Thank you to Simon and Schuster who sent a copy of Manhattan Beach through a Goodreads Giveaway! It was fantastic to read an advance reader copy before it was on sale in stores!
Manhattan Beach is a historical fiction novel telling the story of a young girl growing up, in Brooklyn, NY. She becomes a woman in the midst of the Great Depression, organized crime and later, the second World War. Anna is tenacious, gritty and determined to support her family after her father disappears leaving her at home with her mother and disabled sister.
Anna fights for her chance to work as a diver in the Brooklyn Naval Yards, a dangerous role, never before taken on by a woman. She is successful in her quest and is admired by other men and women alike who come to appreciate her skill despite the heckling and challenges she experienced at the beginning. Her mother, a fallen starlet does an amazing job caring for her sister at home while others in that situation may have institutionalized the girl. The little family has no idea what has happened to their father who abruptly disappeared.
Anna grows into a young woman with very little oversight from her mother. She is introduced to the night life and feels sparks when she meets Dexter, an man that she had met many years ago as she joined her father on “business”. Dexter does not recognized the young woman who had once been the little girl, tagging along and Anna she starts to understand the complicated life that her had father led.
Manhattan Beach is well-written and suspenseful. The storylines merge, enlightening the readers’ understanding of the challenges faced on the home front during this point in history.
I would recommend this novel and will add Egan’s award winning novel The Goon Squad to my burgeoning TBR pile!