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Florence Adler Swims Forever

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  10,368 ratings  ·  1,737 reviews
Over the course of one summer that begins with a shocking tragedy, three generations of the Adler family grapple with heartbreak, romance, and the weight of family secrets.

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. This is the apartment where they raised
Hardcover, 309 pages
Published July 7th 2020 by Simon & Schuster
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Average rating 3.94  · 
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 ·  10,368 ratings  ·  1,737 reviews

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Jul 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I adore Florence Adler Swims Forever. The book is based on a true story of the author's family and there is a postscript that describes the differences from real life and the book. The story is filled with such sadness over the few months it takes place because someone very special dies suddenly and the family is keeping the death a secret from Fanny, who is in her seventh month of a very risky pregnancy. Fanny lost a premature baby boy the summer before and she is at risk of losing this baby to ...more
Dorie  - Cats&Books :)

This novel is beautifully written and conveys so many emotions that I could relate to. As a mother, I could relate to Esther, Florence’s mother, and all of the decisions that she made during the course of the story to protect her family. Her decisions are not easy ones to make and I wondered what I would do in this tragic situation.

This novel is told from several points of view and it was that technique that allowed me to really feel what each of these ch
Miranda Reads

"How many people know about...Florence?"
Florence and Fannie - sisters - spent their summers living above their parents' bakery.

Fannie's daughter, Gussie, is spending the summer with Florence and her grandparents (Esther and Joseph) because doctors have ordered Fannie to undergo complete bed rest due to a high-risk pregnancy.

Joseph then decides to take in the daughter of an old friend, Anna, to keep her safe from Nazi Germany and with that, the summer is off to a start.

Florence is training t
Will Byrnes
Jul 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Florence was not on that boat, would never arrive in France. He would not find her on the shores of the English Channel or at the Hygeia [pool] or even on the beaches of Atlantic City. He looked over at Stuart, who was openly weeping as he watched the boat disappear from view. Maybe Joseph’s daughter was to be found in the people who loved her.
Florence Adler was a strong young woman with a dream. A successful competitive swimmer, she wanted to take on the challenge of swimming the English Ch
Elyse  Walters
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 raise their two daughters, Fannie and Florence, and it always feels like home”.

“Florence has returned home from college, determined to spend the summer training to swim the English Channel.
Fannie, Pregnant again after recently losing a baby, is on bed re
May 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
This book throws its first loop at you within pages. A tragedy sets in motion a string of events, attempts to keep Fannie, Florence’s sister and on pregnancy bedrest, from finding out what happened.
This family saga is all about the characters. Everyone is suffering, from a variety of losses, not just the most recent. We, the readers, also become privy to each character’s secrets.
But for some reason, it took me a long time to connect with any of the characters. The book alternates between their
It's 1934 and Joseph and Esther Adler have rented out their house in Atlantic City for the summer and moved into the small apartment above their bakery. Their daughter Florence is back from college but spends most of her time at the beach with her coach Stuart, training to swim the English Channel at the end of the summer.

This year they also have two additional guests staying with them which makes the small apartment feel even more crowded. Florence's married sister Fannie is in the seventh mon
Jan 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Totally biased;-)
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
Oct 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: hard-soft-copy
I absolutely loved this story. ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Thank you to Simon Books for the gifted copy.

Florence Adler Swims Forever was the perfect book to end summer with. Set in Atlantic City just before World War II, I loved so much about this dear story. If you haven’t heard the premise, the character in the title dies, and her family keeps her death a secret from her sister who is on bed rest with a high risk pregnancy. This premise might sound outlandish to some, but in my family, I could completely s
4.5 that I’m rounding up.

I don't quite know what is holding me back from giving this five stars, but I suspect with some time I will come back and adjust it up. This was a beautifully written and executed book and will be in my top books of the year post for sure. I loved the family saga aspect, I loved the characters (even the jerks), I loved the time period and most of all, I loved how this one felt. It was a story that got me right there. I don't even want to put anything regarding the summa
Olive Fellows (abookolive)
Jul 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
I'd heard some good buzz about this one, so I decided to see what the fuss was about This was really impressive!

