New Release! Manhattan Beach

Manhattan Beach

Out October 3, 2017.

I’m not sure what it is about the books I’ve been reading this week but I’ve gotten halfway through them and been like, “Why is there still 50% of this book left?” I am starting to write this review as my Kindle sits at 43% of Egan’s Manhattan Beach, and I do not plan to read any further.

As opposed to the reviews earlier this week, my hesitation to continue is not based on vapidity or avoidance – it is rooted in the need for a riveting story, no pun intended given that our main character works in a naval shipyard measuring rivets during WW2. I just don’t care, even though there are pieces that have the potential to grab my attention. The mystery of where Anna’s father disappeared to during the Great Depression, her desire to enter the male-dominated profession of diving to repair naval vessels, the setting of the entire book, her mom dancing with the Follies – all of it a treasure trove of historical fiction and I just. Don’t. Care.

At 43% her crippled sister has succumbed to her condition and died, and her mother is going away to live with her family in Minnesota, leaving Anna in their apartment in New York that she was already paying for with her naval yard paycheck for the entire family anyway. She is faced with newfound independence and I should feel something for her situation. Shuffling off the weight of a burdensome family is right in my wheelhouse. But at the beginning of chapter 14 my brain said, “Look, I don’t care about her father anymore and it’s been too long since that was even teased as a mystery. Her connection with this ‘gangster’ Dexter Styles doesn’t matter either, because we already know he’s going to give her the information on her dad and help her lock in a job that she wants. The gangster gets redeemed and she discovers her full potential PUT THIS FUCKING BOOK AWAY AND GIVE ME SOME RED MEAT ALREADY.”

This book gets a hard, boring shrug from Angry Angel Books. I hear her other stuff is good though so I might check it out, but this one was a flop for me. ON TO THE NEXT ONE.

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