4 full, family drama, sisterhood, entertaining, amazing journey to the end of sixties while listening Man on the moon and singing those were the best days of my life as like Bryan Adams sang stars You don t have to be Marty McFly by driving a special car is invented by your Dr Brown for time travelling Elin Hilderbrand already takes us back to the end of sixties, a remarkable, memorable time for American and also human history 1969This is the time of Beatles Abbey Road album releasing,Time of the most memorable Woodstock performances with the attendance of than 35 singers including Janis Joplin, The Who, Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Joe Cocker, and Jimi Hendrix Yes than 350 thousand rock n roll fans had their time of my their lives Time of Chappaquiddick Affair , yes Senator Kennedy drove into ta pound and Mary Joe Kopechne is dead Time of MOON LANDING Yesss Because of Mr Chazelle, I can only imagine Gosling s one small step, one giant leap for mankind If you believed they put a man on the moon lyrics capture your mind Thanks to R.E.M and Andy Kauffman Time of ponchos, moccasins, love beads, peace signs, medallion necklaces, chain belts, polka dot printed fabrics, and long, puffed bubble sleeves Time of watching Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid , Midnight Cowboy , Easy Rider on big screen Time of student protests, rising inflation, Stonewall Riot and draft lottery to determine drafts into US forces of Vietnam War So the author cannot choose any better time frame for telling her dysfunctional family story As you lie down on our blanket at the seaside Because this is a great summer reading when you re feeling the sea breeze on your skin, watching the kids play on the sand, surfers struggle against the powerful waves and start turning the pages, you can actually hear some favorite Crosby, Stills and Nash, Rolling Stones Steppenwolf songs keep playing on your head This book gives these vibes and incredible feelings A conservative, compelling, dominant grandma who carries her own secret relationship,48 years old mother of 4 children, Kate, suffering from past regrets, burden of a big secret and alcoholism,Older child of the family, Blair, married with an astronaut that s her definition, her husband Angus is not an astronaut and his name a little irritated me , expecting twins, resigned from her teaching job, thinking her husband cheating on her with a prostitute named Trixy okay, I think these names are a little awkward For backfiring him she kisses her brother in law and her husband catches them on the action Middle sister Kirby, a nursing student, feminist, civil rights protestor, having an interracial relationship but her lover s mother doesn t approve her because she knows her secret that she hides from everyone at the family.Tiger, is the only boy and favorite of Kate, follows the footsteps of his soldier father and fights at Nam, only connects with his little sister Jessie by letters and tells the ugly truths about war And little Jessie, Kate s youngest daughter from another man, struggling with her puberty problems and her first heartbreak She is the secret glue of their family She knows everyone s secret and she s a perfect listener and so mature for her age I rooted for her maybe the resemblance of being the youngest at the family, having a better and objective point of view about everyone s problems and her close relationship with her brother as his confidante made me love her I love perfectly combined and developed characters stories and I enjoyed the spirit, sensation and smartly depicted parts of the era It can be told a little shorter but still all the historical events matched impeccably with the family history.I think this is the best book of this author that I ve ever read 4 stars And maybe, just maybe, this summer will end up being one that people write songs about. Is it really summer if you don t read an Elin Hilderbrand book I truly look forward to her books every single summer and this one did not disappoint It s 1969 and the Levin family is ready to go to Nantucket where they go every summer Before that though, their worst nightmare happened their son, Tiger, was drafted and sent to the Vietnam war and there s nothing they can do to stop it The three siblings back in Nantucket are on their own Blair is pregnant, Kirby is trying to make the world a better place and work through civil right struggles and Jessie is a thirteen year old just trying to figure out where her place is in the world.The story dives into each of the siblings stories as well as their struggling mother and their grandmother who has secrets of her own Each of the Levin family members is trying to get through life their own way Each person goes through their own personal struggle as well as the struggles that men and women both went through during the 1969 time period One thing is for sure even when this family is apart, they always come together.I m not typically a fan of historical fiction but I really enjoyed this book You look at the cover and you think this is going to be a light beach read, right Wrong This story has so much depth and so much content Let me just say I am SO happy I was not a woman in 1969 as they were not treated that well however I am thankful for the struggles they went through in order