It's the summer of 1934 in Atlantic City, NJ and a tragedy strikes a Jewish family. The rest of the book happens in the aftermath of this incident and we see how the news is kept from one of the daughters who is on bedrest for the final two months of her risky pregnancy. Meanwhile, a young German woman is staying with the family, trying to find a way to get her Jewish parent
It was 1934 in Atlantic City, and Florence Adler was in training to swim the English Channel. Her coach Stuart had persuaded her to wait for another year as the media coverage and training would help Florence considerably. So the time to depart was getting closer. On the day Florence was at the beach with her niece Gussie and new boarder Anna, recently arrived from Nazi Germany, plus her parents, Joseph and Esther, they were all having a lovely time. As Florence headed off for another training s ...more
Feb 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: net-galley
What a sweet story! I was a bit aghast when the tragic event happens at the very beginning! Now what? Where is it going to go? We have secrets, a risky pregnancy, coping with grief, new romances *breathe*. So much happened I was kept enthralled. Set in 1934 Atlantic City the settings were spot on. The writing made you feel as if you were there breathing the ocean air along with the Adler family. Just an old fashioned enjoyable story.
“Florence Adler Swims Forever” by Rachel Beanland is a novel that stirs emotions. Our title character drowns at the beginning of the story. There are seven-character perspectives; all but two are family members. Each deal with the drowning in different ways. Florence’s mother, Esther, decides to keep the death a secret. Why? Because Florence’s older pregnant sister is in the hospital on bedrest after losing a baby a year ago. Esther doesn’t want to upset Fannie.

Fannie’s seven-year-old daughter,
Jul 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, net-galley, 1930s
This debut novel, from the view points of seven people closely involved in the daily life of the Adler family of Atlantic City in the summer of 1934, is a quiet but ultimately effective story well told. Interestingly, the story is based in fact.

One member is the titular Florence Adler, a distance swimmer we meet in the first chapter and who becomes the centerpiece of the rest of the novel. The unspoken subject of the novel is the power, the dangers, the unspoken ills of secrets over time. This
Jul 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
Atlantic City- 1934.

This book is about a family, the Adlers, who very soon into the book, are hit by a tragedy- a horrible, life altering tragedy. A decision is made to keep this news secret to protect a fragile member of the family. (Trying to not give spoilers).

We see different POV’s as each person affected by this tragedy copes with the loss and the secret. I liked getting to know each person on their own- we learn some of their back history. The author managed to develop each character fully
Lisa Wolf
Aug 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
I don’t think it’s a spoiler to divulge something that happens in the very first chapter, is it?

When I picked up Florence Adler Swims Forever, my expectation was that the main story line would focus on Florence and her training to swim the English Channel. Wouldn’t you think so, based on the title, the cover, and the synopsis? Well, if so, you’d be as misled as I was.

While the opening chapter is about a day at the beach, as told by 7-year-old Gussie, who adores her aunt Florence, by the end of t
Kerrin P
May 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
***Now Available!***

Florence Adler Swims Forever by Rachel Beanland is a family saga that is told in a unique way. The book is divided into three parts: June 1934, July 1934, and August 1934. The summer begins with Florence Adler returning home from Wellesley College to prepare herself to swim the English Channel. Then there is a shocking tragedy. The Adler family, along with a young German refugee and a swim coach/lifeguard spend the rest of the summer dealing with grief, loyalty, a risky preg
Jun 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
This moving story takes place in 1934 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. We meet Florence Adler as she is preparing to swim the English Channel. Her sister Fannie is pregnant and in the hospital on bed rest. Fannie’s husband Isaac is a distant and irresponsible dreamer so their daughter Gussie is being cared for by her parents - Esther and Joseph Adler. The Adlers have also recently welcomed Anna into their home, a 19 year old refugee they have sponsored to come to the United States to escape the gro ...more
I received this from for a review.

Based on the author's true family story, this family saga "explores how far we will go to in order to protect our loved ones."

Started out strong but lost some steam in the middle of the story with a nearly predictable feel-good ending.

