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Best Seller Review!

By Maria Levetzow

Summer of '69 by Elin Hilderbrand

From the publisher:

"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."


I try to broaden my reading choices frequently.  Several patrons have mentioned the author Elin Hilderbrand, so I decided to read her most recent novel, Summer of ’69, which is on the New York Times Best Seller List.  This book features a family who is dealing with a son’s deployment to Vietnam, daughters with relationship issues, the dynamic of an adult mother/daughter relationship, and a young girl entering her teens.  Summer of ’69 is written with chapters rotating between the different characters. More than once, I found myself so absorbed in one character’s story, that I almost forgot about what was happing with the other characters! There are elements of mystery and drama in this fiction read, as some family secrets come out, and the storylines made me want to keep reading to see what happened to the characters! Also included were elements of history such as the Vietnam War, protesting, Chappaquiddick, and the Moon Landing.  Based on this book, I intend to read more of Elin Hilderbrand’s works. The author has a “summer” series and “winter” series.

Other books by the same author you may be interested in:

The Identicals

Nantucket is only two and a half hours away from Martha's Vineyard by ferry. But the two islands might as well be worlds apart for a set of identical twin sisters who have been at odds for years. Just because twins look exactly the same doesn't mean they're anything alike - and Tabitha and Harper Frost have spent their whole lives trying to prove this point. When a family crisis forces them to band together - or at least appear to - the twins come to realise that the special bond that they share is more important than the resentments that have driven them apart.

The Perfect Couple

It's Nantucket wedding season, also known as summer-the sight of a bride racing down Main Street is as common as the sun setting at Madaket Beach. The Otis-Winbury wedding promises to be an event to remember: the groom's wealthy parents have spared no expense to host a lavish ceremony at their oceanfront estate. But it's going to be memorable for all the wrong reasons after tragedy strikes: a body is discovered in Nantucket Harbor just hours before the ceremony-and everyone in the wedding party is suddenly a suspect. As Chief of Police Ed Kapenash interviews the bride, the groom, the groom's famous mystery-novelist mother, and even a member of his own family, he discovers that every wedding is a minefield-and no couple is perfect

See more of April's picks here.