Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan

Manhattan Beach

Manhattan Beach opens in Brooklyn during the Great Depression. Anna Kerrigan, nearly twelve years old, accompanies her father to the house of a man who, she gleans, is crucial to the survival of her father and her family. Anna observes the uniformed servants, the lavishing of toys on the children, and some secret pact between her father and Dexter Styles.Years later, her father has disappeared and the country is at war. Anna works at the Brooklyn...

Details Manhattan Beach

TitleManhattan Beach
Release DateOct 3rd, 2017
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Fiction, New York, Literary Fiction, Novels, Adult Fiction, War, World War II, Contemporary

Reviews Manhattan Beach

  • Emily May
    1 1/2 stars. Um, definitely not what I was expecting from Egan at all... is this really the same author who wrote A Visit from the Goon Squad?Manhattan Beach feels like several stories in one, all struggling to come together, all lacking cohesion, none of them emotionally engaging. This is a messy book, full of plot points that seem unnecessary and deliberately convoluted. Is it a novel about a young woman navigating a male-dominated world and wo...
  • Angela M
    I can't say I loved A Visit From the Goon Squad as much as the Pulitzer Prize committee or the National Book Critics Circle, or the many five star reviewers on Goodreads, but I liked it well enough to want to give this one a try and I'm so glad I did. It's a very different kind of book than Goon Squad. It's a work of historical fiction beginning around the Great Depression and continuing through the war years. It appears to be well researched and...
  • Liz
    2.5 stars, rounded up“Hope became the memory of hope: a numb, dead patch.” This books starts in the midst of the Depression and continues during WWII. Anna is initially a twelve year old and a true daddy’s girl. Then she's working at the Naval Yard during the war and her father has disappeared five years earlier. The writing here is as good as you'd expect from Jennifer Egan. And she's done her research and the parts of the book describing ...
  • Hannah
    That was disappointing. I adored A Visit from the Goon Squad; it was one of my favourite books of last year, so you can imagine how beyond excited I was to read this book - I took my sweet time starting it to be able to read it at the just the right moment, I was so sure I would love this. But I didn't. I enjoyed the first chapter and was ok with the ones following - until around page 150 - when I realized that I have no idea what the point is, w...
  • Cheri
    What I was drawn to: The story centers on Anna Kerrigan, and her Irish family, beginning in Brooklyn during the Great Depression, an era and location that should come alive, so much rich history to drawn from. So, what did and didn’t work for me? I was drawn into this story for very brief periods of time. When Anna was caring for her sister, whose disabilities require constant care and supervision, her devotion to her sister - admirable, and he...
  • Paromjit
    This is a hauntingly ambitious historical novel of the sea and New York, set during the Depression era and the Second World War. It is impeccably researched in its period details and well plotted. Anna Kerrigan is 11 years old, with her beloved father, Eddie, as they make their way to Manhatton Beach, and the opulent home of nightclub owner Dexter Styles, a man with ties to the mob. The family are barely getting by, Eddie is a bagman for the unio...
  • Arah-Lynda
    It is not as though I had high expectations going into this.  Having never read a Jennifer Egan novel before I was bereft of preconceived notions.But based on the blurb and certainly on the first few chapters I was eager to continue reading what promised to be an interesting well written story.Set in depression era Brooklyn, Anna Kerrigan is only 12 years old as the story opens.  She is accompanying her father Eddie on one of his many errands....
  • Holly B
    2.5 starsManhattan Beach takes place in NY during the Great Depression and into World War II. We meet twelve-year old Anna Kerrigan and her father, Eddie. Eddie's other daughter, Lydia is severely crippled and the family has no money for the wheelchair that she needs. Manhattan Beach is home to a rich gangster, Dexter Styles and Eddie brings Anna to his home, seeking a job that he desperately needs to care for Lydia and his family. Exactly what i...
  • Robin
    Expectations. They'll get you every time.I haven't read the award winning and controversial book by this author, A Visit from the Goon Squad. But I understood, from many reviews, some found it dull, some found it pointless, others found it ultra modern and stylistic, but none really questioned the actual writing (thank the good lord, since it won the Pulitzer).So, I was thrilled to receive the ARC of this book, eager to dive into the writing of a...
  • Ron Charles
    Jennifer Egan has wisely chosen not to compete with “Goon Squad” and its postmodern razzle-dazzle. Instead, her new book leaps into the past, offering us a story built on sturdy older forms polished to a high sheen.“Manhattan Beach” — longlisted for a National Book Award even before it was released — is a historical novel set during World War II in New York. The country isn’t entirely in agreement about entering another foreign war,...
  • Rebecca Foster
    Set in the 1930s and 1940s, this is the story of Anna Kerrigan, a New Yorker of Irish extraction whose father disappears after working for Dexter Styles, a gangster who owns several nightclubs. Egan focuses on interesting historical side notes such as Anna’s work as a diver at Brooklyn Navy Yard during WWII, but in general her insertion of period detail is not very natural. I couldn’t help but compare this with her previous novel, the highly ...
  • Jessica Woodbury
    There is this thing with me and Jennifer Egan books. I feel like I should love them but they don't quite hit right. Even with A Visit From the Goon Squad, the one I liked best, I didn't have the effusive response everyone else did. And yet I keep reading them, waiting to break the cycle. But here we are again, much the same as before.In this story of a daughter, Anna, whose father disappears under mysterious circumstances, there is a lot to love....
