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Florence Adler Swims Forever: A Novel –…
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Florence Adler Swims Forever: A Novel (alkuperäinen julkaisuvuosi 2020; vuoden 2020 painos)

– tekijä: Rachel Beanland (Tekijä)

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
15414135,919 (3.99)8
Jäsen:miakuether
Teoksen nimi:Florence Adler Swims Forever: A Novel
Kirjailijat:Rachel Beanland (Tekijä)
Info:Simon & Schuster (2020), 319 pages
Kokoelmat:Oma kirjasto
Arvio (tähdet):
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Florence Adler Swims Forever (tekijä: Rachel Beanland) (2020)

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Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 14) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
Rachel Beanland draws on her family history in Florence Adler Swims Forever, a tender, character-driven debut novel.

On a sunny morning in the summer of 1934, as Esther and Joseph Adler stroll along the Atlantic City Boardwalk and their granddaughter Gussie, and houseguest Anna wade in the shallows, their daughter, Florence dons her bright red bathing cap and heads into the ocean. A champion swimmer, twenty-year-old Florence is training to swim the English Channel in just a few weeks, so no one expects that an hour later, her lifeless body will be dragged from the water.

Florence Adler Swims Forever unfolds from multiple perspectives exploring the decisions made, and the changes wrought, in the wake of Florence’s untimely death. Esther and Joseph are devastated by the loss of their youngest daughter, but Esther in particular is worried about how the news will affect their oldest, and makes the decision that she not be told. Fannie, Gussie’s mother, is in hospital on bed rest waiting the birth of her third child, her second having been born too prematurely to survive, and is growing increasingly annoyed that her sister hasn’t visited. Freed from the daily care of his wife and daughter, and taking advantage of his distracted in-laws, Fannie’s husband Isaac grows more distant, chasing a foolish dream. Seven year old Gussie, sweet and precocious, has an innocent’s clear-eyed view of the changes in her world, but is bewildered by its nuances. Anna, a young German Jewish woman whom Joseph has sponsored to study in America on the strength of a long ago association with her mother, is somewhat uncomfortable to find herself in the midst of this family tragedy, especially when her own threatens. Stuart Williams is the outlier- a Gentile, a handsome lifeguard, swim coach, and reluctant heir to a Boardwalk hotelier. He thought himself in love with Florence, and in the aftermath of her death strikes up a friendship with Anna.

The novel examines several themes, including those of grief, love and family, but most significantly, the sacrifices parents will make to protect their children. Esther forgoes some of the traditional rituals of mourning of the Jewish faith, and attempts to represses her own devastating sense of loss to safeguard the health of her remaining daughter, as does Joseph. Joseph also willingly compromises his financial resources to protect Fannie from her husband’s weakness. Fannie meanwhile spends three months confined to her hospital bed in the hope that the child she carries will be born healthy. Anna’s parents, concerned by the political climate in Germany as Hitler ascends to power, insist she travel to America, and pull whatever strings they can to see her safely out of the country. Issac, in complete contrast, selfishly abandons Gussie in pursuit of his own dreams, and betrays the support offered by his own father. Stuart’s relationship with his father is a little more nuanced, though the man definitely has his faults, he does care about his son’s future.

Beanland grounds her story well in time and place, with vivid descriptions of the beach and boardwalk of Atlantic City, and the Adler’s baking empire. Fannie is obsessed with the Dionne quintuplets born earlier that year and battling for survival, in part because her late son, Hyram, spent some time in an incubator on display at the Boardwalk, just as they did. The author also touches on the anti-semitism rife not just in Europe as the Nazi party began to gain a foothold, but also in America.

With a measured pace, Florence Adler Swims Forever is a meditative, poignant, and engaging read, suited to a languid summer afternoon. ( )
  shelleyraec | Feb 28, 2021 |
“Florence Adler Swims Forever” by Rachel Beanland (4 stars)

This book is great for a book club discussion. The setting is Atlantic City, just before World War II. At the beginning of the book, Florence drowns. Her parents decide to keep her death a secret from her sister Fannie who is in the hospital due to a high-risk pregnancy. While women today would be appalled by the nerve of Fannie’s parents making such a decision, their behavior was totally acceptable in that time period.

