Beautifully rendered . . . genuinely affecting and handsomely constructed. It moves for all the right reasons.”



Just finished Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan. This novel was recently long listed for this years National Book Award.

The story takes place mainly in Brooklyn, New York between the mid 1930’s to around 1944. Anne Kerrigan was very close to her Dad when she was younger. She lived at home with Mom and a younger sister severely disabled at birth.

Anne would sometimes travel with her Dad when he worked and one of her visits brings her to Manhattan Beach and the home of Dexter Styles. It’s a visit that leaves a lasting impression on her.

Some time after this visit her Dad goes out to work and never returns. The family goes on without him, and as Ann gets older, she will get a job at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, where during the war, many woman did jobs the men formally did. One night she will go out to a local club with a girlfriend from the yard when she will see Dexter Styles again. She learns that Mr. Styles owns this club and is a member of the mob. Anne will look to him to find out about what happened to her dad.

There will be some interesting twists to this story that make it well worth reading. The author captures the change in life these girls experience when thrown together into the world of men, and the dilemma they will face when they are still judged as woman were at that time.

Anne reliance on being accepted in that world holds the key to her finding out the truth about her dad.

The author won the Pulitzer Prize and the National Critics Circle Award for her previous novel, A Visit from the Goon Squad.


Reviewed by:

Richard Franco

Added 5th November 2017

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Richard Franco