As an author, it’s got to be nerve-racking to follow up on a best-seller. When that best-seller — in this instance, A Visit from the Goon Squad — won a Pulitzer, that must be terrifyingly so. But Jennifer Egan can rest easy.

Her latest novel, Manhattan Beach, is a triumph. It’s a carefully researched work of historical fiction that plunges you into the world of unionists and gangsters in Depression-hit Brooklyn and then fast-forwards into a whirlwind of navy dockyards and nightclubs in World War 2 New York. This is a rich tale of families, human frailty and ambition; and a perfect December read.

Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan. Corsair

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