Author: Rachel Beanland
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: July 7, 2020
Book Description: Atlantic City, 1934. Every summer, Esther and Joseph Adler rent their house out to vacationers escaping to “America’s Playground” and move into the small apartment above their bakery. Despite the cramped quarters, this is the apartment where they raised their two daughters, Fannie and Florence, and it always feels like home.
Now Florence has returned from college, determined to spend the summer training to swim the English Channel, and Fannie, pregnant again after recently losing a baby, is on bedrest for the duration of her pregnancy. After Joseph insists they take in a mysterious young woman whom he recently helped emigrate from Nazi Germany, the apartment is bursting at the seams.
Esther only wants to keep her daughters close and safe but some matters are beyond her control: there’s Fannie’s risky pregnancy—not to mention her always-scheming husband, Isaac—and the fact that the handsome heir of a hotel notorious for its anti-Semitic policies, seems to be in love with Florence.
When tragedy strikes, Esther makes the shocking decision to hide the truth—at least until Fannie’s baby is born—and pulls the family into an elaborate web of secret-keeping and lies, bringing long-buried tensions to the surface that reveal how quickly the act of protecting those we love can turn into betrayal.
Based on a true story and told in the vein of J. Courtney Sullivan’s Saints for All Occasions and Anita Diamant’s The Boston Girl, Beanland’s family saga is a breathtaking portrait of just how far we will go to in order to protect our loved ones and an uplifting portrayal of how the human spirit can endure—and even thrive—after tragedy.
Rating: 4 Stars
Review: A historical fiction novel set in summer of 1934 on the Jersey Shore, follows the Adler Family as the face a tragedy that will change the courses of their lives.
Florence Adler aspires to swim the English Channel, she has come home to train before she leave for France. Frannie Adler is pregnant and is staying at the hospital, due to her pregnancy being risky. Esther and Joseph, the parents who have tried to raise a traditional Jewish household. You will meet Gussie, Anna, Isaac and Stuart who round out the supporting cast.
This is a complicated family story that takes place over 1 summer. A tragedy occurs right in the beginning of this tale, and how this affects the family is what perpetuates this story. We get a lot of inner monologue from each of the family members. The family is also hiding a huge secret and this made the dialogue all the more endearing.
You will fall in love with this family, imperfections and all. What this author did was take all the complications of life and turn this into a beautiful story.
Thank you NetGalley and Simon & Schuster for an Advanced Reader’s Copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.