Karren  Sandercock
Nov 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
Every summer, Esther and Joseph Adler rent out their house to holiday makers and move into the small apartment above their successful Atlantic City bakery. They had no idea that the summer of 1934 would go from one of excited anticipation and to one of incredible sadness.

Esther and Joseph have two daughters Fannie and Florence. Fannie is married to Isaac Feldman; they have a seven year old daughter Gussie, Fannie’s pregnant and in hospital on strict bed rest for the duration of her pregnancy. Fl
Jan 09, 2021 rated it really liked it
A great debut!

We all love twists at the end of books...but there's a big twist right at the beginning of this book. I kept thinking, now this writer has an imagination! Then at the end it's revealed that this was a true story from her family's past.

Book clubs will love discussing if they would do what Esther did. A great beach read.

Lots of information about Atlantic City's heyday, around 1925-26. Monopoly hadn't yet been invented (1935) but lots of street names are mentioned. Did you know inc
May 24, 2020 rated it it was ok
It’s not every day that you come across a book where the title character dies immediately at the start of the story, so I was hoping this would mean I was in for something truly original and riveting.

Unfortunately, after the initial stunner, it’s a book in which very little happens at all.

Beanland writes well and I enjoyed her portrait of the era’s Atlantic City (though I wish there had been more of this and less empty dialogue), but the book mostly runs high on tension and low on payoff.

I sup
Tinichix (nicole)
Aug 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This review contains some story line topics but not actual spoilers.

There was so much I loved about this book. I so loved the characters, I did this as an audio book and I loved the narrators. I loved the story itself. For me it is going to be one I am going to think about for quite sometime. I also will be recommending it to family and friends. My friend Michelle reviewed this and after her review and recommendation it didn't take much convincing and I was sold. I didn't know a ton about this b
Florence Adler Swims Forever by Rachel Beanland is a complex family drama that you can't even tell is a debut. I loved Beanland's writing style, and the fact that this book is based on a true story made it even more memorable. I highly recommend making sure you read the author's note at the back since it was very helpful and moving.

This book is told from many different viewpoints and I really liked every single one of them. The pacing is slower, but thanks to the multiple POVs I felt like it mo
I am IN LOVE with this book.

It is great historical fiction as it describes Atlantic City in 1934. The writing is so perfect that I thought I was there. I also learned some things about Florida in the 1920’s. I lived in NJ for 20 years and am now living in FL. I cannot get enough of this type of story. Rachel, I encourage you to write more. I'll be there to read and review them.

There is love and tragedy in this book. The people are human. They do not handle everything well. But I have a soft spot
Jul 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I must admit to a bit of reluctance before diving into Fannie Adler Swims Forever. There are, after all, many books that are set on the eve of the Depression and the start of Germany’s Third Reich—so many that it is easy for one more to be derivative.

But Florence Adler won me over and I think because it is so achingly real and the acts of sacrifice are so heart-rendering. It is not a spoiler to say that the eponymous title heroine does not last more than 12 pages. Florence is a competitive swimm
Nov 10, 2020 rated it it was ok
Florence Adler swims forever is such a sad title when you actually realize the real meaning behind it. A death happens in the beginning of this story and it opens up to how a family copes with it. They decide not to tell Fannie who is in a high risk pregnancy and could lose the baby if she finds out of this death. I understand what this family was trying to do but wow, I was stressed for everyone trying to hide this secret. I also think if I was in Fannie’s situation I would be so upset if my fa ...more
MaryBeth's Bookshelf
Jul 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
What a beautiful, heartfelt story filled with wonderful characters.
Nov 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What a well-constructed, immensely readable page turner this DEBUT NOVEL is! It's not a spoiler to tell you that Florence Adler, an accomplished swimmer who is training to swim the English Channel, drowns in the first few pages of this remarkable novel. What would be a spoiler would be to tell you how her death affects her family, when her mother, Edith, determines to keep the death a secret from Florence's sister Fannie, who is in the final weeks of a difficult pregnancy. Fannie is in the hospi ...more
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Rachel Beanland is a graduate of the University of South Carolina and earned her Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from Virginia Commonwealth University. She lives with her husband and three children in Richmond, Virginia. Florence Adler Swims Forever is her first novel.

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