Manhattan Beach review: A sweeping look at war time New York

During the Great Depression, young Anna Kerrigan regularly accompanies her father on his work as a union courier. But one morning he walks out the door and disappears, leaving Anna and her mother to take care of Anna’s disabled sister.

Years later, to help provide for her family during WWII, Anna works at the Brooklyn Navy Yard measuring machine parts and later as a female diver. While at a nightclub one evening she crosses paths with someone from her father’s past and she sets out to find out what happened to him many years before.

Jennifer Egan has written a sweeping and atmospheric novel that spans decades. Manhattan Beach (Scribner, digital galley) follows our heroine as she navigates among gangsters, “Rosie the Riveter” factory workers and hard-nosed divers.

Egan, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning A Visit form the Goon Squad, is masterful at bringing to life war time New York. And as Anna unravels the mystery of her father’s disappearance and decides what course her own life will take, the lucky reader gets to join along and explore the many cultures that made up the city.

Leave a Reply