"" Writer's Wanderings: Books For The Road - Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan

Friday, September 28, 2018

Books For The Road - Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan

What piques your interest when choosing a book to read? I can be very lazy in my choices, going back to authors I am familiar with or a genre I enjoy more than others. That doesn't expand my horizons, so to speak. So once in a while I go to the library website and click on the book club choices or the staff choices to see what else might look good. This time what caught my attention was the description of a book by Jennifer Egan titled Manhattan Beach. Actually the word "diving" jumped out at me. My husband and I are scuba divers so I was intrigued by a historical that included divers in a Naval shipyard and even more so when it was a female diver.

Here's the description:
Anna Kerrigan, nearly twelve years old, accompanies her father to visit Dexter Styles, a man who, she gleans, is crucial to the survival of her father and her family. She is mesmerized by the sea beyond the house and by some charged mystery between the two men.

‎Years later, her father has disappeared and the country is at war. Anna works at the Brooklyn Naval Yard, where women are allowed to hold jobs that once belonged to men, now soldiers abroad. She becomes the first female diver, the most dangerous and exclusive of occupations, repairing the ships that will help America win the war. One evening at a nightclub, she meets Dexter Styles again, and begins to understand the complexity of her father’s life, the reasons he might have vanished.

The book did not disappoint and the description of her becoming a diver was fascinating. In the acknowledgements, Egan went so far as to don one of the diving dresses that were used back then to see what it felt like.

The story line is captivating and will hold your interest as well. Just be aware that if you have a severe objection to the F-word, there will be a few places you'll find it. After all, we're reading about a Naval shipyard and merchant ships. It is not overused though and is used sparingly with the appropriate characters.

A good book for the road or just to curl up with next to the fireplace now that fall is here.

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