Summer of ’69
Nantucket is again the backdrop for this story from Elin Hilderbrand, in her first foray into historical fiction. In the tumultuous summer of 1969, four siblings each have their own struggles. One is pregnant with twins in Boston, another has a foot in the civil rights movement but is pursuing her independence on Martha's Vineyard, another is deployed in Vietnam, and the fourth is a young teen on Nantucket with her mother and grandmother.
This was an enjoyable enough audio listen, but I'm not sure if I would have stuck with this one in print. Most of the storylines did not feel as propulsive as they could have. While there were high-stakes issues, most fizzled a bit. It felt like a meander through a family's island summer that happened to be studded by a few dramas and backdropped by a particularly rocky year in U.S. history.
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Four siblings experience the drama, intrigue, and upheaval of a summer when everything changed, in New York Times bestselling author Elin Hilderbrand’s first historical novel
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 like so much else in America, nothing is the same: Blair, the oldest sister, is marooned in Boston, pregnant with twins and unable to travel. Middle sister Kirby, caught up in the thrilling vortex of civil rights protests and determined to be independent, takes a summer job on Martha’s Vineyard. 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 and her worried mother, each of them hiding a troubling secret. As the summer heats up, Ted Kennedy sinks a car in Chappaquiddick, man flies to the moon, and Jessie and her family experience their own dramatic upheavals along with the rest of the country.
In her first historical novel, rich with the details of an era that shaped both a nation and an island thirty miles out to sea, Elin Hilderbrand once again earns her title as queen of the summer novel.