Summer of '69
Follow New York Times bestselling author Elin Hilderbrand back in time and join a Nantucket family as they experience the drama, intrigue, and upheaval of a 1960s summer.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.

Summer of '69 Details

TitleSummer of '69
Author
ReleaseJun 18th, 2019
PublisherLittle, Brown and Company
ISBN-139780316420013
Rating
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Fiction

Summer of '69 Review

  • Ana O
    January 1, 1970
    Me: I don't feel like readingElin Hilderbrand: writes a book about the 1960sMe: whips out credit card ♪ Standin' on your mama's porchYou told me that it'd last foreverOh, and when you held my handI knew that it was now or neverThose were the best days of my life ♪I'm kinda disappointed because I went in expecting it to be a flashback story about Bryan Adams and his summer crush. Rest assured it is not.I've always been fascinated by the '60. The free love era has given us Woodstock, quirky fashi Me: I don't feel like readingElin Hilderbrand: writes a book about the 1960sMe: whips out credit card ♪ Standin' on your mama's porchYou told me that it'd last foreverOh, and when you held my handI knew that it was now or neverThose were the best days of my life ♪I'm kinda disappointed because I went in expecting it to be a flashback story about Bryan Adams and his summer crush. Rest assured it is not.I've always been fascinated by the '60. The free love era has given us Woodstock, quirky fashion, lava lamps, short skirts, the Kennedy family, The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, The Doors, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, S. E. Hinton's The Outsiders, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Neil Armstrong on the surface of the Moon (which may or may not be true)Pretty good stuff amirite?Summer of '69 is a terrific summer read. Historical fiction is not my preferred genre, never has been, but I'm glad I've made an exception for Elin Hilderbrand. The novel takes place in Massachusetts and follows the story of Jessie, the youngest of four siblings. Jessie is vacationing in Nantucket, her family's ancestral home. Drama and good times ensue. What happens in Nantucket stays in Nantucket. Or does it? The novel is flooded with chill summer vibes : three sisters in the midst of family drama, politics, social upheavals and rocky relationships. Quite engrossing. It made me feel things. For all the '60s enthusiasts - need help to pass the time while waiting for Tarantino's Once Upon a Time In Hollywood to be released? Add this to your bookshelf immediately. *ARC provided by the publisher*
    more
  • Stephanie (Stephanie's Novel Fiction)
    January 1, 1970
    It's not officially summer for me until I've read an Elin Hilderbrand book by the pool or sitting on the beach so luckily for me, I was able to read this one Memorial Day weekend, poolside, with a fruity beverage in hand. Hilderbrand's first historical novel was everything that I've come to expect from the queen of the summer novel and more. In classic Hilderbrand style, Summer of '69 revolves around the lives of several members of the Foley-Levin family and of course, Nantucket is the main sett It's not officially summer for me until I've read an Elin Hilderbrand book by the pool or sitting on the beach so luckily for me, I was able to read this one Memorial Day weekend, poolside, with a fruity beverage in hand. Hilderbrand's first historical novel was everything that I've come to expect from the queen of the summer novel and more. In classic Hilderbrand style, Summer of '69 revolves around the lives of several members of the Foley-Levin family and of course, Nantucket is the main setting although Martha's Vineyard gets some love in this book too. This is a summer of dramatic changes for the family as Tiger, 19, has just been drafted for Vietnam. His mother Kate is obviously overcome with worry and grief.Kate's daughters, Blair, 24, Kirby, 20, and Jesse, who just turned 13 (and is the daughter of her second husband David) also face their own considerable life changes this summer as each of their stories intertwine in some way. It's through these sister's voices, Kate's, and letters exchanged by Tiger and Jesse this story is told. Every character is so real, wholly persuasive, and each of their issues becomes ones I cared about no matter how big or small. Blair is pregnant with twins and miserable as she smokes cigarettes and drinks to get rid of morning sickness (really how are any of us '70s babies alive?). Her husband Angus is a brilliant astrophysicist working  24/7 on the Apollo 11 moon landing, leaving her lonely and alone. Kirby, the family rebel known for her political protesting, forgoes the summer stay on Nantucket for a job at a hotel on Martha's Vineyard where she meets the rich and famous, people like Teddy Kennedy, who crashes his car off Chappaquiddick Island that fateful summer. Then her romantic troubles keep causing her difficulties. Jesse is closest to Tiger and besides wanting to grow up faster, she most looks forward to his letters from Vietnam. He's the one she shares her secrets with as she finds first love over the summer. Yet, she's not completely happy, thanks to Exalta, her tough as nails grandmother who casts a judgemental gaze on everything and everyone.  Kate is the voice I most identified with: the mother, the one worried her son wouldn't come back from war while also worried about her other kids. She's a compelling character who showed the realism of being a mom―strength and weakness but always love for her children.Hilderbrand has woven together the historical moments from that summer using her trademark style that has never let me down as a reader (make sure you read the author's notes about the inspiration for the story!), and it's just a perfect read. Summer of '69 is nostalgic, poignant, retrospective, and packed with details that made the novel feel vivid and alive for me, a time I've heard, watched movies, and read about but was almost a decade before I was born! I laughed and oh, did I cry while reading this. It's out on 6/18th and if you haven't already pre-ordered it, then you need to. It's the definitive summer of 2019 read!**Thank you Little, Brown, and Company for the gifted copy. All opinions are my own.**
    more
  • Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
    January 1, 1970
