Summer of '69

Summer of '69

by Elin Hilderbrand


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The #1 New York Times Bestseller

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316420013
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication date: 06/18/2019
Pages: 432
Sales rank: 982
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.70(h) x 1.50(d)

About the Author

Elin Hilderbrand was born on July 17, 1969 in Boston, Massachusetts. She has used her 50 years to write 23 novels and raise three children on Nantucket Island.

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Summer of '69 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 71 reviews.
Anonymous 7 months ago
Perhaps because I am a child of the 60’s, this book was a walk back in time. It is a perfect summer read! Perhaps life was not simpler then, but it certainly was memorable and this story captured so many of those moments!
Peppyob 8 months ago
This is the first book I have ever read by Elin Hilderbrand. It will not be my last. I'm thrilled to discover a new author (to me) to follow. The summer of 69 was a turbulent time. Anyone growing up in that era will surely identify with the experiences of the Foley/Levin family. The four siblings Blair,Tiger, Kirby and Jessica are all affected by the issues of the time. Blair, the eldest is struggling with feminism and retaining her individually while pregnant with twins and saddled with a astrophysicist husband who wants a stay at home wife while he makes his mark in the history of space exploration. Tiger has been drafted and deployed to Vietnam. Kirby is the beautiful wild child who is taken with all the social and political issues (i.e. Civil rights, antiwar protests, women's lib etc). of the time. She also is asserting her independence this summer. Jessica, the youngest is becoming a teenager and is struggling with coming of age issues. She also shares a special bond with Tiger and worries greatly about him. Mother Kate is having a hard time, struggling with a lifelong secret. Fears about Tiger being in Vietnam is more than Kate can cope with. She turns to alcohol. Maternal Grandmother, Exalta Nichols is set in her ways and is a prime example of Wasp culture. However, Exalta is not exempt from having a big secret herself. Though I've never experienced summers in Nantucket or Martha’s Vineyard, the vivid descriptions of the homes, beaches and towns, brought them to life for me. All the chapters in the book are cleverly titled after relevant songs of the 1960s. Summer of 69 is the perfect summer read with a perfect mix of historical fiction, romance and family drama.
Anonymous 7 months ago
I was looking for something interesting and not too heavy although with enough to say that it didn’t seem frivolous. I graduated from high school in ‘69 and loved that I had a wonderful soundtrack in my head to go along with the text. The characters were well thought out, believable, and very likable as well. Each was relatable in his or her own way. My only personal objection was that the creepy tennis coach was made a student at Sewanee. I was a freshman and in the first class of co-eds there in the fall of ‘69. While I have no doubt that there were those who did not deserve the esteemed title of Sewanee Gentleman most at least aspired to that goal and I was disappointed to see the name of that fine and respected institution sullied in that way. Probably too much sensitivity on my part but on the behalf of fine Sewanee graduates everywhere (my daughter and son-in-law among others) I could not remain silent.
Anonymous 8 months ago
A pleasant change from other books. It kept my interest.
Anonymous 8 months ago
Anonymous 12 days ago
soft and completely predictablesorry i paid for this
Anonymous 6 months ago
Kept my interest but was easy to predict. Loose ends were left open in regard to Patty and Luke.
Anonymous 7 months ago
Anonymous 7 months ago
jbarr5 8 months ago
Summer of '69 by Elin Hilderbrand Book follows a family-3 girls, one boy during the summer of 1969. Each one could have their own book on their own-they are just so good. Remember myself listening to the radio when my brother was up for induction into the military but he had a number that meant he'd not be seeing any .... The girls brother was not so lucky-he was sent to Vietnam to fight. One treasures his letters home. Another woman is pregnant with twins but her husband is not so faithful and she ends up on the Vineyard. The grandmother is also there and the other two girls have jobs for the summer months. Love the traditions that are followed every year. Especially like hearing of the things they do on the island-very similar to how I grew up on the island in the bay nearby. Beaches-nude beach, public beach, beach for Blacks only as just a handful of those that are talked about. Each one holds their own speciality. Events lead to the death of a young woman who makes world wide fame because of who she was with.... So many events I recall from my childhood. Twists and turns and so many secrets that shed light on what's really going on. Love hearing the soldiers journey and especially love how the book came about. About the author and notes are included at the end. Resources are noted and acknowledgements and other works by the author are highlighted. Received this review copy from Little, Brown and Company via NetGalley and this is my honest opinion.
