The sea figures prominently in Manhattan Beach: its darkness, its depth, its dazzling endless potential. The boldest among us cast aside fear and set a course towards its horizon, the siren call of a life larger than that possible within a (seemingly) safe harbor. This being a Jennifer Egan novel, the plot is a stiff wind at our backs as the waves rush under the prow of our boat, carrying us along with Ed Kerrigan as he courts disaster trying to provide for his family after the stock market crash, his daughter Anna as she defies expectations to become the first female diver at the Brooklyn Naval Yard during World War Two, and Dexter Styles, the ultimate 1940’s nightclub owner and gangster. It is all just as exhilarating an adventure as you would expect. I loved it. -Sara, Atlanta
This was so masterfully done – the plot was pretty intricate the way everyone was intertwined and yet it didn’t feel forced or contrived. She writes so beautifully and believably. It seems so effortless, like watching a really skilled actor. Your know there was a tremendous amount of work involved but it feels totally natural and real. -Sydne, Atlanta
Sing, Unburied, Sing is a dark and gorgeous song of love and heartbreak. It is haunting and tragic and disorienting in its timelessness. Deepwater Horizon anchors Ward’s tale to Mississippi today, otherwise almost indistinguishable from its notorious yesterday, a present and past (ironically) made more alive in the novel by ghosts, and where everyone suffers from the cancers of buried sins. Narrated in chapters alternating between Leonie, and her son Jojo, the story takes place over the course of just a few days. On Jojo’s 13th birthday, Leonie plans a road trip to pick up his and baby Kayla’s father Michael from prison while Mam is dying and Pop struggles to keep everyone safe. It’s The Odyssey meets the Delta blues meets William Faulkner and Toni Morrison and some ineffable something that is Jesmyn Ward’s own magic. -Sara, Atlanta
Fans of Black Hawk Down and Killing Pablo will not want to miss Bowden’s latest. Even if the Vietnam War is not a primary interest of yours I recommend checking out this book. There is still much to learn from this war that is now almost 50 years in our past and Bowden has the writing skills to explain this important battle to all the generations that have come since. -Justin, Atlanta