    To say I’ve been ecstatic to read Elin Hilderbrand’s first historical fiction book is an understatement. Last summer, she wrote her first murder mystery, and this summer she brings us Summer of ‘69. ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ Expect the stories the Nantucket stories we’ve known and loved from our beloved EH, but this time, with a historic backdrop. The Levin family spends its summers on Nantucket, and everyone looks forward to it. They stay at their grandmother’s stately, historic home. But this year, things ar To say I’ve been ecstatic to read Elin Hilderbrand’s first historical fiction book is an understatement. Last summer, she wrote her first murder mystery, and this summer she brings us Summer of ‘69. ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ Expect the stories the Nantucket stories we’ve known and loved from our beloved EH, but this time, with a historic backdrop. The Levin family spends its summers on Nantucket, and everyone looks forward to it. They stay at their grandmother’s stately, historic home. But this year, things are different for the Levins. Blair is pregnant and unable to travel. Kirby is devoted to civil rights protests. Tiger has been deployed to Vietnam. Jessie, the youngest at thirteen years old, is staying with her grandmother who is behind-the-times, but carrying secrets. The summer is filled with those historic events we’ve all heard about: the lunar landing, Chappaquiddick, and all the while, Jessie is growing up, too. Yeah, I gobbled this up! What a summer story with plenty of depth and insight, as I would expect from Hilderbrand. This particular summer was rife with events and drama in the world, and so it was for the Levins, too. I was both engrossed and enchanted with this story. I can only imagine what EH will dream up for us next summer?! And in the interim, I have her new winter series to keep me company late this fall! Always and forever a fan! I received a complimentary copy. All opinions are my own. My reviews can also be found on my blog: www.jennifertarheelreader.com
    more
  • Book of the Month
    January 1, 1970
    Why I love itSiobhan JonesWe pick the books a few months in advance here at BOTM, so all the reading for June occurs sometime in mid-March. Maybe that was why I warmed to Summer of ‘69 so readily—this beachy, feel-good story with ample family drama and purple haze-era feels had me practically smelling the sunscreen. Then again, maybe I just liked this book so much because it was another satisfying winner from an author who always delivers the goods.Elin Hilderbrand’s first historical novel plops Why I love itSiobhan JonesWe pick the books a few months in advance here at BOTM, so all the reading for June occurs sometime in mid-March. Maybe that was why I warmed to Summer of ‘69 so readily—this beachy, feel-good story with ample family drama and purple haze-era feels had me practically smelling the sunscreen. Then again, maybe I just liked this book so much because it was another satisfying winner from an author who always delivers the goods.Elin Hilderbrand’s first historical novel plops us right into the flower power milieu of the ‘60s with a Vietnam draft notice. From then on, as we are introduced to the different members of the Levin family—the smart and stubborn Blair; the irascible Kirby; only-son Tiger; and the youngest, the quietly observant Jessie—these cultural easter eggs abound. Civil rights protests animate the news cycle while the Space Race captures the country’s imagination. Yet even as our protagonists navigate this rapidly changing world, their own trials and tribulations—finding young love, questioning authority, and even investigating long-buried family secrets—remain at the forefront of this completely charming read set over the course of one summer in Nantucket.Anyone familiar with Hilderbrand’s books (BOTM has featured The Identicals and Winter in Paradise ) is aware of her effortless ability to craft nuanced, heartfelt stories set in cozy, aspirational places, and this new one is just that: a light read set in a beach town that you’ll devour in one poolside sitting. Readers looking for a breezy escape need look no further—make Summer of ‘69 your June pick!Read more at: https://bookofthemonth.com/summer-of-...
    more
  • Carrie
    January 1, 1970
    Summer of ’69 by Elin Hilderbrand is a historical fiction novel that follows the Levin family during the summer of 1969. Of course with the book focusing on the various family members in this family the point of view does change between them.For years the Levin family has spent summers in Nantucket visiting their grandmother’s historic home. This year however the family is being pulled apart in their own directions. Tiger, the only son, has been drafted into the military and will be sent to the Summer of ’69 by Elin Hilderbrand is a historical fiction novel that follows the Levin family during the summer of 1969. Of course with the book focusing on the various family members in this family the point of view does change between them.For years the Levin family has spent summers in Nantucket visiting their grandmother’s historic home. This year however the family is being pulled apart in their own directions. Tiger, the only son, has been drafted into the military and will be sent to the war in Vietnam and this has affected each of the rest in various ways.Blair, the oldest Levin has gotten married to a man who works with NASA and is spending her summer home alone as he works on putting a man on the moon. Kirby is the middle daughter who is a young free spirit known to protest the latest cause. Instead of heading to Nantucket Kirby has found a summer job in Martha’s Vineyard. And Jessie, the youngest and a half sibling to the older children, is turning thirteen and not looking forward to a summer alone with her mother and grandmother.Looking back at the history books 1969 was really a very busy year and somewhat a turning point on a lot of issues. Elin Hilderbrand did a wonderful job centering this fictional family right in the middle of so many events that it brought the era to life wonderfully. It was also nice to see the differences in personalities and how they handled what was going on at any given time. Definitely a great read I am rating at 4 1/2 stars.I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.For more reviews please visit https://carriesbookreviews.com/
    more
  • Literary Soirée
    January 1, 1970
