Summer of ’69 by Elin Hilderbrand

I have been reading some pretty heavy stuff and this looked like a good beach read and it is. It is not any sort of light fluff even though it is set on Nantucket Island where the Levin family spends their summers in the matriarch’s house. They have gathered there for decades.

Against a backdrop of beaches, tennis lessons, and romance are some hard things. The grandson is in the army fighting in Vietnam. His sisters who range from early teenagers to adults in their 20’s are having problems. The younger ones are maybe growing up a little too fast. The Mom and Dad are not getting along and Mom is really liking her gin and tonics maybe a little too much. Grandmother is in denial about everything. And so the story moves forward.

It was fun that the book was set in 1969 when the country was going through so many changes and it references a lot of things I remember vividly. Senator Edward Kennedy scandal at Chappaquiddick where he left a young woman to drown and never called the police, the moon landing, Woodstock, hippies, marijuana. I was only 14 then and it was all pretty amazing and I was stuck in the little burg of Eagar, Arizona up in the White Mountains.

I loved this book. The characters are real and so re their problems. Yes, they kind of work through what is going on but not everything is tied up at the end of the book. Just like real life. This is my first book by Elin Hilderbrand and will not be my last.

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