to get women to where we are today And to all your war heroes including some of my own family members hats of to you From what I know the Vietnam war was a tough one and to anyone who fights to defend mine and the USA s freedom is a true hero as well as their families.Definitely pick this one up if the 60 s 70 s interest you and you want to read about all the different struggles a seemingly normal family went through behind the scenes Plus, Elin Hilderbrand is just a great writer To say I ve been ecstatic to read Elin Hilderbrand s first historical fiction book is an understatement Last summer, she wrote her first murder mystery, and this summer she brings us Summer of 69 Expect the stories the Nantucket stories we ve known and loved from our beloved EH, but this time, with a historic backdrop The Levin family spends its summers on Nantucket, and everyone looks forward to it They stay at their grandmother s stately, historic home But this year, things are different for the Levins Blair is pregnant and unable to travel Kirby is devoted to civil rights protests Tiger has been deployed to Vietnam Jessie, the youngest at thirteen years old, is staying with her grandmother who is behind the times, but carrying secrets The summer is filled with those historic events we ve all heard about the lunar landing, Chappaquiddick, and all the while, Jessie is growing up, too Yeah, I gobbled this up What a summer story with plenty of depth and insight, as I would expect from Hilderbrand This particular summer was rife with events and drama in the world, and so it was for the Levins, too I was both engrossed and enchanted with this story I can only imagine what EH will dream up for us next summer And in the interim, I have her new winter series to keep me company late this fall Always and forever a fan I received a complimentary copy All opinions are my own My reviews can also be found on my blog www.jennifertarheelreader.com It s not officially summer for me until I ve read an Elin Hilderbrand book by the pool or sitting on the beach so luckily for me, I was able to read this one Memorial Day weekend, poolside, with a fruity beverage in hand Hilderbrand s first historical novel was everything that I ve come to expect from the queen of the summer novel and In classic Hilderbrand style, Summer of 69 revolves around the lives of several members of the Foley Levin family and of course, Nantucket is the main setting although Martha s Vineyard gets some love in this book too This is a summer of dramatic changes for the family as Tiger, 19, has just been drafted for Vietnam His mother Kate is obviously overcome with worry and grief.Kate s daughters, Blair, 24, Kirby, 20, and Jesse, who just turned 13 and is the daughter of her second husband David also face their own considerable life changes this summer as each of their stories intertwine in some way It s through these sister s voices, Kate s, and letters exchanged by Tiger and Jesse this story is told Every character is so real, wholly persuasive, and each of their issues becomes ones I cared about no matter how big or small Blair is pregnant with twins and miserable as she smokes cigarettes and drinks to get rid of morning sickness really how are any of us 70s babies alive Her husband Angus is a brilliant astrophysicist working 24 7 on the Apollo 11 moon landing, leaving her lonely and alone Kirby, the family rebel known for her political protesting, forgoes the summer stay on Nantucket for a job at a hotel on Martha s Vineyard where she meets the rich and famous, people like Teddy Kennedy, who crashes his car off Chappaquiddick Island that fateful summer Then her romantic troubles keep causing her difficulties Jesse is closest to Tiger and besides wanting to grow up faster, she most looks forward to his letters from Vietnam He s the one she shares her secrets with as she finds first love over the summer Yet, she s not completely happy, thanks to Exalta, her tough as nails grandmother who casts a judgemental gaze on everything and everyone Kate is the voice I most identified with the mother, the one worried her son wouldn t come back from war while also worried about her other kids She s a compelling character who showed the realism of being a mom strength and weakness but always love for her children.Hilderbrand has woven together the historical moments from that summer using her trademark style that has never let me down as a reader make sure you read the author s notes about the inspiration for the story , and it s just a perfect read Summer of 69 is nostalgic, poignant, retrospective, and packed with details that made the novel feel vivid and alive for me, a time I ve heard, watched movies, and read about but was almost a decade before I was born I laughed and oh, did I cry while reading this It s out on 6 18th and if you haven t already pre ordered it, then you need to It s the definitive summer of 2019 read Thank you Little, Brown, and Company for the gifted copy All opinions are my own. INTOXICATING Summer does something to the brain It s intoxicating Everything shimmers So says a character in Summer People, a previous novel by Hilderbrand, which captures the essence of her entire oeuvre ENGAGING BACKSTORYI ve devoured every book she s written, so taken with her addictive stories set on Nantucket Her