Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Review: Summer of ‘69 by Elin Hilderbrand

Women’s Fiction


Little, Brown and Company

Release Date:
June 18, 2019

Synopsis from Goodreads:

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.

In 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.

My Review

1969 is a crazy time in the life of the Levin family. They traditionally spend their summer’s in Nantucket at their grandmother’s house. This year is no exception, although there are a couple of changes.

Their son Tiger has been deployed to Vietnam. The family fears everyday for his life. His mother sinks lower and lower into a depression which causes her to neglect the rest of her family.

The oldest daughter, Blair, is having a difficult pregnancy. Her marriage is suffering as a result.

Kirby is spending her summer in Martha’s Vineyard away from her family and with a friend. She finds herself swept up into the excitement of civil rights protests and a new romance.

The youngest daughter Jessie is still trying to find her way through life. Her grandmother insists on tennis lessons as Jessie tries to follow the difficult rules her grandmother has set for her. She’s only thirteen, but she’s growing up fast and even discovering boys.

When I first heard about this book, I was excited to read it. I love stories set in the 1960’s and I, also, love Elin Hilderbrand’s writing. She gave me another book that I was absorbed in and reading late into the night.

She also added in real life events to the fictional story which made it even more realistic. It had an authentic feel to it. I found myself really caring about the characters - some more than others. I don't know if there will be a sequel, but I’d be interested in hearing what happens next to these characters.

Very well written and totally engrossing for me.

I borrowed this one from my library. All opinions expressed are my own.


  1. That would be a fun read being that I was born in the summer of 69 :)

  2. This is an author I've really been wanting to try and what a time period to set the book in!


Thank you for stopping by and visiting my blog! I always love reading comments and getting to know my readers!

After some careful consideration, I've decided to become an award-free blog. Although I appreciate and am honored by each and every award I've received, your comments and friendship are enough award for me. Thank you all so much for your thoughtfulness.

Due to way too many spam comments, I disabled the Anonymous User comments. We'll see if this works, otherwise I'll have to go back to word verification.