Manhattan Beach Reader Reviews

Manhattan Beach

Nikki McMath

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.

Kathy Martin

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!

Sandra Robinson

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.

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Emma Lewis

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.

Book Information

ISBN: 9781472150905
Publication date: 31st May 2018
Author: Jennifer Egan
Publisher: Corsair an imprint of Little, Brown Book Group
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 512 pages
Genres: Books of the Month, eBook Favourites, Exclusive Pre-Publication, Literary Fiction, Thriller / Suspense,
Categories: Historical adventure, Thriller / suspense,