Manhattan Beach, written by Jennifer Egan, the Pulitzer Prize winning author of “A Visit from the Goon Squad,” is loosely based on the life of one the first female divers for the naval yards in New York City during WWII. It’s a captivating tale and one that highlights how truly hard it was for women to be allowed to do jobs outside “female cultural norms” at that time. Imagine donning a “diving suit” weighing 200 pounds. It was a dangerous and difficult feat, to say the least, but vital to the war effort. What kind of spirit would someone like that need? Meet Anna Kerrigan, an adventuresome, good-with-tools kind of gal, who we first glimpse in the opening lines of the book as she accompanies her dad to meet a new crime boss her father is thinking of working for. Her father Ed seems more reminiscent of a Tom Hanks mob guy as he attempts to support their family, including a disabled daughter. But one day her father simply disappears, leaving the family with a checkbook to a bank account but a gaping emotional hole for Anna. The rest of the book unfolds with all kinds of interesting characters, the milieu of WWII New York, and the nagging question: What happened to Ed?