This decision will impact three generations of the Adler family. A story of tragedy, grief, heartache, deception, family secrets, and tension, it is sure to touch your heart. The author did a superb job of giving us a peek into the life of a Jewish American family dealing with anti-Semitism and the danger that lurks across the ocean as Hitler contrives to exterminate the European Jews.

The author also masterfully tells the story from the perspective of several different characters. I had no problem following any of the story and appreciated that I was able to know what each of those characters was thinking and feeling and what secrets they were hiding. It took a while for me to warm up to the characters, but once I did, I was able to embrace them and care about them. It was worth the wait. Fannie’s seven-year-old daughter Gussie is probably the most perceptive character in the book. ( )
  BettyTaylor56 | Feb 23, 2021 |
Thank you to #NetGalley.

I don't know why I didn't read this book sooner since it was one of my favorite books of 2020. Hard to believe it's her debut novel too. Come to find out at the end of the book that it was based on a true story of her Great-Aunt Florence.

I cried, I laughed and cannot believe all the goings on in 1934 with anti-semitism in Atlantic City and in hotels that refused to cater Jews. It's not about that but about a family struck by grief, the youngest daughter Fannie on bed rest for a pregnancy, Florence who was a world class swimmer who was going to swim the English channel but then a tragedy strikes and her family refuses to tell Fannie until she had the baby 2 months later because they didn't want her to know and obviously upset her because of her risky pregnancy.

A lot of this book resounded with me since it mentioned that Fannie and Florence (which was my mom's name too) were 7 years apart and hardly "knew" each other growing up because of their age difference. My sister and I are 5 years apart and a lot of what was written really hit home.

I didn't agree that they never told Fannie the tragedy of Florence and obviously happened like this in real life with the author's family.

Other plots were included of Stuart, who was in love with Florence and was her swim coach sort of and Anna, who came over from Germany and was Joseph's (the patriarch of the Adler family) friend in Hungary on a visa. She was trying to get her parents in the U.S. and Joseph was trying to help in that case too. Then there's Esther, the matriarch of this family who was a tough broad who treated Anna like she shouldn't be there. I loved Gussie, the precocious 7 year old daughter of Fannie and Isaac (Fannie's) husband who worked in the Adler bakery who was a no-good man who I found out in the end was true. ( )
  sweetbabyjane58 | Dec 30, 2020 |
Florence Adler Swims Forever is the debut novel by Rachel Beanland. We meet three generations of the Adler family and follow them over a summer none of them will ever forget. When tragedy hits, the family members alternate narrating this family's journey as they move through loss, grief, and rebuilding their lives. While Florence is an ever-present force, the characters we meet are the ones that were behind after her untimely death.

I loved the multifaceted look at family dynamics and Beanland's gorgeous writing style made the characters really come alive. I alternated reading and listening to this book in audio format. The audio narrative was performed by a talented cast of narrators and was the perfect way to share this family saga.

The insights into a Jewish family living in Atlantic City in the mid-1930s added so much depth to the storyline. The suspense of this family secrets was just enthralling and reading the author's note at the end was especially satisfying when we find out that some of this novel is based on real-life events.

I have struggled with the historical fiction genre during this pandemic and I am happy to report that this was a 5-star read for me. I cannot wait for what Beanland writes next and I have my fingers crossed for a much-anticipated sequel to this stunning debut.

Thank you to Simon & Schuster for the gifted copy. As always, all thoughts are my own. ( )
  genthebookworm | Dec 19, 2020 |
Excellent book. Very surprising ( )
  shazjhb | Dec 2, 2020 |
Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 14) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
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Katso lisäohjeita Common Knowledge -sivuilta (englanniksi).
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For my mother
Sara Hanstein Moyle
In memory of

my father
Samuel Boddie Moyle, III

and

my grandmother
Frances Katz Hanstein
Ensimmäiset sanat
Tiedot englanninkielisestä Yhteisestä tiedosta. Muokkaa kotoistaaksesi se omalle kielellesi.
Gussie Feldman didn't enjoy swimming but she did like to lie on the wet sand, in the shadow of Atlantic City's Steel Pier, and wait for the tiniest ripple of a wave to wash over her.
Sitaatit
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Esther had always wondered how mothers buried children, and now she knew. One shovelful of dirt at a time.
Maybe Joseph's daughter was to be found in the people who loved her the most.
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