    “Summer does something to the brain. It’s intoxicating. Everything shimmers." So says a character in Summer People, a previous novel by Hilderbrand, which captures the essence of her entire oeuvre. JOIE DE VIVREI’ve devoured every book she’s written, so taken with her addictive stories set on Nantucket. Her own backstory is engaging, including how she came to the island, her education at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, her world travels, her survival of breast cancer and a post-surgical infection th “Summer does something to the brain. It’s intoxicating. Everything shimmers." So says a character in Summer People, a previous novel by Hilderbrand, which captures the essence of her entire oeuvre. JOIE DE VIVREI’ve devoured every book she’s written, so taken with her addictive stories set on Nantucket. Her own backstory is engaging, including how she came to the island, her education at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, her world travels, her survival of breast cancer and a post-surgical infection that nearly killed her. Her joie de vivre informs both her writing and her life and is as intoxicating as the summers she describes in her novels. WEEK THAT WASSUMMER OF ‘69 is her newest and her first historical novel. It’s a compelling slice of Americana, with the war in ‘Nam in full force. Senator Ted Kennedy’s fateful accident July 18, in which he drove his car off a bridge on Chappaquiddick killing passenger Mary Jo Kopechne. Two days later the first moon landing. Woodstock making musical history the following month.‘NAMAll are enfolded into the absorbing plot, which focuses on four siblings in a wealthy Massachusetts family including Tiger, their only son drafted and sent off to fight in ‘Nam. AQUARIUSI heard the author’s energetic interview this week on CBS in which she explained that she and her twin brother were born that July, so the book is especially personal. It’s evident in the way Hilderbrand masterfully weaves together narrative, characters and dialogue here. I care about these kids, smell the ganja in the air, hear “Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In” on the radio, feel the terror the family feels every time there’s a knock on the door that might mean they’ve lost Tiger. A captivating read! 5/5 Pub Date 18 Jun 2019. Available on Amazon.#Summerof’69 #ElinHilderbrand
    more
  • Christina
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ In pure Elin Hilderbrand style, Summer of ‘69 brings a historical twist on your favorite Nantucket summer beach read. In her first venture in the historical fiction genre, Hilderbrand takes us back in time to the summer of the moon launch, the Chappaquiddick incident and Woodstock. The fashion, the food, the culture, the music, it’s all there. Using song titles from ‘69 as each chapter title, we are transported to a time when pregnant mommies smoked cigarettes and drank scotch to wa 4.5 ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ In pure Elin Hilderbrand style, Summer of ‘69 brings a historical twist on your favorite Nantucket summer beach read. In her first venture in the historical fiction genre, Hilderbrand takes us back in time to the summer of the moon launch, the Chappaquiddick incident and Woodstock. The fashion, the food, the culture, the music, it’s all there. Using song titles from ‘69 as each chapter title, we are transported to a time when pregnant mommies smoked cigarettes and drank scotch to ward off morning sickness! Having grown up in the 80s and 90s myself, this time period is a world I’ve only experienced in the movies. And that’s exactly how this novel reads. The descriptions and details are so vivid and captivating like scenes from a movie we love to watch over and over again. The characters in the novel are rich and the plot is delicious in its unfurling. If you’re wondering about Hilderband’s Nantucket in the sixties, you won’t be disappointed. Everything we love about Nantucket and it’s culture are ever present throughout the book which is peppered with references to the ways of 1969. Born of Hilderbrand’s own personal birth story (read the author’s note at the end!) and nurtured with interesting characters and an engrossing storyline, Summer of ‘69 needs a place in your summer beach tote for sure!
    more
  • Toni
    January 1, 1970
    The year ‘Nineteen hundred sixty-nine,’ 1969, was a busy year for the United States of America; and as such, was no different for the combined families of Nichols, Foley, Levin and Whalen, all under the matriarchal umbrella of Exalta Nichols. Since Exalta was such a stickler for tradition the family prepares to pack up and move out to Nantucket for the summer, regardless that the 3rd Monday of June is Jessie’s 13th birthday, or that Kate is sick with worry about Tiger, her 19 year old son who wa The year ‘Nineteen hundred sixty-nine,’ 1969, was a busy year for the United States of America; and as such, was no different for the combined families of Nichols, Foley, Levin and Whalen, all under the matriarchal umbrella of Exalta Nichols. Since Exalta was such a stickler for tradition the family prepares to pack up and move out to Nantucket for the summer, regardless that the 3rd Monday of June is Jessie’s 13th birthday, or that Kate is sick with worry about Tiger, her 19 year old son who was drafted to fight in Vietnam just this past April, and Blair her 24 year old daughter is pregnant in Boston and virtually alone since her astrophysicist husband practically works 24/7 on the upcoming Apollo 11 moon mission. Then, don't even get Kate started on her 20-year-old daughter, Kirby who's decided to assert her independence and work at a hotel on Martha’s Vineyard this summer as a chambermaid! Sure, Martha’s Vineyard is technically 11 miles from Nantucket, as the crow flies, but for a human to get there it would take more than 24 hours. Lastly her husband David can only come out on weekends because he has a law office to run. When they finally arrive at Exalta's house on Fair St. named All's Fair (yes, houses in town are named) with the smaller annex called Little Fair, everything is bright and fresh thanks to Long time caretaker Bill Crimmins. He takes Exalta's hand as she exits the car and welcomes her home to Nantucket. Observant Jessie doesn't miss anything. As others unload the car, she runs through the house and out the side kitchen door, across the courtyard and up the stairs in Little Fair to where she'll be staying this year for the first time. This used to be the purvey of her three older siblings, but now it's her turn. As Jessie climbs the stairs, she hears whistling in the little kitchen. As she walks in, she sees a young teenage boy with blonde hair, tan, cute, and making a sandwich. “Whoa, who are you?” she says. “Oh hi, you must be Jessie, he says with calm assurance. My name is Pick and my grandfather Bill and I are staying here this summer; wanna sandwich?”This is Jessie's introduction to Bill Crimmins grandson and his daughter Lorraine's (now lavender) 16-year-old son. Lots more about her later. Jessie does know that Lorraine used to help her mother Kate baby sit her older siblings when they were very young before their biological father, Wilder Foley died. She also knows that Lorraine ran away to California when she was about 19 years old and never came back. Interesting. She'd be more upset about Pick and Mr. Crimmins living in Little Fair if Pick wasn't so cute. Jessie really wishes her older siblings we're here now. The summer takes on much drama as Jessie placates her grandmother Exalta by taking tennis lessons at her staunch conservative Country Club the Field and Oar. The Nichols family have been members since the 