Published: June 18, 2019 by Little, Brown and Company
Dates Read: June 16-17, 2019
Genre/Category: Historical Fiction / Domestic Fiction
Read For: ARC from Little, Brown and Company for Review
Elin Hilderbrand’s newest novel revolves around the Levin family and the annual summer trip to their grandmother Exalta’s home in Nantucket. But this year things are very different for the Levin family. The eldest sister Blair, newly married to a brilliant astrophysicist is very pregnant with twins and is stuck in Boston all by herself unable to travel, questioning her marriage as she sits alone. Kirby, the middle sister, the rebel, who is independent and freewheeling, takes a job on Martha’s Vineyard. Away from the comfort of her grandmother’s home and the watchful eye of her family, she is determined to find herself while battling personal demons after a troubling experience. Tiger, the only son, has been deployed to Vietnam as an infantry soldier worrying the entire family. And Jessie, the youngest who feels alone and stranded, just turned thirteen, venturing into a whole different world with a grandmother who is still living in a different century and a mother (Kate) who is closed off and drinking all day.
As the summer “heats up” this drama only gets better, and many more skeletons start to come out of the closet. We find out about Kate and her recent remarriage to Jessie’s father after the sudden death of her first husband Wilder. We learn more about Blair and Angus, how they met, and why she is questioning her marriage. Kirby’s activist past starts to catch up with her in the most unlikely of places, and we wait on baited breath to receive updates from Tiger. Jessie starts to experience what it is like to be at that “in-between” age where you are still a child but becoming a woman, and you still want to ride your bike but you also want a boyfriend. When the longtime caretaker Mr. Crimmins’s grandson Pick comes to town and is suddenly staying on the Nantucket property, Jessie’s summer takes a whole different turn than she expected.
Elin Hilderbrand, the queen of summer beach reads has ventured into her first historical novel about an era where the times in America were substantially significant, when emotions were high and views were rapidly changing, and she pulls it off in a sensational way. Her writing is smooth and flowing, easily read and always captivating. This is hands down a 5 star review for me and one book I feel I will be talking about for quite a while.
Thank You so much to Elin Hilderbrand and Little, Brown and Company for the ARC of Summer of ‘69 for an unbiased and honest review.