23 April 2018

Manhattan Beach Book Club: Week 8

I'm the wrong person to be writing this week's post because somewhere in the middle of this section I lost the plot. I'm not sure if Egan was switching time periods too quickly or between characters but I have no idea why Dexter died... I have no idea why her dad was killed and how he ends up at the bottom of that lake. Did she explain? Can someone explain it to me?

The scenes of them escaping via lifeboat brought back so many flashbacks to In the Heart of the Sea. I love to listen to Meghan recount the symptoms of dehydration for me from having read this book. The idea that your tongue turns rock hard is enough for me to have jumped off the boat. It's also crazy how despite KNOWING the salt water will make it worse, you almost can't help but drink it. Grown, smart, survival-inclined men will drink the ocean at a certain point when they get too thirsty.

One thing I found interesting is how cool Anna is about her relationship with Dexter. I mentioned this a few weeks back, how we don't see her super sexualized... until the softcore porn where they have sex... and then not again after. She doesn't seem shaken to see him or to dive with him, she isn't begging him to spend more time together, she doesn't appear to be angry with him for anything... it just seems like they are old friends who had sex and then now have a job to do...


  1. Ok I feel like I do get the plot a bit here, like Ed essentially is injured and fakes his death right? He is able to escape the chain they used to drag him to the bottom of the ocean. And from there he flees.

    This is definitely the more "exciting" section of the book because not only do we find out how Ed got away, but we also see Dexter get attacked and murdered. And of course I was very into all the stuff about Ed and the other soldiers stranded on a boat lost at sea ... Meg pretty much summed up my fascination with survival at sea so I won't blabber on about it.

    I was especially into this thought from Ed: "What he hand't considered, as he sat awake the nigh before they were to sail, craving a cigarette - just one, or better yet, fifty - was that the wind would die out."

    I love that passage because it is so telling of what it's like to be shipwrecked or on a life boat. You are COMPLETELY at the mercy of the sea and the wind. No matter what you do or say, you can't change the strength of the wind. How goddamn maddening.

    I also thought the section that deals with Anna going in for her abortion was really well written. Obviously she changes her mind but I actually welled up while reading it and I was shocked that it made me feel so emotional. I really liked this passage: "The dream: a running, beautiful girl, knees flashing in the sun. A girl glimpsed from the corner of the eye. It seemed to Anna now that she might bring that girl to life."

    1. Ok I did like this abortion scene too because it was REALISTIC but not romanticized.

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