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Rachel Beanland Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Florence Adler Swims Forever (2020)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The House Is on Fire (2023)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Rachel Beanland is an American fiction writer born in Groton, Connecticut. She graduated from the University of South Carolina with a degree in art, history, and journalism.

The author holds an MFA in creative writing from Virginia Commonwealth University. His novel, Florence Adler Swims Forever was awarded the 2020 National Jewish Book Award for Debut Fiction

Florence Adler Swims Forever

Each summer, Esther and Joseph Adler rent their apartment to those on vacation and relocate to a squized apartment above the bakery. It’s the same apartment where they raised their two daughters, Florence and Fannie.

Florence has come from college ready to spend the summer training to swim in the English Channel. She aimed to become the first Jewish woman to swim in the English Channel. On the other hand, Fannie is pregnant again after a recent miscarriage and is currently on bed rest for the remaining pregnancy term.

Joseph lives with her granddaughter Gussie, and a nineteen-year-old emigrate from Nazi Germany, Anna. Esther can’t understand why Joseph invited Anna to their home. Space and money are tight, but the family has decided not to let anything upset Fanny so she can carry her baby to term.

Gussie is intelligent beyond her years and has been watching the start of the summer as it unfolds since Florence returned from college. She knows adults can lie, make things up, and sometimes don’t answer questions.

The adults in her life underestimate her, thinking she doesn’t understand everything. Even though she was told that Anna was a refugee from Germany and the daughter of a woman who grew up with Joseph, she can feel that something is missing in the story.

She isn’t happy that family resources are being spent on some stranger who had a doubtful relationship with Joseph.
Joseph’s decision to bring Anna with her was to rescue her from Hitler’s attack on Jews, but there seems to be another motive behind it. Did he want to be to get close to her mother than he admits?
Anna is someone who can’t easily understand as she can be kind and self-centered sometimes, and some of her actions left more questions.

Gussie likes Florence so much and wants to spend as much time together as possible. She’s feeling attracted to Stuart, a lifeguard at the beach where Florence frequently went swimming.
Joseph is devastated when a tragedy strikes his family after Florence drowns while swimming in the ocean. They are terrible news for them, and they want to spare Fannie the traumatizing news due to her state, which might negatively affect her pregnancy.

Esther can’t understand why her sister Florence hasn’t visited her since she went to the hospital and doesn’t buy the excuses her family gives her. Adler’s family starts the summer with a tragedy as they come to terms with the heartbreak and the weight of family secrets.

Esther and Joseph keep it a secret until she delivers the baby. But how can they keep the news until the baby comes? For the love Joseph has for his family, he’s determined to do anything he can not endanger his unborn grandchild.
They make the shocking decision of pulling the family into a web of secrets and lies. Buried tensions surfacing reveal how quickly protecting those you love can appear like betrayal, especially after a tragedy.
As the family tries hard to keep the huge secret other issues arise, from hidden affairs to jealousy and shady business activities. Adler family’s world has been changed forever

He isn’t happy with Fannie’s husband Isaac, who is always absent in caring for his daughter Gussie. He has also not visited his wife in the hospital frequently despite her condition. Esther and Joseph think he’s up to another plan of making money even though he has a well-paying job with Joseph.

Isaac shows no sign of love to his wife or Gussie; all he does is think of his plan to become wealthy, whether his wife likes it or not. He is always absent when his family is going through hard times and offers no emotional support.

The story is told from multiple points of view, giving the reader a chance to feel what the characters are feeling as they come to terms with the tragedy. It’s well-written and conveys many emotions that are easy to relate to.

Switching from the seven perspectives, the story explores the effects of the tragedy experienced by three generations of the Adler family and those close to them. The author shows that some people are willing to go the extra to protect those they love.

The novel is well written, portraying so many relatable emotions. Through Anna’s perspective, the author allows the reader to glimpse the horrors the Jews faced as they tried to flee Nazi Germany.

The Nazis had demanded that Jews interested in emigrating leave Germany’s capital in Germany. On the other hand, the USA insisted that they should not become too dependent on the state.

Esther is trying the counterintelligence operation where she simultaneously supports one daughter and mourns the other. She is an example of a strong woman. Joseph, on the other hand, is a successful businessman after building his Atlantic City bakery.

The novel looks at a time and place in the era of Nazism and the effect it left on the Jews. It looks deeper at how people grieve and how the grief can worsen if not taken care of. It also shows how families handle secrets when need be and who gets to decide. It also shows the damage the secrets can cause when exposed when it’s not at the right time.

Florence Adler Swims Forever is a story of love and the extent to which a family will protect their own. Beanland has weaved a wonderful story on how love can harm as much as it heals. she isn’t shy to show how family love can sustain and keep people in check.

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