30 April 2018

Manhattan Beach Book Club: Final Week


Another book club under our belts. What is everyone's final thoughts? Or should I say, Meg, what are your final thoughts?

Overall I think I enjoyed the book but definitely don't want to read it again. It makes me pretty curious what Jennifer Egan's Pultizer Prize-winner A Visit From the Goon Squad is like. Because Manhattan Beach certainly isn't an award winner in my mind. I would recommend this book to anyone who really enjoys a period piece, or something that is pretty reliant on plot movement. But don't get me wrong, this is a very well written book.

My favourite part about the ending was the really beautiful fog imagery. I was especially interested in this because Saint John is constantly foggy. I grew up on the west side right beside the Bay of Fundy so my neighbourhood was always smothered in fog - something I preferred given how much I hate the heat. The uptown core is also on the harbour front, so you usually have to wait until afternoon for the fog to burn off. Anyways, this imagery has always been present in my own life, so to see it written about so beautifully really stuck with me:

She was surprised to find him watching the fog. It rolled in fast: a wild, volatile silhouette against the phosphorescent sky. It reared up over the land like a tidal wave about to break, or the aftermath of a silent, distant explosion."


I feel kind of glad this book is over because as I mentioned last week, I lost the plot a little bit.

One of my favourite parts is that Anna decides to make up a dead husband so she can just be a single mom in a new place. What a sweet kind of freedom this would be to just move and pretend you had a whole life once before so nobody asks you why you don't have one now. I think Anna has been such an admirable character throughout for not pining over men or freaking out about her independence. I wonder if this comes from watching her mother after her dad left? What inspires a young woman who comes from a nuclear family where women didn't work to go get a job, a traditionally male job at that, and raise a baby alone?

I liked this book for the characters but not for the plot really. I found it to be slow and less than inspiring. I do have A Visit from the Goon Squad sitting on my bookshelf which I imagine I'll definitely read but I'm not rushing to it based on this one.

1 comment:

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