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The original item was published from 8/22/2018 10:12:07 AM to 8/28/2018 12:00:00 PM.

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Library Readers Advisory

Posted on: August 22, 2018

[ARCHIVED] The Concord Insider's Book of the Week

Manhattan Beach

Check the Insider each Tuesday for your weekly dose of reading recommendation excitement!


This week’s review:


Manhattan Beach

Jennifer Egan

2017, 438 pages

Historical Fiction


Twelve-year-old Anna Kerrigan has a special relationship with her father that she understands is markedly different than what she shares with her younger, disabled sister and her beautiful, tired mother. When she accompanies her father on one of his always-mysterious business outings and meets Dexter Styles at his Manhattan Beach home, she has a feeling that this meeting is momentous in some way that she cannot yet recognize.

Six years later and Anna, now 18, is working at the Brooklyn Naval Yard during the Second World War and helping her mother care for her ever-worsening sister. Anna’s father disappeared shortly after their visit to Dexter Styles and Anna is convinced that he’s still alive. When circumstances take a tragic turn, Anna is left alone in New York where, against many odds and the societal restrictions on women at the time, she becomes the first female diver and succeeds at the work that only men were allowed to do before the war. And, through a chance meeting, Dexter Styles is reintroduced into Anna’s life, reawakening thoughts of her father and a determination to solve the mystery of his disappearance.

Egan’s newest book and first foray into historical fiction reads almost like a dark thriller and is an absolute treat for fans of World War II fiction and noir. Anna’s success as a diver is especially pleasing for readers who enjoy a strong female main character. Plot twists until the very end – you won’t be able to put this one down.


Nicole Schulze, Adult Services & Outreach CoordinatorNicole Bitmoji


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