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Years later her father has disappeared, and the country is at war. Anna works at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, where women are allowed to hold jobs that had always belonged to men. She becomes the first female diver, the most dangerous and exclusive of occupations, repairing the ships that will help America win the war. She is the sole provider for her mother, a farm girl who had a brief and glamorous career as a Ziegfield folly, and her lovely, severely disabled sister. At a nightclub she chances to meet Styles, the man she visited with her father before he vanished, and she begins to understand the complexity of her father's life, the reasons he might have been murdered.
Mesmerizing, hauntingly beautiful, with the pace and atmosphere of a noir thriller and a wealth of detail about organized crime, the merchant marine, and the clash of classes in New York, Egan's first historical novel is a masterpiece, a deft, startling, intimate exploration of a transformative moment in the lives of women and men, America, and the world. Manhattan Beach is a magnificent novel by one of the greatest writers of our time.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By D. Thomas on 11-10-17
I usually love Jennifer Egan, however...
I have no idea how it happened, maybe it was after I restarted the book for the third time. After the first two times I thought I was in the groove of the book. But after round three I was still completely lost.
I was put off by the back and forth narration. That might have been one cause of my overall confusion. Heather Lind has a beautiful voice. Almost hypnotic. I had to pinch myself a couple of times so I would sit up straight and be an active listener.
It could have been I didn't listen to this book from beginning to end in one sitting. Maybe, but I usually follow most other books.
I think it was the story. A long, slow moving story.
Still love Jennifer Egan. Just not this one.
29 of 31 people found this review helpful
By WillowGirl313 on 10-30-17
A Narrative of a Girl Diver
I can't put my finger on why I like this book so much. Anna proves to be a three dimensional character and the men in her life interact with that beautifully if not somewhat unexpectedly. The narration is executed with rich texture and the tone really helps to illuminate some of the era's slang.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful