Summer of '69 ハードカバー – 2019/6/18
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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.
Praise for Summer of '69:
"An engrossing tale of an iconic American summer"―People Magazine
"Superb...Hilderbrand hits all the right notes about life in a tightly knit family, and this crowd-pleaser is sure to satisfy both her fans and newcomers alike."―Publishers Weekly, starred review
"HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Hilderbrand's first foray into historical fiction will rouse curiosity in new readers as well as devotees of her annual summer smashes."―Susan Maguire, Booklist
"Hilderbrand's characters are utterly convincing and immediately draw us into their problems, from petty to grave...To use the parlance of the period, a highly relevant retrospective."
"Misunderstandings, secrets, and wrong choices are revealed in this completely satisfying novel that is the beach read of the summer, sure to appeal to Hilderbrand's fans while earning her new readers. A must buy."―The Library Journal
"With vivid descriptions of the songs, fashions and other details of the era woven throughout, it's a true nostalgia trip."―AARP
Praise for The Perfect Couple:
"A quintessential summer read."
"One of this summer's must-reads that is all at once quick paced, compulsively readable, and thought provoking. An entertaining yet observant look at the surprising secrets that can fester and erupt in marriage."―Patriot-Ledger
Meanwhile, I shall wander off into some secluded nook and cranny so I can humbly munch my crow...
I graduated high school in 1970 and went in the Navy to beat the draft. I was your typical, patriotic, conservative kid. Military service and the politics of the time shifted me strongly leftward. So, I wanted to love, "Summer of '69." How did I find this book?
The attempt is notable and commendable. The difficulty, though, is that the language and thoughts of the kids is so poliished that it feels, well, disconnected from reality. At least, when compared to more average members of the generation for which this is a mirror.
I read the first letter by Tiger to his little sister and almost wanted to laugh at how unrealistic the letter was.
Then, a little later on, I read the dialogue of between parents and daughter. The tone would have been great, but the language used was, well, pollyanna.
Mind you, I love the attempt to shine the light on the time of my coming of age. I just feel let down by the pictures presented to us.
BLUSH FACTOR: No swearing. Only the word rhyming with dam appears. However, there is some, uh, romantic overtures, if you will, so use discretion before sharing with any youngsters. Otherwise, this is a clean book suitable for all audiences.
I'm between three stars and four. Don't want to be too harsh on a new writer, but, well, four stars might give too much credit.
Three stars out of five. Actually, 3.25. Just can't round up to four.
Amid the war in Vietnam, the summer of 1969 brought the moon landing, Chappaquiddick and Woodstock. With a son Tiger fighting in Nam, college age Kirby working on Martha’s Vineyard, eldest daughter Blair pregnant with twins back in Boston, Kate only has thirteen-year-old Jessie with her at her mom’s Nantucket summer home.
SUMMER OF ‘69 isn’t one of my favorite Elin Hilderbrand novels. Her first historical fiction novel felt more modern than fifty years ago. Hilderbrand throws in an occasional “far out”, party-line phone service to remind readers we’re reading the 1960s, but also slips up with modern language like “the N word” which only came into use about fifteen years ago. Jessie uses the term “molested” and immediately realizes her tennis teacher’s behavior is in appropriate, which didn’t happen often in 1979, let alone 1969. I’m the type of reader who’s distracted by such lapses. Hilderbrand does drop in the sexism, racism, anti-Semitism and other cultural phenomena. The sexism worked, the racism felt staged, as if the black characters existed to illustrate racism. The black family had married a doctor and judge. I liked the complications of interracial dating and that Kirby had interacted with Dr Frazier back in Boston, which was the only time we saw the characters, except for Kirby’s maybe boyfriend, doing anything but being black.
Jessie, Kate, Blair and Kirby each had their stories told in third person alternating chapters, but SUMMER OF ‘69 felt more character than plot driven.
The ending was too Pollyanna for me.
I enjoyed reading SUMMER OF ‘69, but not as much as most of Hilderbrand’s books.