Short-listed for The National Book Award, Jennifer Egan’s fifth novel is the story of Anna Kerrigan and the people whose lives she touches. Manhattan Beach follows Anna from the time she is a young girl in New York City during the depression through her time as a Navy diver in World War II. In that time period Anna’s father disappears, she has a relationship with a disreputable nightclub owner and she must prove herself more than worthy in an occupation where she is the only female. Anna is both feisty and thoughtful; a strong female character who is brave, smart and independent.
I enjoyed this novel immensely. The characters are realistic, not stereotypes, and Egan’s rendering of a slice of New York City in the 30’s and 40’s is interesting and insightful.,