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Historical Fiction

Manhattan Beach

by Jennifer Egan

Quick take

A sweeping narrative, rich in historical detail, brimming with finely drawn characters.

Why I love it

As any fan of Jennifer Egan knows, the only thing to expect from her work is the unexpected. After all, Egan’s bestseller, A Visit from the Goon Squad, had an entire chapter written in PowerPoint. So perhaps the most surprising aspect of Egan’s latest is how resolutely classic a novel it is. Manhattan Beach fully embraces and delivers a sweeping narrative, rich in historical detail, and brimming w...


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 ho...


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