12 March 2018

Manhattan Beach Book Club: Week 2

Surprisingly enough I'm really enjoying this so far. I say surprisingly because I'm normally bored of 'historical' war-time fiction. I think it must have to do with Egan. She is so descriptive with every character she introduces that I feel like I honestly know them. From Dexter's perspective especially I really loved this description of his brother in law:

'Sounds dangerous,' Cooper said with a glance at his father, although it wasn't clear whether he meant dangerous to the girls or to the world. Likely Cooper didn't know. He was a weaker, far less intelligent version of his father, the embodiment of the limitations of their breed... Cooper would never tell Arthur Berringer anything he didn't know, whereas Dexter saw and knew things the old man couldn't afford to, without personal compromise."

I also feel like I'm learning a surprising amount about the time period, which, shocker! is likely why people enjoy reading this genre. It's amazing to me how much work goes into rebuilding one single war ship... only for it to possibly get destroyed in a near instant.

I'm excited to find out what happened with Anna's dad... how he could possibly up and leave his family, especially when Lydia requires so much attention. I love the way Egan writes about Anna's acceptance of him leaving:

She had never cried. When she'd believed he was about to return there had been nothing to cry about, and when at last she'd stopped believing it was too late. His absence had calcified. When she caught herself wondering where he might be, doing what, she forced herself to stop. He didn't deserve it. That much, at least, she could deny him. She presumed her mother had made a similar passage, but she wasn't even sure. Her father had slipped from their conversation as ineffably as he'd dropped from their lives. It would feel odd to mention him now. And there was no need to."

One thing I know for sure is that Anna would handle a breakup WAY differently than I do. I think the strength she has here explains a lot about her job, and how she's going to pursue diving.

I'm wondering why Anna lied about who she was when she met Dexter... if that's related to her dad's disappearance... and how? I'm sure we're about to find out. I like to think if my dad went away for longer than he was meant to we wouldn't assume he had ABANDONED us but who knows...


  1. This section was big in that we learned Anna's father has vanished ... whether he abandoned them or something else we don't know.

    What I enjoyed most about this chapter was the historical detail we learned about the Second World War efforts and the role women played in it.

    It was also interesting to read because I feel so disconnected from war and can't imagine it having such a huge impact in my life the way the first and second had for these characters. My dad would always remind me that people left in America were also part of the effort, and Egan is giving us a pretty detailed glimpse of this.

    This is also our first glimpse at Anna's interest in diving as a profession. I love when anyone talks about danger pay.. Meg and I love a good drama about these mishaps.

  2. Egan's descriptive writing definitely draws you in to every scene and each new character. She is a master of similes - heartbreaking and hilarious - although most often the the former.

    1. I'm really loving the way she introduces characters, it's making the entire story for me.

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