1920s, so tennis whites and tradition are de rigueur. Kate has grown up with her mother Exalta's strict social rules and although she may not agree with all of them, she knows how to work around Exalta so as not to upset nor embarrass her. She succeeds on small battles like convincing her mother they need a TV in All's Fair so Kate can watch Walter Cronkite's evening report and keep up on the Vietnam news. This both comforts and distresses Kate simultaneously which leads to her drinking more then she should. The last time she and David went to dinner she drank way too much and could barely walk out of the restaurant. So, when she took David to the ferry on Sunday, he was calm and polite but told her firmly she needs to cut back. She went home and cried about that and her son Tiger still in Vietnam. She's a mother, damn it!Meanwhile back in Boston, Blair continues to miss her husband who's constantly working. While she's barely able to move around the apartment since her belly and breast have grown so large. Angus is supposed to go with her to her next appointment with the obstetrician since it’s possible she's having twins. Kirby has gone off to Martha's Vineyard not telling her parents that she doesn't have the job at the Shiretown Inn in Edgartown. She just read the ad for the job and is going to apply when she gets there. Luckily, she does have a place to stay, thank goodness. When she does finally get to the Inn, she finds out all the chambermaid jobs are taken mostly by the Irish girls that came to Martha's Vineyard in May. Kirby tells the woman interviewing her that she wanted to come early but she was finishing her exams at Simmons College to complete her sophomore year. Fortunately, the word college and Kirby's demeanor impress Mrs. Bennie enough to offer her the front desk job, but the hours are 11:00 PM to 7 AM. Kirby doesn't hesitate, “I'll take it.” So, all parts of the combined family are off on one of the most historic years America has known, 1969. Just in that summer alone, man walks on the moon, the largest, outdoor, rock ‘n roll concert takes place: Woodstock; and a Senator from Massachusetts walks away from an accident on a small island called Chappaquiddick near Martha's Vineyard. The Vietnam War continues. For those of us who lived through these events, young or old, they'll never be forgotten. Events will change in the characters’ lives in small and large ways mostly for good for they are the fortunate ones. Tiger is still in Vietnam as the book closes. Thank you NetGalley, Little, Brown and Co., and Elin HilderbrandNote: Please be sure to read the Author’s Notes and Acknowledgements. Elin mentions Ken Burns’ documentary on the Vietnam War; if you don’t have much knowledge about this war, as many Americans might not, I encourage you to watch it. It won’t be easy, but it’s our history. Thank you.
    more
  • Shelby
    January 1, 1970
    It’s the summer of 1969 and the Levin family have big plans to vacation in Nantucket, like they have every year for decades. Kate’s 19-year old son, Richard “Tiger” has just been shipped off to Vietnam. Kate is petrified by what could happen to her only son, worried she’ll never see him again. And due to this, Kate picks up a nasty drinking habit that threatens the sanctity of her marriage. Kate’s youngest, Jessie, turns 13 on the day they head to Nantucket. Jessie knows this summer will be big— It’s the summer of 1969 and the Levin family have big plans to vacation in Nantucket, like they have every year for decades. Kate’s 19-year old son, Richard “Tiger” has just been shipped off to Vietnam. Kate is petrified by what could happen to her only son, worried she’ll never see him again. And due to this, Kate picks up a nasty drinking habit that threatens the sanctity of her marriage. Kate’s youngest, Jessie, turns 13 on the day they head to Nantucket. Jessie knows this summer will be big—she’s finally becoming a woman. She meets 15-year old Pick, a boy staying at her Nonny’s house. And Pick is Jessie’s very first crush. She’s smitten as a kitten—being a lady is starting to become more appealing by the day. 24-year old Blair is both a newlywed to astrophysicist, Angus, and heavily pregnant, growing bigger by the day. From the outside, her marriage seems perfect, but Angus and Blair face some unexpected challenges. And although she wasn’t planning to, Blair ends up staying in Nantucket with her family until she gives birth. 21-year old Kirby is the eternal hippie and anti-war activist. She decides to skip Nantucket this summer and spends it in Martha’s Vineyard instead. There she is forced to face a part of her past she vowed to leave behind her. But she also finds her little slice of happiness on Martha’s Vineyard. She meets Harvard student, Darren, and they quickly form a romance. Darren is African American and Kirby is trying to navigate dating a person of color and what an interracial relationship looks like. A story about love, war, family and strength. Summer of ‘69 by Elin Hilderbrand is a slice of life story from the year that this beloved author was born. It includes all the relevant topics from her time: War, feminism, Woodstock, political scandals. I felt this was the perfect blend of historical and women’s fiction. I found myself transported into the Levin’s family, if only for a few months of their history. This one’s a winner—5/5 stars.
    more
  • Zoe
    January 1, 1970
    Relevant, vivid, and absorbing!Summer of ’69 is a nostalgic, domestic tale that takes us back to the idyllic island of Nantucket during a year when Vietnam was still raging, and Apollo 11 was finally going to put men on the moon, and into the lives of the blended Foley-Levin family as they navigate a summer of revelations, change, and new additions.The writing is expressive and polished. The characters are genuine, troubled, and sympathetic. And the spirited plot is a delightful mix of summer fu Relevant, vivid, and absorbing!Summer of ’69 is a nostalgic, domestic tale that takes us back to the idyllic island of Nantucket during a year when Vietnam was still raging, and Apollo 11 was finally going to put men on the moon, and into the lives of the blended Foley-Levin family as they navigate a summer of revelations, change, and new additions.The writing is expressive and polished. The characters are genuine, troubled, and sympathetic. And the spirited plot is a delightful mix of summer fun, heartbreak, coming-of-age, secrets, wartime worries, adultery, racial segregation, women’s rights, and fresh starts.Overall, Summer of ’69 is once again a beguiling, heartfelt, must-read summer tale by Hilderbrand that highlights the power of family and reminds us that even though we’ve come so far, in some respects we still have a long way to go.Thank you to Little, Brown and Company for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.
