Skip to main content

Book Review: Summer of '69 by Elin Hilderbrand

One of my most favorite book of the summer so far! 

When Elin comes out with a new book, it's a must. Like a don't-even-read-the-synopsis no-brainer. Just as she delivered a multi-dimensional page turner with The Perfect Summer, Summer of '69 is just as much a treat- but with historical fiction at its core, which is a genre Elin hasn't presented before. 

The story lines of several members of the Foley/Levin families intertwine as their lives during the summer of 1969 unfurl (or in some cases, unravel). There's 13-year-old Jessie, her mother Kate, and Kate's other three children, Tiger, a soldier serving in Vietnam, Kirby- a flower child with a rebellious streak and a past she's trying to run from, and Blair, who is about to give birth to twins and just made the biggest mistake of her life. At the top of the family tree is the matriarch, grandmother Exalta, who floats through the rooms of the family's sprawling Nantucket compound with a disapproving gaze and whose judgement bears down on everyone. 

Kate is the mother in all of us- constantly worrying about all of her children, while also balancing her own demons. At the center of her seemingly broken heart is not knowing if her son will make it home from Vietnam. And somewhere in the cloud of sadness that surrounds her, is a secret she can't run away from. It's her individual relationships with each of her children that make her such a dynamic character. I loved her weakness and her strength, I loved her vulnerability and her determination as well. 

For Elin to write a novel that is historical fiction and her classic style is such a treat - this book will be a favorite that bridges so many genres. I love this book because it's one book and one family, but it holds many, many different stories.

It's amazing how a story of just one summer can weave such a colorful movie-like vision in your mind as you read. Each character experiences monumental life changes and events that we can all relate to, all with the beautiful and fascinating backdrop of the 60s on Nantucket. So not only do you have the wonderful life story of Jessie and her siblings, you have the heart-racing pulse of political intrigue, the Kennedy's, the drama of Vietnam and even Woodstock. One sister experiences her first kiss, her first love and her first betrayal. Another betrays someone else in the most important time of her life and is suddenly abandoned by her husband and her little sister is off the island, running away from a terrible relationship that left her alone and ashamed. They are all facing their own struggles and keeping secrets from each other but their love for family, for their brother who is fighting for their country and their commitment to their island home and the memories it holds for them all keeps them together and without even trying, they all help each other find their paths and mend their hearts. 

I feel like I am rambling, so I'll just cut this short and say, yes! I recommend! Thank you Little Brown and Co for my review copy!


  1. Pumped to pick this up from the library on Friday - it's finally in!

  2. I can't wait to read.

  3. Perfeito grandes ideias para todos nos que atuamos no seguimento adorei pintura residencial


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Book Review: The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware

Ruth Ware always delivers when it comes to interesting and layered characters. The Turn of the Key is a thrilling account of Rowan Caine's experience as a live-in nanny in a luxurious smart home unlike anything she has ever seen. This mystery is the epitome of the saying "if it's too good to be true, it probably is" because even though moving into the home of the Elincourts is an upgrade from her tiny apartment and dead-end job, it comes at a steep price.

Every chapter, there is something suspicious that kept me wondering if anyone in this suspenseful book was telling the truth.

Which, is obvious in the first page because Rowan is writing a letter to a lawyer, from jail, because she's being held for murder. Who is Rowan? Did she come into the Elincourt's lives for a reason? She should have known something was wrong on the day she interviewed, when one of the children warned her to never come back.

With a house full of surveillance cameras and parents who are str…

3 Books You Must Add To Your Reading List

Once in a while I get into a book slump, where I can't seem to find one that grabs my attention from the  very start, or it's just not itching the bookworm scratch that I need. I've just got to feel it, you know? Well these past couple of weeks, I've felt it, and then some because I am about to tell you about 3 books that not only brought me out of a book slump, they were so good, I'm on an all time high. 
First: The Husband Hour by Jamie Brenner. I've already posted a full review but I just have to tell you one more time: Read this book, mmmkay? 

It involves a young widow, family secrets, betrayal and a gorgeous family beach house. It's just plain good reading, folks. Jamie Brenner also has another favorite of mine called The Forever Summer, so check that out too.

All We Ever Wanted by Emily Giffin. Emily Giffin, need I say more? Her rap sheet is extensive and her books are classic rom coms that we all love but this one takes her writing to a new level. She r…

The Start of My 2019 Reading List

It's going to be hard to beat 2018's reading list but here is a great start! Here are just a few of the books that will be on my reading list at the beginning of this year! 

Elsey Come Home by Susan Conley, Out January 15, AA Knopf 

From the widely praised author of Paris Was the Place–a shattering new novel that bravely delves into the darkest corners of addiction, marriage, and motherhood. 

The Last Romantics by Tara Conklin, Out February 2, William Morrow 
It begins in a big yellow house with a funeral, an iron poker, and a brief variation forever known as the Pause: a free and feral summer in a middle-class Connecticut town. Caught between the predictable life they once led and an uncertain future that stretches before them, the Skinner siblings—fierce Renee, sensitive Caroline, golden boy Joe and watchful Fiona—emerge from the Pause staunchly loyal and deeply connected. Two decades later, the siblings find themselves once again confronted with a family crisis that tests the …