Summer of '69

Summer of '69

by Elin Hilderbrand


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Elin Hilderbrand's Summer Reading Recommendations Explore Now


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: 15
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 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 37 reviews.
Anonymous 23 days 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!
Anonymous 21 days ago
Anonymous 23 days 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 27 days ago
A pleasant change from other books. It kept my interest.
Anonymous 29 days ago
Peppyob 3 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 26 days ago
Anonymous 13 days ago
a good read with realistic references of '69.
Anonymous 14 days ago
Kept my interest but was easy to predict. Loose ends were left open in regard to Patty and Luke.
Anonymous 19 days ago
I FELL RIGHT INTO THIS SUMMER READ! Kate and her family are some of my new favorite people. When they arrive on Nantucket for thw summer everyone has thier issues the biggest foe Kate is thw fact her beloved son Tiger has been drafted. This over-rides all else for her. She does a lot of drinking and is not stable for a while. Kirby fights for racial equality by trying to date handsome Darrren who's own parents are less than welcoming for another reason. Blair's brainac husband is only concerned about the moon landing although she is very pregnant. 13 year old Jessie thinks going to Woodstock with a boy she met is a good idea. Oh, and dad is Jewish which does not fair well at "the club." I loved it. There needs to be a sequel! ELIN never dissappoints
Anonymous 21 days ago
Amazing book about the strength of many strong ladies!!
Anonymous 22 days ago
Anonymous 25 days ago
Good Summer read!
jbarr5 3 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.
KVM 5 days ago
The summer of '69 I was 2.5 years old and my parents had bought a house. This book brought back so many memories, I do not remember the moon landing at all but I know my parents watched it on tv and my mom saved the paper the next day. I love that a book can made me nostalgic for a time I barley remember but were the good days. This story of this blended family was a great read, I loved Blair, Kirby and Jessie as well as their mom and grandmother. I give high praise to Elin Hilderbrand, she never disappoints in her novels (She is one author I could just pick up the book without reading the back first). Its more then a "beach read" it has depth, its got humor and it has soul. I would reread this book in a flash!
RMeckley 10 days ago
I have never read this author before, but I have heard of her. This book caught my eye because of its historical fiction description. The setting is Boston/Nantucket/Martha's Vineyard during the summer of 1969. A multi-generational family spends the summer in their Nantucket summer house, as they have done for many years, while events occur all around them -- the moon landing, Woodstock, the Vietnam War, Chappaquiddick, and civil rights. The Vietnam War is the most personal as the only son goes off to war at the beginning of the story, affecting everyone in the family, but primarily his mother. The 3 sisters of varying ages experience life-changing events as well during the summer. The descriptive writing of beautiful scenery made me feel as if I were on the beach myself. Some of the girls seemed petty and a bit unlikable, but the story as a whole is very interesting. I liked the interweaving of real events into these imaginary lives. I also liked how the author included things that were different back then -- It was acceptable to smoke and drink during pregnancy, it was normal and safe to leave front doors unlocked, television was the tool people used to stay informed on current events, and life, in general, seemed slower. Excellent summer read!
Anonymous 10 days ago
Beachgirl2 10 days ago
Another winner by Elin Hilderbrand. It covered so much of this era — the Vietnam Nam war, protests, Woodstock, classic music references. I was 24 in the Summer of ‘69 so it really took me back. So very well written.
FrancescaFB 11 days ago
Anonymous 11 days ago
Really great
Anonymous 14 days ago
Anonymous 14 days ago
I enjoyed the book. The story was really good. The family dynamics kept me reading. It was amazing to realize how different things are now than they were fifty years ago. Can you imagine drinking beer to increase milk flow?!? Thank you for a wonderful book.
Anonymous 16 days ago
Anonymous 16 days ago
Anonymous 16 days ago
I will do this but it depends on whether ur hot or no