    more
  • Debbie
    January 1, 1970
    This new summer beach read by Elin Hilderbrand has the usual setting but with a historical backdrop. I enjoyed the titles of the chapters being songs from the era. The characters were fully developed with the problems and conflicts that depicted the era. The ending could have been a little longer to tie things up a little more but it was an enjoyable read. It is sure to be on the bestseller list. #netgalley #summerof’69
    more
  • Dkbbookgirl
    January 1, 1970
    Great summer readTakes you back!!! Family story with a very eventful summer as the backdropHighly recommended
  • Amy
    January 1, 1970
    It’s officially summer now that I’ve read the new EH book! Seriously, it truly doesn’t feel like summertime for me until I get my hands on her latest book and I did consider waiting to read this until my actual summer vacation, but who am I kidding, I have no willpower when it comes to her books. I’m so glad I didn’t make myself wait either because this was exactly the right book to get me into a summer vacation state of mind.I was just a tiny bit apprehensive when I read the blurb of this and s It’s officially summer now that I’ve read the new EH book! Seriously, it truly doesn’t feel like summertime for me until I get my hands on her latest book and I did consider waiting to read this until my actual summer vacation, but who am I kidding, I have no willpower when it comes to her books. I’m so glad I didn’t make myself wait either because this was exactly the right book to get me into a summer vacation state of mind.I was just a tiny bit apprehensive when I read the blurb of this and saw it was set back in 1969, I don’t mind historical fiction but I did wonder if this would have the same magic as her usual summer books. I trust the queen of the beach read though and figured she knew what she was doing and she does. Obviously she does, this was book twenty something after all, and I was just as into this one as all of her previous books. It was really cool to see a simpler kind of life actually, no cell phones, Instagram, etc that so dominates our daily lives now, but there was no shortage of drama back then either. So many of the rampant issues back then are still sadly relevant today too, racism, women’s rights issues, etc. that despite being set fifty years ago it still felt surprisingly relevant.No one features an ensemble cast better than EH, she manages to create casts of characters that you feel invested in and also relate to on some level. There’s a little something for everyone here, mom Kate trying to cope with her only son Tiger, being shipped off to Vietnam, daughters Kirby, Blair and Jessie who range from early twenties to just turned teenager and so many supporting characters that give the whole thing vibrancy and life. A must read for summer, make sure you read the authors note for the inspiration behind the story, it was super cool!Summer of 69 in three words: Breezy, Spirited and Delightful
    more
  • Tammy
    January 1, 1970
    Summer reading at its best!! I enjoy reading her novels and this little historic charmer, her first, was absolutely amazing! ❤ Summer reading at its best!! I enjoy reading her novels and this little historic charmer, her first, was absolutely amazing! ❤️
    more
  • Beth McCraw
    January 1, 1970
    My first by Elin Hilderbrand and it definitely won’t be my last!! I loved this so much❤ My first by Elin Hilderbrand and it definitely won’t be my last!! I loved this so much❤️
  • Donna Hines
    January 1, 1970
    I must note Little Brown and Company has recently auto approved me @NetGalley and I'm beyond ecstatic to read these wonderfully talented authors such as the one and only Elin Hilderbrand.I'm a huge fan who enjoys her work for the obvious reasons as they never disappoint.The Summer of '69 is no exception as it's chock full of characters, vivid action, the locations center upon Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard (both places rich in history and steeped in traditions) as well as the historical aspect I must note Little Brown and Company has recently auto approved me @NetGalley and I'm beyond ecstatic to read these wonderfully talented authors such as the one and only Elin Hilderbrand.I'm a huge fan who enjoys her work for the obvious reasons as they never disappoint.The Summer of '69 is no exception as it's chock full of characters, vivid action, the locations center upon Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard (both places rich in history and steeped in traditions) as well as the historical aspect that surrounded the era of the wild and crazy 60's with the Levin Family.Every year the Levin Family offspring looked forward to visiting Nanny in downtown Nantucket until this year when Blair became pregnant, Kirby was immersed in civil rights protests with Tiger her only son being sent off to Vietnam, while 13yo Jessie was left behind with a whole hosts of grandma's secrets.The 'Queen of Summer Novels' has proven her stake and claim to the title by once again showcasing her talents in dramatic fashion."People are People" and more importantly I'd add to this quote people are human, flawed, and ultimately wish to love and be loved.How this all comes to play out is equally as exciting as the historical times surrounding and encasing it all.The ending author notes added to it as she always was asked to do a historical novel one in which her family could relate and play a part and she truly has captured the essence of the 60's not in a historically accurate version of time but in one that related directly to her framing of this novel and her own personal situation.This story is not just for the faint of heart looking for a light airy read as it's a heavy hitter touching down upon subjects including infidelity, philanders a plenty, racial tensions, pregnancy and abortions, political and social un-rest and upheaval, civil rights, and interracial relationships to name a few.Each character brings to the table a sense of drama, intrigue, compassion, and empathy in their own way.Each character is fighting for a right, a cause, a virtue.Each one has something to say and a right to be heard.So thank you to Elin Hildebrand, Little Brown and Company for this auto approval, NetGalley, and Amazon Kindle for this ARC in exchange for this honest review.I hope you get a chance to read this must read for 2019!
