1. Anna Kerrigan was not wearing stockings or shoes on the beach when she met Dexter Styles when she was 11 years. Why did Styles say Anna was strong to her dad Eddie Kerrigan? Did that set the tone for who Anna would become?
2. Anna had to prove herself in order to be a diver. Anna dons a diving outfit that weighed over 200 lbs, shoes that were 35 lbs and smelly head gear. Did you find the scene believable?
3. When Anna goes to the night club and see Dexter Styles, she gave him a false name. Why did she do that? What does it imply about her knowledge of her father?
4. Infidelity was prevalent in the ‘mob/gangster’ community. It was taken for granted that men cheat on their wives. How did Eddie explain it? How does that differ to Styles’ explanation?
5. Why was Anna attracted and drawn to Styles? What did Styles represent?
6.Were you surprised by Anna and Styles’ sexual relationship?
7. Dexter Styles decided to dive with Anna in order to find Eddie’s corpse. What prompted him to do that? Was it out of character?
8. Why did Anna become friends with Nell? Are they similar?
9. Which character did you like the most? Why?
10. Which character did you least like? Why?
11. The war effort meant that women’s work roles changed. Women filled in gaps where previously men did. How did that benefit women overall? How did Anna benefit? What consequences/impact followed when the men came back?
12. Eddie had different feelings toward his disabled daughter Lydia as opposed to Anna and her mother Agnes. Why was Eddie not able to love Lydia?
13. Eddie’s and the bosun’s relationship was at loggerheads but it changed after they were adrift on the sea. Did that surprise you? Did you think that they were going to be friends?
14. One of the main themes of this book was change/transformation. Eddie disappears and starts a new life. Do you think that was selfish of Eddie, or was it an act of love?
15. Which of the many themes, such as fathers and father figures, disability, death, redemption, gender, race, power, to name a few, impacted you the most?
16. Were you surprised by Anna’s decision not to abort? Why did it take a vision of Lydia to change her mind?
17. Did you find the ending satisfactory?
18. Who would you recommend Manhattan Beach to after reading it?
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