Manhattan Beach

By Jennifer Egan

Published 2017

GoodReads rating: 3.66  out of 5

GL rating: 4 out of 10 stars

(Comments originally posted on FB April 7, 2018)


Superb set-up with a somehow flat final 150 pages. The narrative may have lost some of its punch through some plot sequencing choices.

Much of the writing was inspired, but it’s a case of many brilliant sentences that were not harnessed to deliver a good but not a knock-out story.

Dexter the gangster’s trajectory kind of didn’t work.

The father-daughter reunion at the end felt half-baked.

Anyway the book’s merits more than compensate for its shortcomings. It’s a very rich picture of life in NYC during the war. That alone was worth the price of the ticket.

8-10-18 update: worth a read if you're interested in NYC history, or in the impact the war had on the way women fit into society. Otherwise, I'd take a pass.