    more
  • Jennifer
    January 1, 1970
    When Elin comes out with a new book, it's a must. Like a don't-even-read-the-synopsis no-brainer. Just as she delivered a multi-dimensional page turner with The Perfect Summer, Summer of '69 is just as much a treat- but with historical fiction at its core, which is a genre Elin hasn't presented before. The story lines of several members of the Foley/Levin families intertwine as their lives during the summer of 1969 unfurl (or in some cases, unravel). There's 13-year-old Jessie, her mother Kate, When Elin comes out with a new book, it's a must. Like a don't-even-read-the-synopsis no-brainer. Just as she delivered a multi-dimensional page turner with The Perfect Summer, Summer of '69 is just as much a treat- but with historical fiction at its core, which is a genre Elin hasn't presented before. The story lines of several members of the Foley/Levin families intertwine as their lives during the summer of 1969 unfurl (or in some cases, unravel). There's 13-year-old Jessie, her mother Kate, and Kate's other three children, Tiger, a soldier serving in Vietnam, Kirby- a flower child with a rebellious streak and a past she's trying to run from, and Blair, who is about to give birth to twins and just made the biggest mistake of her life. At the top of the family tree is the matriarch, grandmother Exalta, who floats through the rooms of the family's sprawling Nantucket compound with a disapproving gaze and whose judgement bears down on everyone. Kate is the mother in all of us- constantly worrying about all of her children, while also balancing her own demons. At the center of her seemingly broken heart is not knowing if her son will make it home from Vietnam. And somewhere in the cloud of sadness that surrounds her, is a secret she can't run away from. It's her individual relationships with each of her children that make her such a dynamic character. I loved her weakness and her strength, I loved her vulnerability and her determination as well. For Elin to write a novel that is historical fiction and her classic style is such a treat - this book will be a favorite that bridges so many genres. I love this book because it's one book and one family, but it holds many, many different stories. It's amazing how a story of just one summer can weave such a colorful movie-like vision in your mind as you read. Each character experiences monumental life changes and events that we can all relate to, all with the beautiful and fascinating backdrop of the 60s on Nantucket. So not only do you have the wonderful life story of Jessie and her siblings, you have the heart-racing pulse of political intrigue, the Kennedy's, the drama of Vietnam and even Woodstock. One sister experiences her first kiss, her first love and her first betrayal. Another betrays someone else in the most important time of her life and is suddenly abandoned by her husband and her little sister is off the island, running away from a terrible relationship that left her alone and ashamed. They are all facing their own struggles and keeping secrets from each other but their love for family, for their brother who is fighting for their country and their commitment to their island home and the memories it holds for them all keeps them together and without even trying, they all help each other find their paths and mend their hearts. I feel like I am rambling, so I'll just cut this short and say, yes! I recommend! Thank you Little Brown and Co for my review copy!
    more
  • Andrea Nourse
    January 1, 1970
    This is the first Elin Hilderbrand book that I’ve read and honestly, I’m mad at myself for waiting this long.I absolutely adored this book and family. I saw a bit of myself in Kate, Jessie, Blair and Kirby. Through Hilderbrand’s words, I felt their story come to life.Summer of ‘69 is a beautiful story that wholly embodied what I imagine the late 1960s to be like. And while I’ve never been to Nantucket, I feel as though I can say I’ve been now.
    more
  • Ilene
    January 1, 1970
    ✌🏻✌🏽✌🏿Quintessential Elin Hilderbrand summer book with a touch of a classic Judy Blume. Not the main point, but one of my favorite parts of Hilderbrand’s novels are when she describes what the characters are eating, and the retro 1969 beach picnic descriptions were some of my favorite fun details 😋 It’s not the most poignant novel written about this time period, nor is it the best book in the author’s prolific collection, but if you enjoy escaping to Elin Hilderbrand’s Nantucket you’ll like her ✌🏻✌🏽✌🏿Quintessential Elin Hilderbrand summer book with a touch of a classic Judy Blume. Not the main point, but one of my favorite parts of Hilderbrand’s novels are when she describes what the characters are eating, and the retro 1969 beach picnic descriptions were some of my favorite fun details 😋 It’s not the most poignant novel written about this time period, nor is it the best book in the author’s prolific collection, but if you enjoy escaping to Elin Hilderbrand’s Nantucket you’ll like her latest story. She herself had a groovy connection to the summer of ‘69 that inspired the book.
    more
  • Olivia & Lori (The Candid Cover)
    January 1, 1970
    Full Review on The Candid CoverSummer of ’69 by Elin Hilderbrand is an epic historical fiction novel that will sweep its readers off their feet. Set in Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard, the book explores family relationships and an eventful time in U.S. history. It is a classic Hilderbrand summer novel with an exciting historical twist.I have read a few of Hilderbrand’s novels before, but this one is my absolute favourite to date. This summer read has all of the classic elements that her works en Full Review on The Candid CoverSummer of ’69 by Elin Hilderbrand is an epic historical fiction novel that will sweep its readers off their feet. Set in Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard, the book explores family relationships and an eventful time in U.S. history. It is a classic Hilderbrand summer novel with an exciting historical twist.I have read a few of Hilderbrand’s novels before, but this one is my absolute favourite to date. This summer read has all of the classic elements that her works entail, such as drama and family relationships. However, the time period of Summer of ’69 really sets the tone for an intriguing plot. It is quite amazing how the history of 1969 blends perfectly into the narrative and its characters.❀ INCREDIBLE SETTINGThe setting is one that always makes me yearn for a trip to Nantucket. Hildrebrand outdoes herself with this particular novel, however. Many of the popular shops and places of interest that are described in the book are truly a step back in time. Also, adding Martha’s Vineyard to the story adds a really interesting element as the characters deal with racism and segregation.❀ COMPELLING CHARACTERSThe story is told in multiple points of view, which works well for this novel. The women in the Levin family are all given a voice and it is compelling to read about each generation’s struggles and achievements in a time where women are really starting to take a stand for their rights. I especially loved Jessie’s point of view, as she is the youngest and really comes of age during the course of the novel.Fans of Hilderbrand’s other novels set on Nantucket will not be disappointed with Summer of ’69. This epic historical fiction explores the time period and many of the social, political, and news-worthy moments of that summer. The characters are ones that readers will instantly relate to, making it a perfect summer read.
