MANHATTEN BEACH: A REVIEW

Jennifer Egan is definitely an author I want to read again. Her 1917 novel, set in WWII, has many appeals: excellent characterization, accurate and fascinating peeks into the era, family mystery and dynamics, a coming-of-age-story, and many more “touches” that make it a “darned good read.” I literally stayed up late reading it.

Anna Kerrigan, the protagonist is twelve at the beginning; she is with her father, whom she idolizes, when she first meets Dexter Styles, the mystery man with gangster ties. Lydia, her crippled sister, is the center of her mother’s love and attention. Anna eventually becomes one of the first female divers at the Brooklyn Naval Yard, and she repairs ships, making them battle-ready in wartime. The “under-stories,” the father’s story and the mother’s story, and Styles’ story are equally as interesting as Anna’s.

The writing in this novel is outstanding. At times, Egan makes us shiver with apprehension; at times we smile or chuckle at a funny passage; always, we keep reading, wanting to discover the next thought or plot twist. We care about the characters and what happens to them–and plenty does. It is a wonderful story that would make a great movie, and I recommend you “read the book first.”

Advertisement

Author: Rae Longest

This year (2019) finds me with 50 plus years of teaching "under my belt." I have taught all levels from pre-K "(library lady" or "book lady"--volunteer) to juniors, seniors, and graduate students enrolled in my Advanced Writing class at the university where I have just completed 30 years. My first paying teaching job was junior high, and I spent 13 years with ages 12-13, the "difficult years." I had some of the "funnest" experiences with this age group. When I was no longer the "young, fun teacher," I taught in an elementary school setting before sixth graders went on to junior high, teaching language arts blocs, an assignment that was a "dream-fit" for me. After completing graduate school in my 40s, I went on to community college, then university teaching. Just as teaching is "in my blood," so is a passion for reading, writing, libraries, and everything bookish. This blog will be open to anyone who loves books, promotes literacy and wants to "come out and play."

7 thoughts on “MANHATTEN BEACH: A REVIEW”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: