Florence Adler Swims Forever by Rachel Beanland
This novel takes place in Atlantic City in 1934, where my family had been living for generations, so it has special meaning to me. And WHAT A MOVING BOOK. Here's the premise: Florence has come home for the summer from college, with a plan to swim the English Channel. Her sister Fannie is pregnant after recently losing a baby, and is in the hospital for the rest of her pregnancy. Their father has taken in a Jewish girl from Nazi Germany who is connected to his pre-immigrant past. When Florence drowns while training, the family commits to keeping her death from Fannie until the baby is born, setting in motion a series of events that impact everyone in and around the family.
Why I Loved It: This has become one of my favorite books of all time. The character development was so rich, the plot so precisely crafted, and the setting so pitch perfect (from someone who grew up spending summers in Atlantic City and hearing the history of it every summer), I can't say enough great things about this novel.