Anonymous 5 days ago
Wonderful and such a great story of the summer of 69. I remember it well, I was 19, enough said.
catloverMJ 19 days ago
I was 17 in the summer od 69, so I was looking forward to reading his book. it started out ok, but I started losing interest. the book just seemed to drag on for me . Maybe because I did not spend my teen years at Martha's Vineyard or Nantucket,
catloverMJ 19 days ago
I was 17 in the summer od 69, so I was looking forward to reading his book. it started out ok, but I started losing interest. the book just seemed to drag on for me . Maybe because I did not spend my teen years at Martha's Vineyard or Nantucket,
Anonymous 22 days ago
As an Elin fan.. I have purchased and saved all of her books. I was very disappointed in Summer of 69. Very boring with no real plot.
Anonymous 3 months ago
Anonymous 3 months ago
I was mostly attracted to this book because I've always been fascinated with the 1960s and '70s. This was my first book by Elin Hilderbrand, and I can safely say I am a new fan! This novel follows the Foley-Levin family through the tumultuous summer of 1969, and it is brimming with details of the era. I was pleasantly surprised to see that the chapter titles are names of popular songs from that time! I won't go into detail about the plot here because I think the summary does a great job of that. All of the characters are wonderfully developed; I loved getting to know Kate, Blair, Kirby, and Jessie, and I'm going to miss reading about them. I imagine this would be a wonderful nostalgic read for anyone who is old enough to remember '69. Important historical events are tied into the plot (for instance, Blair's husband is an astrophysicist who plays an important role in the moon landing, Kirby is very involved in the civil rights protests of the day, and their brother has been drafted into the Vietnam War). There is a perfect blend of romance, family drama, and gorgeous imagery of Nantucket, making it a fantastic beach read. Though it's rather long (400+ pages), it's a light, easy read that had me turning pages right up until the heartwarming ending. I definitely recommend this book to anyone who loves historical fiction, beach reads, coming-of-age stories (13-year-old Jessie stole my heart), or all of the above!
Anonymous 3 months ago
Like all of this author's books they are surrounded by hype. I enjoyed the trip back through time and loved how the chapters were named after songs from that year. The story had no climax but just an ending that goes on and on and on to where I find myself skimming so the book will end in the near future. Seems this is a trend of Hilderbrand. Her books lose momentum, have no climax and boring, tedious endings that describe everything that is cooked and on a dinner table. I have one more of her books on my Nook and if this happens again I am calling it quits. It had such promise!
Anonymous 3 months ago
very good summer read, no thinking required just enjoy.
Anonymous 3 months ago
This book is about a time that I remember well. It just seemed to go on too long!
Anonymous 4 months ago
Not her best. The ending seemed anti-climatic
Pat Balint 4 months ago
Very disappointing! Kate did not act like a mother of four children. Was only concerned with one child and her past with her first husband. Not a good summer read. I was a young mother in 1969 and looked forward to reading this account. Many of the facts hazy.
bookchickdi 4 months ago
Elin Hilderbrand is the queen of summer novels, and this year’s entry, “Summer of ’69” even has summer in the title. Hilderband and her twin brother were born in July of 1969 and so she used that for this intriguing family story that takes place over one summer. Kate is distraught that her only son Tiger has been sent off to fight in Vietnam. Her first husband fought in the Korean War, came back home, and committed suicide. She worries constantly, and has turned to drinking, which upsets her second husband. Oldest daughter Blair is married and very pregnant with twins. Blair’s marriage is troubled and she doesn’t know what to do. Second daughter Kirby was arrested at a peace protest in college and is hiding that fact from her parents. She also became romantically involved with a policeman, and something bad happened there. Youngest daughter Jessie is thirteen and trying to maneuver through the summer while staying at her grandmother’s summer home in Nantucket. Hilderbrand does a fabulous job writing from Jessie’s point of view, bringing you right back to the days when you were thirteen. Hilderbrand also manages to weave in two historic events from July of ’69- the Apollo 11 moon landing (Blair’s husband works for NASA) and the death of Mary Jo Kopechne in Senator Ted Kennedy’s car, which happened on Martha’s Vineyard that same week. (Kirby works at the Shiretown Inn where Senator Kennedy was staying on that evening.) “Summer of ’69” is Hildebrand’s best book yet, an emotional family drama.
Anonymous 4 months ago
beachandbookgirl 5 months ago
Elin’s stories always come with in-depth characters and storylines. Every story is just amazing!
ChattyKat54 5 months ago
I am a huge fan of this writer and have read every book she’s written. This book was the worst! The only reason I finished it, was because of the $14.99 I paid to download it. The story line was non-existent and the characters were boring. I thought it would never end! Big miss!