    more
  • Krystal Hicks
    January 1, 1970
    As usual I loved this new novel by Elin Hildebrand. The only reason I did not give it 5 stars was I felt the ending needed more. I felt like it came to a sudden halt. But other than that I loved it. Thank you to Little Brown and Netgalley for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
    more
  • Elizabeth
    January 1, 1970
    I was pretty unsure about what I would think about Elin Hilderbrand venturing into historical fiction but overall, it was pretty enjoyable. I do think it felt a bit like she tried to fit in too many mentions of 60s issues and current events and pop culture so that no one could possibly miss what era she was writing about but whatever, at least it was an immersive experience. Not all the characters are likable, they are definitely flawed and some of their decisions annoyed me. Still, another fun I was pretty unsure about what I would think about Elin Hilderbrand venturing into historical fiction but overall, it was pretty enjoyable. I do think it felt a bit like she tried to fit in too many mentions of 60s issues and current events and pop culture so that no one could possibly miss what era she was writing about but whatever, at least it was an immersive experience. Not all the characters are likable, they are definitely flawed and some of their decisions annoyed me. Still, another fun summer book.
    more
  • Sarah Sabin
    January 1, 1970
    "And maybe, just maybe, this summer will end up being one that people write songs about."Every summer, the Foley-Levin family stays on Nantucket with Kate's mother, enjoying the sun, the beach, and the restaurants. But this summer is different. Tiger gets drafted to fight in Vietnam. Blair is pregnant and her marriage is failing. Kirby decides to spend her summer working on Martha's Vineyard, and Jessie is thirteen and her body is changing. Set during the summer of the moon landing, this will be "And maybe, just maybe, this summer will end up being one that people write songs about."Every summer, the Foley-Levin family stays on Nantucket with Kate's mother, enjoying the sun, the beach, and the restaurants. But this summer is different. Tiger gets drafted to fight in Vietnam. Blair is pregnant and her marriage is failing. Kirby decides to spend her summer working on Martha's Vineyard, and Jessie is thirteen and her body is changing. Set during the summer of the moon landing, this will be one to remember.This was my very first Elin Hilderbrand novel and I keep thinking, 'How did I make it this long without reading her books?' I loved Summer of '69. I loved the characters, and the setting. The writing was wonderful, the story beautifully executed. Kirby was my favorite character as she was open-minded, but also real. She wasn't a perfect feminist or a perfect advocate for human rights. She fought so hard against her own internal prejudices that she didn't even realize she had. Kirby also tried to protect her roommate against an abusive boyfriend. She was just a strong and devoted character.A big chunk of the narrative was centered on mental health, and I kept thinking how grateful I am to be alive fifty years later where we know so much more about depression, suicide, and treatment. Trigger warnings: Suicide loss, mental illness, infidelity, substance abuse, domestic abuse
    more
  • Lisa B.
    January 1, 1970
    5+We spend the summer of '69 with 5 women of the Levin family - matriarch Exalta, her daughter Kate, and Kate's daughter Blair, Kirby and Jessie. There is an occasional male presence, most notably Kate's son Tiger, who opens the story by being drafted into the Vietnam war and writes home to shar some of his war experiences. Exalta wants nothing more than for everyone to act like nothing in the world is changing. Kate is beside herself with worry over Tiger's survival. Blair is pregnant and tryin 5+We spend the summer of '69 with 5 women of the Levin family - matriarch Exalta, her daughter Kate, and Kate's daughter Blair, Kirby and Jessie. There is an occasional male presence, most notably Kate's son Tiger, who opens the story by being drafted into the Vietnam war and writes home to shar some of his war experiences. Exalta wants nothing more than for everyone to act like nothing in the world is changing. Kate is beside herself with worry over Tiger's survival. Blair is pregnant and trying to come to terms with being a wife in 1969. Kirby is seeking independence from her family. Jessie is left to navigate through the land mine of being a teenage - freedom, first loves and what it means to love her family.Like Jessie, I was a newly minted teenage in the summer of '69. I remember many of the events mentioned in this novel. For me, most noteably the moon landing because I was a space geek. Other events like protest over the Vietnam war, civil rights unrest and the Ted Kennedy/Chappaquidick incident did not become as important to me until I got older. From the first word until the last, I was engrossed in this story. So many people have shared with me the importance of their summer of '69. I think the author made a very wise choice with picking this topic for her first foray into a historical novel. This is definatley my most favorite Elin Hilderbrand to date and most favorite read in 2019. Pure entertainment!My thanks to Little, Brown & Co. and Netgalley.
    more
  • Lynn Horton
    January 1, 1970
    Summer of '69 is fulfilling summer read. The word that comes to mind is "professional." Hilderbrand does an excellent job of weaving a fairly intricate story populated by a lot of characters, yet manages to maintain each character's identity—no small feat. I was happy to come into my house after long days of gardening to pick up Summer of '69 and relax into its world. This isn't a deeply engaging read, one that brought tears to my eyes, nor did the characters get under my skin to the point that Summer of '69 is fulfilling summer read. The word that comes to mind is "professional." Hilderbrand does an excellent job of weaving a fairly intricate story populated by a lot of characters, yet manages to maintain each character's identity—no small feat. I was happy to come into my house after long days of gardening to pick up Summer of '69 and relax into its world. This isn't a deeply engaging read, one that brought tears to my eyes, nor did the characters get under my skin to the point that I'm dying to know what happens to them (as I do Reacher and Allon). But Summer of '69 wasn't meant to be that type of book, and what it's designed to do, it does well.The thing I like most about Summer of '69 is the way the author describes settings. I felt as if I were there, and the slight suspension of reality that descends on a resort during the summer months is palpable. (I actually live in a place comparable to Nantucket, and Hilderbrand nails the disengagement perfectly.)Recommended.