  • Karen
    Manhattan Beach written by Jennifer EganThis is a hard review for me to write, because while it is apparent in the acknowledgements Jennifer Egan lists the many people she interviewed and the many books she read to meticulously research and bring this book to life, it was a disappointing experience. I have tremendous respect for this Pulitzer Prize winning author whose historical novel Manhattan Beach will most likely find her audience of fans fo...
  • Roman Clodia
    "You sound like a girl in a love serial," Anna said.Well, I haven't read A Visit from the Goon Squad but this isn't at all what I expected from a Pulitzer winner... (but, then, I hated All the Light We Cannot See so clearly I and the Pulitzer panel are Not As One!)Firstly, this feels like 3 separate stories crammed together messily: the first is Anna's story, she a feisty if oddly flat young woman working in the Brooklyn Naval Yard in 1942. She w...
  • Doug
    My sincere thanks to Netgalley and Simon & Schuster for the privilege of reading an ARC of this novel five months prior to publication, in exchange for this honest review. (WARNING: some very mild minor spoilers ensue!) Let's face it - when your last book won every book award under the sun, including the Pulitzer, unless the follow-up - eagerly anticipated by fans for seven long years - is a flat-out masterpiece, there is bound to be a bit of dis...
  • Latkins
    This is a compelling novel which tells the story of New Yorker Anna, from when she was a child in the 1930s to during WWII. Her father, Eddie, gets mixed up in the lives of gangsters during the Great Depression, and then disappears mysteriously. Years later, Anna is working in the Naval Yard when she comes across one of her father's old associates, Dexter, in the nightclub which he owns. She starts to suspect that her father may have been murdere...
  • Charles Finch
    Review tk. Loved it!
  • Anne Foster
    I don't always love historical fiction but this novel hooked me from the beginning as its unique characters were believable and attention to detail was flawless. Spanning years from the Great Depression to WWI, it relates the story of Anna and her family, their successes and failures, their dreams and accomplishments. It's like A Tree Grows in Brooklyn meets the twenty-first century as it addresses feminism, racism, organized crime, bootlegging, ...
  • Noreen
    I loved this novel. So moving, thought-provoking, and so beautifully written. I would give it six stars if that were an option. Just stunning.
  • Lolly K Dandeneau
    via my blog:'The day with Tabatha and Mr. Styles became like one of those dreams that shreds and vanishes even as you try to gather it up.'The setting during the Great Depression, New York is initially the reason I wanted to read this novel. I think I was waiting for more excitement, because with everything happening during that time period a writer could do a lot with it. It seems for me it just fell flat a...
  • Jaclyn Crupi
    Jennifer Egan can write anything. Anything! So if she wants to write gorgeous historical fiction that's feminist af then that's fine by me. Feminist af historical fiction - feel free to use that as a cover quote @hachetteaus. The writing here is STUNNING (of course it is) and the historical details are perfectly balanced with a driving plot and VIVID characters. My only criticism is the story slows a bit with the focus shift in the last section. ...
  • Drew
    "What can't she do?" is right. Turns out Jennifer Egan can do anything she damn well pleases, including take 7 years to write a World War II novel that manages to shuck all the expected conventions of writing about those years. There is some amount of mystery here but it isn't a mystery novel, just like there's plenty of history but it isn't a historical novel. Egan's writing has all the pleasure of a comfy blanket on a crisp autumn morning - so ...
  • Sylvia
    This book was somewhat frustrating. Very well written, the problem for me was the plotting. So many dead ends and red herrings, it kept going in different directions and left characters and situations unsettled and without resolution. Not sure what we were meant to take away from this.
  • Holly
    I thought this was pretty awful. This novel is full of underdeveloped, dull characters and random storylines that don't go anywhere. Should I be saying "who?" every single time a character is mentioned? I never stopped forgetting who characters were, even up to the very last page. I knew I wouldn't like this from the first chapter, but as I requested this from Netgalley and was graced with a copy, I felt obliged to finish. It's not bad prose, hen...
  • Mattia Ravasi
    Video review: sheer amount of research that went into building this vivid portrayal of life during wartime in New York is startling, but as a novel, Manhattan Beach lacks the charm and pace and sheer magic that made me love other Egan books.
  • Ilyssa Wesche
    Let me preface this by saying that as a rule, I don't like historical fiction. I read this only because I love Jennifer Egan's books, and have been waiting along with everyone else for this one. I feel like this was two stories - one about the Navy, about women working jobs while men were off at war, a young woman breaking into a man's field, along with the nightclubs, the end of Prohibition, and what that may have been like for young women. That...
  • Martie Nees Record
    Genre: Historical Fiction (Adult)Pub. Date: Oct. 3, 2017Publisher: ScribnerHere is the thing about this author, Jennifer Egan: she is brilliant, I might go as far as to say there is a something Shakespearean in her writing, complete with betrayal and tragedy. But like Shakespeare, for me, she can be hard to follow. I did read her 2010 Pulitzer Prize-winning book, “A Visit from the Goon Squad.” “Goon Squad” has a complicated narrative with...
  • Kalen
    I liked this one a lot but got bogged down in Eddie's storyline, which appeared in the second half of the book. Anna's story was much more complete and compelling. For fans of historical fiction.