but I was absolutely enthralled. Jennifer Egan's first historical novel is a triumph. The Great Depression, and war-time America, peopled with Gangsters, union men and shady characters of all types came alive under her deft touch. The real star for me though, was the sea. The descriptions of the sea, in its many moods, I found captivating and held the whole story together. The relationships in this book are complicated. The characters are complex. I was constantly waiting for the next twist. There were things going on which I didn't really want to get involved with, yet I was drawn in and couldn't escape. This book had me hooked from page one, and I honestly could not put it down.
Without giving anything away (no spoilers here), the ending was not what I was expecting. The author rounded things up very quickly. I guess, looking back, the story had been told. This is a truly great read. It is a book that I will probably re-read - and I don't often say that!

Kathy Martin

An absolutely stunning book which totally captivated me. I was right there in the story with Anna. Set in the war years the story is historical but current too.

Anna Kerrigan, is nearly twelve when she goes with her father to meet a man called Dexter Styles who Anna senses is crucial to her family's survival. His house at Manhattan Beach spellbounds her.

Her father suddenly disappears, no one knows where he's gone but Anna doesn't stop looking for him. She can't believe he'd leave her mother and disabled sister Lydia, a sister Anna adores.

The country is at war and Anna finds work at a Brooklyn naval yard doing a job a man would normally have done. She's determined to be a diver and through perseverance becomes the first woman diver repairing war ships.

Quite by chance she meets Dexter Styles again and is drawn to him. The feelings seem quite mutual until she tells him who she really is and that she's still searching for her missing father.

A stunning historical novel all about the depression, the war years, gangsters, sailors, divers, the sea, the union men and forbidden love.

Sandra Robinson

A deep dive into the murky waters during the Great Depression.

This historical novel set during the Great Depression is told through three narratives. Anna a 11 year old girl is the main character who is a great character and I loved her being the only female diver. The other two characters is her father and a gangster called Dexter. I felt the switching in narratives was at times confusing to know where you are in the story. However the further down in the depths of the story you go the deeper you are invested in the characters. A good read and I am now intrigued to read other books by Egan.

Emma Lewis

Jennifer Egan Press Reviews

One of the most dazzling novelists writing today . . . It is simply stunning; thrilling, heartbreaking and unputdownable. Book of the Month. * Bookseller * After stretching the boundaries of fiction in myriad ways, Pulitzer Prize winner Egan does perhaps the only thing left that could surprise: she writes a thoroughly traditional novel. It shouldn't really be surprising, since even Egan's most experimental work has been rich in characters and firmly grounded in sharp observation of the society around them. Here, she brings those qualities to a portrait of New York City during the Depression and World War II... haunting ... Realistically detailed, poetically charged, and utterly satisfying: apparently there's nothing Egan can't do. * Kirkus Reviews, STARRED review * Splendid . . .Tremendously assured and rich, moving from depictions of violence and crime to deep tenderness. The book's emotional power once again demonstrates Egan's extraordinary gifts. * Publishers Weekly, starred review *

Other editions of this book

ISBN: 9783104906614
Publication date: 29/08/2018
Format: Ebook

ISBN: 9781472150905
Publication date: 31/05/2018
Format: Paperback

ISBN: 9781472150875
Publication date: 03/10/2017
Format: Hardback

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About Jennifer Egan

Jennifer Egan is the author of The Keep, Look at Me, The Invisible Circus, and the story collection Emerald City. Her stories have been published in The New Yorker, Harper's Magazine, GQ, Zoetrope, All-Story, and Ploughshares, and her nonfiction appears frequently in The New York Times Magazine. A Visit from the Goon Squad won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 2011. She lives with her husband and sons in Brooklyn.   Author photo © Pieter Van Hattem

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