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Manhattan Beach

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LoveReading Says

LoveReading Says

Where Jennifer Egan's previous book A VISIT FROM THE GOON SQUAD was all brevity and ellipses in the way the varied short stories moved between genres and came together to form a whole, her much-awaited new opus is what one would term an old-fashioned novel in its attention to detail, scope and intentions. Lengthy, detailed, meticulous, with a cast of many and a profound mystery at its core, it will surprise readers who only latched on to her protean talent with her previous, unexpected bestseller but were unaware of how she changes her stories, style and preoccupations from book to book. Set during the Depression years and World War Two, the story centers on an Irish family in Brooklyn living in the shadow of the Naval Yard where their lives are switched off course by a mysterious disappearance which forms the heart of the lingering plot. Children, gangsters, lost souls and a sad gallery of damaged human beings are part of the book's unfolding and fascinating tapestry. A book for grown-ups!  Maxim Jakubowski

Maxim Jakubowski

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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.... Read Full Review

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.... Read Full Review

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.... Read Full Review

Sandra Robinson