Summer of ’69 by Elin Hilderbrand
June 25, 2019
Dear Mr. Hemingway,
WHOO-HOO Mr. H., the Queen of summer reading is back with another tale set on her Nantucket Island. Woodstock, man’s first moonwalk, and the Vietnam War were all part of America’s historical summer of 1969. Elin Hilderbrand’s new book, Summer of ‘69 is set during this wild time in our history. Hilderbrand tells the story of the Levin family, whose Nantucket lives are impacted by the highs and lows of this era. Fans of Hilderbrand will fall in love with her new historical fiction novel. Readers will go back in time to a Nantucket that existed in a different century but is still full of that same island charm. So put away your skinny jeans and pull out your bell-bottoms, you are boarding a ferry to Nantucket, circa 1969.
For as long as they can remember, the Levin family spent their summers vacationing on Nantucket at their grandmother’s house. During the summer of 1969, the four Levin siblings were all navigating the ever changing world around them while living a part. Blair is married and pregnant in Boston, Kirby is working on Martha’s Vineyard at an Inn, Tiger is a soldier in the Vietnam war and Jessie, the youngest, is stuck on Nantucket with her grandmother and mother. While her siblings are away living their adult lives, Jessie is left to deal with her overly anxious mother and uptight grandmother. Feeling lonely and neglected, Jessie tries to discover who she really is and what true love is all about. The plot thickens when some of her siblings pop back over to Nantucket unexpectedly. Jessie soon comes across some surprise family secrets that will change their lives forever.
Hilderbrand took a turbulent time in our history and weaved it into the stories of her main characters. Though she used the events that occurred during the summer of 1969 as her backdrop, she still managed to stay true to her roots, using themes of love, family and self discovery in her book. As always, there is family drama, secrets and a whole lot of summer magic to read about. The characters are spirited and lovable with storylines that live up to the time. I loved how Hilderbrand went back in history and wrote about the Civil Rights Movement, the impact of the Vietnam War and the Women’s Movement. For good measure, she even included Ted Kennedy’s Chappaquiddick car accident and the historical Apollo 11 lunar landing that forever changed space exploration.
What Hilderbrand proves over and over again in her new book, is just how timeless Nantucket really is. No matter the century, this small island always shines as a safe haven and a place that brings family back together. The Summer of ‘69 was another Hilderbrand slam dunk for me. Put this beauty in your beach bag and get reading!!!!!
Your Biggest Fan,
P.S. David Bowie’s song, Space Oddity debuted five days before the Apollo 11 mission in 1969. Though it was inspired by Stanley Kubrick’s movie, A Space Odyssey, it’s overall vibe was perfect for a landing on the moon!!!!!