• The Bossy Bookworm

Review of Florence Adler Swims Forever by Rachel Beanland

Updated: Aug 21, 2020

Atlantic City just before WWII, with its giant hotels, piers, and general hubbub, is the backdrop for the story of a few summer months in the life of an extended family.

This lovely debut from Rachel Beanland starts off with some rough events, and frankly I had a little bit of a time coping with them because I’d already become attached to the characters.


The Atlantic City setting just before WWII, with its giant hotels, piers, and general hubbub, is the backdrop for Florence Adler Swims Forever, the story of a few summer months in the life of an extended family--including a stolid patriarch and matriarch, a free-spirited daughter, a spunky and fantastic granddaughter Gussie, a daughter with another grandchild on the way, a deadbeat son-in-law, and family friends to round out the group.


There’s an undercurrent of concern about Hitler and his increasingly punitive behavior toward Jewish families’ businesses and emigration in Germany.


I loved watching the book’s events unfold—even if I could predict some of them. Anything that was wrapped up a little too neatly didn’t bother me at all; I was all in and satisfied.


I received an advance copy of this book from NetGalley and Simon and Schuster in exchange for a review.


What did you think?

Beanland based some of the basic events of her debut novel on her ancestors’ experiences, which I thought was fascinating but didn't realize until the end.


This book is listed in my Greedy Reading List My Six Favorite Summer 2020 Reads.


#historicalfiction, #oldnewyork, #WWII, #fourstarbookreview