Book Review - Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan
Merry Christmas, everyone! I hope you had a wonderful day with family and friends. I read Manhattan Beach while at Siesta Key Beach in Florida and I’m writing this post from a beach in Cabo! So this post is sure to bring you lots of warm vibes!
I had so much fun taking the photos for this post. I was in Florida for the International Textile and Apparel Associations’ annual conference back in November - I attend every year along with my two best friends from graduate school: Whitney and Jessie. After the conference we visited Jessie’s beach house in Siesta Key for a little girl time. Jess took the photos at sunset and Whit was making us both crack up with her one-liners. Just looking at these photos again makes me smile.
So I started this book back in November and just finished it last week. When I first read about the plot I thought this book would be perfect for me: The story centers around Anna Kerrigan. As a young girl she accompanies her father on a business trip and takes notice of the intense interaction between the two men. Years later, the country is at war. Anna's father has long since disappeared and Anna runs into this man, questions resurfacing about what ever happened to her father. Not to mention, Anna is working to become the first female diver. Part historical fiction, part murder mystery, this plot was sure to be a recipe for success.
A historical fiction novel mixed with murder mystery? It sounded like a page turner! Unfortunately, it was really slow at times. The author included a lot of details and covered a lot of time - I felt it was longer than it needed to be. On the other hand, the characters were very well developed and I felt like I knew them really well. The author did an amazing job making the characters come to life - so that when I put down the book for awhile I found myself wondering how the story ended.
I am so glad that I kept coming back to this book - the story was complex but also compelling. I came to really enjoy the technical details of diving during World War II and there is something to be said about a book that you set down but come back to a little later. Perhaps I just needed time to digest the story, mull it over in my mind, and then resume where I left off. The ending was how I expected the whole book to be: a page-turner. I was so eager to find out what happened and I felt a emotional connection with the characters and hoped for a happy ending.
So although this was a more difficult book to get through, it made me think a lot and I did end up enjoying it. If you’re looking for a more complex book that is different from what you’ve been reading - I think Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan would be a good choice for you!
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