Manhattan Beach

Jennifer Egan, read by Heather Lind, Norbert Leo Butz, and Vincent Piazza. S&S Audio, unabridged, 12 CDs, 15 hrs., $39.99 ISBN 978-1-4423-9998-3
Lind has a lovely, low, breathy voice and the ability to foster the tension, fear, and fearlessness that fill Egan’s finely wrought historical novel. The story is set in the Brooklyn Naval Yard during WWII, where women engage in the urgent work of war while the men are abroad. Actor Lind is captivating from the start as Anna Kerrigan, who, as a brash 11-year old, goes with her father and his boss, Dexter Styles, to Manhattan Beach, where she removes her shoes to feel the icy water on her feet. Anna grows up to fight her way into the very male world of underwater divers, scouring the sea bottom for lost objects, repairing damaged warships, and searching for the remains of her father, who disappeared when she was young and who she comes to suspect is dead. Like Anna, each character has an intimate and complex relation to the sea that can engender birth, healing, and bliss, as well as dread, destruction, and death. Butz handles his narrative sections nicely, creating an especially convincing characterization of Styles, and Piazza imbues a beautiful and terrifying wartime sea scene with all the drama it deserves. The stellar performances of three voice actors make this the type of audiobook that will convert people to the format. A Scribner hardcover. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 11/27/2017
Release date: 10/01/2017
Hardcover - 448 pages - 978-1-4767-1673-2
Open Ebook - 448 pages - 978-1-4767-1675-6
Hardcover - 978-1-4328-4341-0
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-4423-9999-0
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