Tag Archives: Feminism

Review: Manhattan Beach

Manhattan Beach

Manhattan Beach
By Jennifer Egan
Scribner Book Company, Hardcover, 9781476716732, October 3, 2017, 448pp.

The Short of It:

A satisfying, well-told story about a young woman’s contribution to the war effort and how her family’s history shapes who she is.

The Rest of It:

The story begins with young Anna and her father Eddie, visiting the illustrious gangster Dexter Styles. Eddie needs the money for a special wheelchair for his crippled daughter, Anna’s younger sister Lydia so as a last resort, Eddie accepts the job that Dexter offers. Dexter is taken by Anna’s youth and her bold display of strength while visiting his home in Manhattan Beach. Years later, that brief encounter is remembered when Anna and Dexter meet again.

There is a lot of great storytelling in Manhattan Beach. Anna’s dedication to her sister Lydia, is fully explored as is her love of the sea and her inevitable path to becoming a diver for the war effort. Anna’s complex relationship with her father and the diving details Egan includes had me turning the pages quickly. Nothing felt rushed. Egan takes her time and the story unfolds effortlessly. I’ve read a few of her other books but this one by far is my favorite and I do not normally enjoy novels centered around war.

It’s early in the year but this could end up being on my list of faves for 2018.

Source: Review copy provided by the publisher.
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

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Review: Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body

Hunger

Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body
By Roxane Gay
Harper, 9780062362599, June 2017, 320pp.

The Short of It:

Gay’s story touches on so many things. Although the title is called Hunger, it’s about insecurities, fear, doubt, and most of all identity.

The Rest of It:

This book fell into my hands at the library and although it’s a memoir,  my least fave thing to read besides romance, I decided to read a few pages to see if I would like it and the next time I put it down was when I finished it.

At a very young age, Roxane Gay was gang-raped by a group of boys and it affected her for years to come. When I say affected, I mean that it completely transformed who she thought she was which directly impacted how she felt about her body. Her body grew as she continued to feed it. This feeding, her weak attempt at burying herself and making herself invisible caused other problems, of course.

This was a powerful read and very well-done. It gave me a lot to think about and yes, anyone who has struggled with weight, myself included, will certainly identify with what Gay speaks of but it’s so much more. Even if you are not a fan of memoir, pick it up because it’s very, very good.

Source: Borrowed
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.