    more
  • Rebecca
    January 1, 1970
    Thanks to the publisher, via Netgalley, for an advance e-galley for honest review!Elin Hilderbrand takes on historical fiction for the first time with Summer of '69, and it is just as well executed as any of her contemporary novels have been. Still set primarily on Nantucket, it's the story of a summer that is going to define the lives of the members of one family in different ways, told through the women of the family- Kate, who believes that the secrets she's kept is why she's been "punished" Thanks to the publisher, via Netgalley, for an advance e-galley for honest review!Elin Hilderbrand takes on historical fiction for the first time with Summer of '69, and it is just as well executed as any of her contemporary novels have been. Still set primarily on Nantucket, it's the story of a summer that is going to define the lives of the members of one family in different ways, told through the women of the family- Kate, who believes that the secrets she's kept is why she's been "punished" with her only son being sent to Vietnam; Blair, her oldest daughter, who is pregnant and questioning the husband and life she's chosen; Kirby, her spirited middle daughter who rebels with a summer job on Martha's Vineyard (and is also trying to outrun her past); and Jessie, the youngest daughter, who at thirteen is feeling lonely and at sea with her family, and making questionable choices because of that. While the voices of the four main characters weren't necessarily super distinct, there wasn't a perspective that dragged among them. Elin Hilderbrand's books have been defining summer for years, and this one is a perfect addition to her list.
    more
  • Emily Carter
    January 1, 1970
    Elin Hilderbrand is back with her first ever foray into Historical Fiction, set as always on Nantucket! It was the most tumultuous summer of the twentieth century, with the Vietnam War, the moon landing, political drama, racism/civil/women rights protests, and standing up to outdated social norms.We follow matriarch Exalta, her daughter Kate (both harbouring secrets from her entire family), and her kids Jessie (newly 13), Blair (pregnant with twins and kicked out of her house by her husband), Ki Elin Hilderbrand is back with her first ever foray into Historical Fiction, set as always on Nantucket! It was the most tumultuous summer of the twentieth century, with the Vietnam War, the moon landing, political drama, racism/civil/women rights protests, and standing up to outdated social norms.We follow matriarch Exalta, her daughter Kate (both harbouring secrets from her entire family), and her kids Jessie (newly 13), Blair (pregnant with twins and kicked out of her house by her husband), Kirby (nursing student and activist living on Martha's Vineyard for the summer, who is in a scandalous new relationship), and Tiger (an infantry soldier, recently deployed to Vietnam).This book made me feel nostalgic for a time and place I have never been to or experienced. I loved the multi voiced aspect, we got to know each character so well, it's impossible not to become attached to them. I couldn't put this one down!Thank you to @LittleBrown for the ARC! This comes out June 18!
    more
  • Kate
    January 1, 1970
    5 beautiful stars! This book is the absolute PERFECT summer read and I highly suggest that if you have some time off, are at the beach, or simply are looking for a heart-warming summer book, you pick this up immediately! This was the first book of Elin Hilderbrand's that I have read and I was so impressed with how captivating her writing and her characters are. The characters in this really came to life and almost gave me the same vibe as a really good Nicholas Sparks novel, but better. I did no 5 beautiful stars! This book is the absolute PERFECT summer read and I highly suggest that if you have some time off, are at the beach, or simply are looking for a heart-warming summer book, you pick this up immediately! This was the first book of Elin Hilderbrand's that I have read and I was so impressed with how captivating her writing and her characters are. The characters in this really came to life and almost gave me the same vibe as a really good Nicholas Sparks novel, but better. I did not want this to end and was sad when I reached the last page because I truly loved the story that Hilderbrand told about this family. I definitely plan on picking up a few more of her books this summer!
    more
  • Rachel
    January 1, 1970
    So I read most of it in one day. It was like something took over and I had to know how it ended. I’m so glad I read this. I had been having a hard time picking out books that held my interest. I love the 60s and I love the ideas of a family vacation home where you spend an entire summer. That sounds so nice to me. So this book checked a lot of my boxes to begin with. But I was truly invested in all the characters. Some of it was very predictable (I knew who Trixie was from the start) but I had t So I read most of it in one day. It was like something took over and I had to know how it ended. I’m so glad I read this. I had been having a hard time picking out books that held my interest. I love the 60s and I love the ideas of a family vacation home where you spend an entire summer. That sounds so nice to me. So this book checked a lot of my boxes to begin with. But I was truly invested in all the characters. Some of it was very predictable (I knew who Trixie was from the start) but I had to be sure. I still had to know. Yay for Summer of 69 I should check out other books by this author and see if she delivers.
    more
  • Peggy Jaeger
    January 1, 1970
    Set during the turbulent summer of 1969 America, Elin Hilderbrand’s newest novel takes the reader on an emotional rollercoaster ride that mimics the tumultuous time it’s set in.Siblings Blair, Kirby and Jessie each miss their brother, Tiger, who’s been called off to Viet Nam to fight a war no one wants. The sisters each have personal problems to deal with and could use the support of one another. But, that isn’t happening. 13 year old Jessie is spending the summer at her grandmother’s house – a Set during the turbulent summer of 1969 America, Elin Hilderbrand’s newest novel takes the reader on an emotional rollercoaster ride that mimics the tumultuous time it’s set in.Siblings Blair, Kirby and Jessie each miss their brother, Tiger, who’s been called off to Viet Nam to fight a war no one wants. The sisters each have personal problems to deal with and could use the support of one another. But, that isn’t happening. 13 year old Jessie is spending the summer at her grandmother’s house – a place she hates – separated from her friends. Pregnant with twins Blair has left her husband after she confronts him about infedility. And Kirby is caught up in a friend’s abusive relationship and her own doomed love affair with a black man.Told with Hildebrand’s signature style of long descriptive passages, this book is an homage to a terrible year in our nation’s history and how one family’s struggles and hopes mimic the rest of the country’s.Thanks to Netgalley for a sneak peak. Another Hilderbrand classic.
    more
Write a review