Manhattan Beach – Jennifer Egan

Manhattan Beach is a historical fiction with war, gangsters and diving all thrown together. The story revolves around Anna Kerrigan who we meet as a twelve year old accompanying her father on some business. Fast forward to Anna as an adult doing her part for the war effort. Her father has disappeared, her sister passed on and now her mother moves to the country leaving Anna on her own. Soon Anna becomes entranced with the idea of diving and begins a difficult journey as a girl in Amana world leading her to cross paths with an old work acquaintance of her fathers.

Manhattan Beach starts out strong. The story is compelling with unique and fascinating characters keeping the reader engaged and wanting more. The mix of characters and setting are interesting and different to anything I have read before. The writing was great and I found myself easily sucked into the pages.

I didn’t enjoy the second half as much and felt the plot lost it’s direction and pace. The characters made decisions that felt out of place and I encountered a trope I despise. I found the ending underwhelming, although did enjoy one plot twist. I was left with a desire to read more Egan despite this one feeling like a bit of a let down. Overall it was still an enjoyable read, just not a favourite.

3 thoughts on “Manhattan Beach – Jennifer Egan

    1. I’m definitely excited to read The Goon Squad! Ohhh, the trope was “girl is intent on getting an abortion, goes to clinic and backs out at the last minute”. I hate it because the moment you know the character plans to get one that it definitely won’t happen and then my eyes roll. Lol.


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