The Manhattan Beach controversy!
Jennifer Egan's Manhattan Beach has been on the bestseller lists for what seems like ages. But so far two BoB readers have said they can't even get past the first few pages! Another BoB reader LOVED the book. She listened to it in audiobook format, so that's what I'm going to do. I am intrigued by the fact that there is no consensus on this one, especially since it has been so well received and reviewed outside the BoBosphere.
So I listened to this book and... I really enjoyed it!! It follows a family who lives in New York City around the time of WWII, a time and place I find especially intriguing. My mother-in-law, who grew up in the City, used to tell me stories about her and her girlfriends going to the docks to flirt with the sailors, and how they would get nylons and other difficult-to-acquire-in-wartime items from their boyfriends. They also worked in factories because the men were all fighting overseas. That whole way of life was brought to life for me again as I listened to this book. The main character, a woman!, becomes a diver and works on the warships. There is a mystery surrounding Anna's father, who ran with mobsters and eventually disappeared. At the end of the book everyone's stories come full circle, with the sea also being a main character wielding her won special influence.