Manhattan Beach opens in 1934, Depression era New York, and introduces the three main characters in the first chapter; Anna Kerrigan, her desperate father, Eddie Kerrigan, and the enigmatic Dexter Styles, nightclub owner, and something darker besides. The action is focused on the New York waterfront, with union men, gangsters, corruption, and our heroine’s struggles to become the first female diver in the Brooklyn Naval Yard.
We first meet Anna as a young girl, on an outing with her father, his first crucial encounter with Dexter Styles, a man of charm, money and influence. Years later, her father has mysteriously disappeared, the country is at war, and Anna is successfully pursuing her career as a diver. One evening at a nightclub, she recognises Dexter Styles and is drawn to him, as a possible link to her father. The action really picks up from this point and the book becomes hard to put down.
There’s mystery, fearless women’s lib action, adventure, romance, history, and engaging characters in this story. It’s engrossing, and indeed, a magnificent novel.
It comes highly recommended as a senior read. Year 11 upwards.
Print, digital and audiovisual loans
Reader's advisory services
Print and copying facilities
Individual, group and class lessons