own backstory is engaging, including how she came to the island, her education at the Iowa Writers Workshop, her world travels, her survival of breast cancer and a post surgical infection that nearly killed her Her joie de vivre informs both her writing and her life and is as intoxicating as the summers she describes in her novels KENNEDY, MOON, WOODSTOCKSUMMER OF 69 is her newest and her first historical novel It s a compelling slice of Americana, with the war in Nam in full force Senator Ted Kennedy s fateful accident July 18, in which he drove his car off a bridge on Chappaquiddick killing passenger Mary Jo Kopechne Two days later the first moon landing Woodstock making musical history the following month.TIGER IN NAMAll are enfolded into the absorbing plot, which focuses on four siblings in a wealthy Massachusetts family including Tiger, their only son drafted and sent off to fight in Nam SMELL THE GANJAI heard the author s energetic CBS interview this week in which she explained that she and her twin brother were born that July, so the book is especially personal It s evident in the way Hilderbrand masterfully weaves together narrative, characters and dialogue I care about these kids, smell the ganja in the air, hear Aquarius Let the Sunshine In on the radio, feel the terror the family feels every time there s a knock on the door that might mean they ve lost Tiger A captivating read 5 5 Pub Date 18 Jun 2019 Available on Summerof 69 ElinHilderbrand 3.5 starsThanks to Netgalley and Little, Brown and Company for a digital galley in exchange for an honest review. Elin Hilderbrand states that her twin brother has always encouraged her to explore the summer they were born in one of her novelsSummer of 69 is that novel and sweeps readers back to Nixon, Vietnam, Senator Ted Kennedy and the Chappaquiddick scandal, women s issues, Woodstock, racial equality, class differences, the Moon landing and summertime in Nantucket The Foley Levin family knows that this summer will be a different one The recent deployment of only son, Tiger to Vietnam sees their mother, Kate, distant and losing herself to the bottle Stepfather, David stays in the city and consumes himself with legal work Oldest daughter Blair confronts the fact that marriage is not exactly what she dreamed Wild child Kirby wants to prove her adulthood by heading to Martha s Vineyard instead of spending summer with the family Youngest daughter Jessie is on the brink of adolescence and experiences her first twinges of young love And finally, matriarch Exalta is trying what she can to keep all of her family together while also keeping secrets of her own Just like their country, the summer of 69 is one that this family will never forget What I thought I thought this book was definitely good It took me awhile before I really felt in the mood to read but eventually I hit my stride There s a good mix of nostalgia and history that made it easy to transport myself to the Summer of 69 Of course, having visited Nantucket so many times with EH in her contemporary novels it certainly made it an easy fit Despite the different time period, family and all the issues that arise are always brilliantly handled by Hilderbrand For me,Summer of 69 was all about the fictional characters that take turns in telling the story The character of Jessie made me think about Reese Witherspoon s Dani Trant The Man in the Moon 1991 or Anna Chlumsky s Vada Sultenfuss My Girl,1991 and she was quite possibly my favorite character despite having met her character before Kirby and Blair were both women of their generation, but in saying that I felt there was nothing new to explore as it s already been stated in so many ways by authors and screenwriters Mother Kate had my empathy but also my frustration which makes me tip my hat to EH But Grandmother Exalta who is not a narrator but has a larger than life personality was such a riddle that I found her the most fascinating Her relationships with Jessie and Kirby were the highlights of the novel for me Also the prologue and Fortunate Son Reprise were the two places in the book where I ugly cried Also how cool were the chapter titles Both Sides Now, Born to Be Wild, Magic Carpet Ride, Piece of My Heart etc Although I cannot emphatically say that this was one of my favorites, it s a great summer read Goodreads Review 26 06 19 Publication Date 18 06 19 Summer of 69 by Elin Hilderbrand is a historical fiction novel that follows the Levin family during the summer of 1969 Of course with the book focusing on the various family members in this family the point of view does change between them.For years the Levin family has spent summers in Nantucket visiting their grandmother s historic home This year however the family is being pulled apart in their own directions Tiger, the only son, has been drafted into the military and will be sent to the war in Vietnam and this has affected each of the rest in various ways.Blair, the oldest Levin has gotten married to a man who works with NASA and is spending her summer home alone as he works on putting a man on the moon Kirby is the middle daughter who is a young free spirit known to protest the latest cause Instead of heading to Nantucket Kirby has found a summer job in Martha s Vineyard And Jessie, the youngest and a half sibling to the older