Welcome to the most tumultuous summer of the twentieth century! It’s 1969, 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 mind.
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Elin Hilderbrand strays away from her genre in her new novel, Summer of ’69. Summer of ’69 takes the readers back to Nantucket during the summer of 1969 and follows the Levin family who are each struggling.
I was nowhere close to being alive in 1969 so I learned a lot about the time period during this novel. It was interesting learning what life was like 50 years ago and what major events occurred. I would of liked Hilderbrand to go a bit more detail about Chappaquiddick in the novel. I had very limited knowledge in what had happened and felt that I was missing something when Hilderbrand quickly rushed over the event.
I’m torn on if I liked the Levin family. It was hard to sympathize with some of the family member’s problems while they were living so lavishly in Nantucket. Also I found that some of the characters weren’t explored as much as I would of liked them to be. They seemed very shallow.
3 calculators out of a potential 5. Not my favourite Elin Hilderbrand novel, but I did like reading a novel that had a sense of familiarity that also touched on something new.