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Florence Adler Swims Forever (2020)

de Rachel Beanland

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4152361,171 (3.91)31
Fiction. Literature. Historical Fiction. HTML:"The perfect summer read" (USA TODAY) begins with a shocking tragedy that results in three generations of the Adler family grappling with heartbreak, romance, and the weight of family secrets over the course of one summer.

/> *A New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice * One of USA TODAY's "Best Books of 2020" * One of Good Morning America's "25 Novels You'll Want to Read This Summer" * One of Parade's "26 Best Books to Read This Summer"
Atlantic City, 1934. Every summer, Esther and Joseph Adler rent their house out to vacationers escaping to "America's Playground" and move into the small apartment above their bakery. Despite the cramped quarters, this is the apartment where they raised their two daughters, Fannie and Florence, and it always feels like home.

Now, Florence has returned from college, determined to spend the summer training to swim the English Channel, and Fannie, pregnant again after recently losing a baby, is on bedrest for the duration of her pregnancy. After Joseph insists they take in a mysterious young woman whom he recently helped emigrate from Nazi Germany, the apartment is bursting at the seams.

Esther only wants to keep her daughters close and safe but some matters are beyond her control: there's Fannie's risky pregnancynot to mention her always-scheming husband, Isaacand the fact that the handsome heir of a hotel notorious for its anti-Semitic policies, seems to be in love with Florence.

When tragedy strikes, Esther makes the shocking decision to hide the truthat least until Fannie's baby is bornand pulls the family into an elaborate web of secret-keeping and lies, bringing long-buried tensions to the surface that reveal how quickly the act of protecting those we love can turn into betrayal.

"Readers of Emma Straub and Curtis Sittenfeld will devour this richly drawn debut family saga" (Library Journal) that's based on a true story and is a breathtaking portrayal of how the human spirit can endureand even thriveafter tragedy.… (mais)
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“The perfect summer read” (USA TODAY) begins with a shocking tragedy that results in three generations of the Adler family grappling with heartbreak, romance, and the weight of family secrets over the course of one summer.
  HandelmanLibraryTINR | May 15, 2024 |
This book was for our Library Book Club March meeting. I listened to the book while following along in the actual book. This book got my interest from the beginning. While I was listening to it, I actually went back to re-read something because I couldn't believe what I had just heard/read!

It was nice to read a book in a setting that I am familiar with. This book is set in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Hearing and reading about the area in the 1930's was interesting. You have this Jewish family who has a business and two adult girls. Living their lives and tragedy hits the family. ( )
  crazy4reading | Apr 16, 2024 |
Florence Adler Swims Forever by Rachel Beanland is a historical fiction novel set in Atlantic City in the summer of 1934. The story revolves around the Adler family, who are Jewish and struggling to make ends meet during the Great Depression.

Florence Adler, the family's eldest daughter, is a talented swimmer who dreams of competing in the Olympics one day. However, tragedy strikes when she drowns while training for a long-distance swim.

The family decides to keep Florence's death a secret from her younger sister, Fannie, who is pregnant and on bed rest. They do this to avoid causing her any stress, which could harm her unborn child.

As the summer progresses, the Adler family must navigate their grief and the secrets they are keeping from one another. Florence's mother, Esther, struggles to come to terms with her daughter's death and takes on the responsibility of caring for Fannie's unborn child. Florence's father, Joseph, tries to keep the family together while dealing with his own guilt and grief.

As the summer comes to an end, the Adler family must face the truth about Florence's death and confront the secrets they have been keeping from one another.

Overall, Florence Adler Swims Forever is a captivating novel that keeps you turning each page. ( )
  lizyrh | May 18, 2023 |
This book was so nicely paced with the perfect amount of characterization that it was a pleasure to read. The author's note at the end helps to explain why this should be be so.

I do this so often - read books with parallel stories whether fiction or nonfiction - and the coincidences are amazing. I just completed reading A Bookshop in Berlin - a true story of one woman's escape from Nazi Germany. That story had a lot of information about the challenges Jews faced in obtaining visas to leave Germany, similar to this book. ( )
  Kimberlyhi | Apr 15, 2023 |
This book was quite different from what I expected, especially after reading the inside cover. I was looking forward to reading about Florence's experience swimming the English Channel but was highly disappointed when soon after the book begins, Florence drowns. Nonetheless, I enjoyed the book, which was based on a real woman, Florence Lowenthal, who grew up in Atlantic City. In the author's notes, you learn that in fact, the character of Florence was based on the author's great-great aunt. Taking place in the summer of 1934, the story follows the lives of Florence's family including her sister and brother-in-law (Fannie & Isaac), her niece (Gussie), a former possible boyfriend (Stuart), and her parents (Joseph & Esther). While there are some minor sub-plots, your attention is driven by the highly charged family dynamics as Florence's family keeps her death a secret from Fannie. Fannie, on bedrest due to a high risk pregnancy, lost a baby the year before and her family is worried that learning of Florence's death could cause problems. Compounding the emotional tension is that the Adler's are a Jewish family and they have agreed for Anna, who is a nineteen year old emigrate from Germany, to live with them. Again, not the story I expected but entertaining nonetheless. ( )
  efoland | Jan 23, 2023 |
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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
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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.
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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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Fiction. Literature. Historical Fiction. HTML:"The perfect summer read" (USA TODAY) begins with a shocking tragedy that results in three generations of the Adler family grappling with heartbreak, romance, and the weight of family secrets over the course of one summer.

*A New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice * One of USA TODAY's "Best Books of 2020" * One of Good Morning America's "25 Novels You'll Want to Read This Summer" * One of Parade's "26 Best Books to Read This Summer"
Atlantic City, 1934. Every summer, Esther and Joseph Adler rent their house out to vacationers escaping to "America's Playground" and move into the small apartment above their bakery. Despite the cramped quarters, this is the apartment where they raised their two daughters, Fannie and Florence, and it always feels like home.

Now, Florence has returned from college, determined to spend the summer training to swim the English Channel, and Fannie, pregnant again after recently losing a baby, is on bedrest for the duration of her pregnancy. After Joseph insists they take in a mysterious young woman whom he recently helped emigrate from Nazi Germany, the apartment is bursting at the seams.

Esther only wants to keep her daughters close and safe but some matters are beyond her control: there's Fannie's risky pregnancynot to mention her always-scheming husband, Isaacand the fact that the handsome heir of a hotel notorious for its anti-Semitic policies, seems to be in love with Florence.

When tragedy strikes, Esther makes the shocking decision to hide the truthat least until Fannie's baby is bornand pulls the family into an elaborate web of secret-keeping and lies, bringing long-buried tensions to the surface that reveal how quickly the act of protecting those we love can turn into betrayal.

"Readers of Emma Straub and Curtis Sittenfeld will devour this richly drawn debut family saga" (Library Journal) that's based on a true story and is a breathtaking portrayal of how the human spirit can endureand even thriveafter tragedy.

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