children, is turning thirteen and not looking forward to a summer alone with her mother and grandmother.Looking back at the history books 1969 was really a very busy year and somewhat a turning point on a lot of issues Elin Hilderbrand did a wonderful job centering this fictional family right in the middle of so many events that it brought the era to life wonderfully It was also nice to see the differences in personalities and how they handled what was going on at any given time Definitely a great read I am rating at 4 1 2 stars.I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.For reviews please visit Follow New York Times Bestselling Author Elin Hilderbrand Back In Time And Join A Nantucket Family As They Experience The Drama, Intrigue, And Upheaval Of A S SummerWelcome To The Most Tumultuous Summer Of The Twentieth Century It S , And For The Levin Family, The Times They Are A Changing Every Year The Children Have Looked Forward To Spending The Summer At Their Grandmother S Historic Home In Downtown Nantucket But This Year Blair, The Oldest Sister, Is Marooned In Boston, Pregnant With Twins And Unable To Travel Middle Sister Kirby, A Nursing Student, Is Caught Up In The Thrilling Vortex Of Civil Rights Protests, A Passion Which Takes Her To Martha S Vineyard With Her Best Friend, Mary Jo Kopechne Only Son Tiger Is An Infantry Soldier, Recently Deployed To Vietnam Thirteen Year Old Jessie Suddenly Feels Like An Only Child, Marooned In The House With Her Out Of Touch Grandmother Who Is Hiding Some Secrets Of Her Own As The Summer Heats Up, Teddy Kennedy Sinks A Car In Chappaquiddick, A Man Flies To The Moon, And Jessie Experiences Some Sinking And Flying Herself, As She Grows Into Her Own Body And MindIn Her First Historical Novel, Rich With The Details Of An Era That Shaped Both A Country And An Island Thirty Miles Out To Sea, Elin Hilderbrand Once Again Proves Her Title As Queen Of The Summer Novel There s a lot going on in Summer of 69 The three sisters in the Foley Levin family are each embroiled in their own worries The eldest sister is pregnant while her husband is emotionally unavailable and potentially unfaithful, the middle sister is striking out on her own but running into trouble, and the youngest is stuck in Nantucket with her unyieldingly conservative grandmother and her increasingly tipsy mother Their brother is overseas fighting the war in Vietnam, and their mother is increasingly distraught over this, driving herself to oblivion with alcohol to ease the pain.But all these issues are treated rather superficially in the book They feel somewhat contrived and a tad boring, if I m honest , and their resolutions are all standard stuff One of the hooks for this book is that people are keeping secrets, but I didn t feel any surprise or shock when those are revealed They all feel rather pedestrian For a book about females during the feminist revolution, I had hoped that there would be strong female characters for me to cheer for, but that was disappointing too All the women in here mostly just took what life and men handed to them Sure, that probably is true to the times of the 1960s, but it didn t make for a very compelling read at least to me.One of Elin Hilderbrand s strength is her writing, and in that respect, she remains in top form This story is easy to get into and I found myself flipping the pages even though the story itself wasn t as riveting I went into Summer of 69 thinking it would be the perfect beachy blend of family drama and secrets, summertime in Nantucket, and growing up during the awakening of the feminist movement But coming out of the book, I feel only lukewarm about it While it wasn t a bad story, it just wasn t as exciting or as insightful as I wanted it to be. Well I m an outlier again with this review I ve found that Elin Hilderbrand is a hit or miss author for me over the years I ve loved a few of her booksBarefoot, The Rumor, The Blue Bistro, and A Summer Affair but not loved many others as well This one, unfortunately, falls into the latter category The set up was enticing to start off We hear about Tiger, favorite son of Kate and brother of Jessie youngest , Kirby middle and Blair oldest who s been drafted to Vietnam Kate is devastated and consequently spends most of the book drinking her worries away and being a negligent mother I didn t like her in the beginning and I still didn t like her in the end Kirby and Blair are each dealing with their own life challenges, so we get alternating chapters from their perspectives as well While we do get occasional setting details, I was surprised by the lack of beach scenery summertime details that we really come to expect from EH s stories There s quite a lot of food and meal details which I know many love but I skimmed these parts I found the chapters to be long but when I looked back, the long chapters didn t really help me get to know any of the characters beyond what I felt was surface level If I had to pick, I d say I felt like we got the most in depth look into Jessie s character but I felt like there could ve been I would ve liked to have felt invested in this family but I just didn t I stuck with it for Kirby and Jessie but in the end, this was an underwhelming read for me.
- 432 pages
- Summer of 69
- Elin Hilderbrand
- 10 March 2019 Elin Hilderbrand