Manhattan Beach

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Let me start off by saying: I wasn’t a fan of A Visit From the Goon Squad at all. And then when I saw quite a few negative reviews about Manhattan Beach, I was nervous. It kept me from picking his one up for a long time.

In an effort to clean my shelves up a bit, I decided to give it a try, giving myself full permission to DNF it if it wasn’t catching my attention. Honestly, there were a few times I almost stopped…but something kept me going and I’m glad I finished this one because I liked it so much!

The story is divided into six parts, and some were clearly better than others. But the interweaving of the characters and their stories began to hook me. By the end, all the pieces came together and I really didn’t want the story to end.

Egan’s writing is excellent (which is also true of Goon Squad; but for some reason, I just couldn’t ever get connected to that story). I love the imagery she creates with her words; I could feel myself on the docks of the Navy Yard. Set in NYC, after The Great Depression and during WWII, Egan creates well-developed characters and I quickly became invested in their lives.

I’m glad I ignored the reviews I read on this one. I think this book will stick with me for quite awhile as I reminisce about the many layers of this story. What’s a book that didn’t get great reviews, but which you really enjoyed?

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