Rachel Beanland is an American author. She graduated from the University of South Carolina and received her MFA in creative writing from Virginia Commonwealth University. Rachel lives in Richmond, Virginia with her family.

Rachel Beanland made her debut as a novelist in 2020 with the novel Florence Adler Swims Forever. The novel was awarded the 2020 National Jewish Book Award for Debut Fiction. Below is a list of Rachel Beanland’s books in order of when they were first released:

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Florence Adler Swims Forever (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon.com
The House is on Fire (2023)Description / Buy at Amazon.com

If You Like Rachel Beanland Books, You’ll Love…

Rachel Beanland Synopses: Florence Adler Swims Forever is a standalone novel by Rachel Beanland. In the vibrant setting of Atlantic City in 1934, Esther and Joseph Adler prepare for another summer of renting out their house to those seeking refuge in “America’s Playground.” They leave their cherished home and settle into the cozy apartment above their bakery, where they raised their two daughters, Fannie and Florence. No matter the space constraints, the apartment has always been a place of love and belonging.

With Florence back from college, her sights are set on an ambitious goal—to train for swimming the English Channel during the summer. Meanwhile, Fannie, who recently experienced the heartbreak of losing a baby, finds herself on bedrest for the duration of her pregnancy. As if the apartment isn’t bursting at the seams already, Joseph insists on taking in a mysterious young woman he aided in emigrating from Nazi Germany.

Esther’s primary concern is the well-being and safety of her daughters, but there are forces beyond her control. Fannie’s pregnancy is fraught with risks, and her husband Isaac, always a schemer, adds to the worries. Complicating matters further, Florence captures the attention and affection of the handsome heir to a hotel notorious for its anti-Semitic policies.

When tragedy strikes, Esther makes a startling decision—to conceal the truth, at least until Fannie’s baby is born. In doing so, she entangles the family in a web of secrets and lies, unearthing long-held tensions that expose how protecting loved ones can sometimes lead to betrayal.

In this compelling tale of love, sacrifice, and the complexities of family dynamics, Atlantic City becomes a backdrop for hidden truths and the consequences of well-intentioned deception. As Esther navigates the delicate balance between safeguarding her family and the weight of her choices, the bonds that bind them are tested in profound ways, ultimately revealing the extraordinary lengths we may go to shield those we hold dear.

The House is on Fire by Rachel Beanland is a standalone title. In the winter of 1811, Richmond, Virginia bustles with activity as the General Assembly convenes and esteemed planters, accompanied by their families, seek refuge in the capital to escape the season’s darkness. The city’s sole theater, operated by the Charleston-based Placide & Green Company, becomes the beacon of entertainment for a populace seeking respite from the confines of tradition and seeking enlightenment beyond the walls of the church.

On a post-Christmas evening, the theater teems with over six hundred revelers immersed in holiday cheer. In the elegant third-floor boxes, sits Sally Henry Campbell, recently widowed and yearning to relive the cherished memories she shared with her late husband. Just one floor below, in the colored gallery, Cecily Patterson pays little attention to the play but cherishes this brief respite from a life that has recently grown increasingly arduous. Backstage, ambitious stagehand Jack Gibson harbors hopes of impressing the theater’s managers, yearning for a permanent position with the company. Meanwhile, across town, Gilbert Hunt, a skilled blacksmith, dreams of a future where he can bring his beloved wife to experience the wonders of the theater, but first, he must secure her freedom from slavery.

As the theater performance reaches its crescendo, a catastrophic fire erupts, engulfing the building. In the face of impending danger, Sally, Cecily, Jack, and Gilbert find themselves making split-second decisions that not only shape their own lives but also have far-reaching consequences for countless others. In the aftermath of the devastating blaze, news of the tragedy spreads far and wide, weaving the destinies of these four individuals together inextricably.

As the days unfold, the paths of Sally, Cecily, Jack, and Gilbert intertwine amidst the ashes of the theater fire. Bound by the shared experience and the profound choices they made that fateful night, their lives become entangled in ways they never could have anticipated. Their stories reverberate throughout the United States, leaving an indelible mark on the collective consciousness.

In this captivating tale of resilience, hope, and the profound impact of chance encounters, Richmond, Virginia in 1811 becomes the backdrop for a narrative that explores the interconnectedness of human lives and the profound repercussions of split-second decisions. As these four individuals navigate the aftermath of the fire, they discover the strength within themselves and the power of human connection, ultimately shaping the course of their own futures and the lives of others in ways they never imagined.

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