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Summer of '69

Written by: Elin Hilderbrand
Narrated by: Erin Bennett
Length: 13 hrs and 34 mins
4 out of 5 stars (41 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Four siblings experience the drama, intrigue, and upheaval of a summer when everything changed in New York Times best-selling author Elin Hilderbrand's first historical novel.

Welcome to the most tumultuous summer of the 20th 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 30 miles out to sea, Elin Hilderbrand once again earns her title as queen of the summer novel.

©2019 Elin Hilderbrand (P)2019 Hachette Audio

What the critics say

"Hilderbrand hits all the right notes about life in a tightly knit family, and this crowd-pleaser is sure to satisfy both her fans and newcomers alike." (Kirkus, starred review)

"Hilderbrand's first foray into historical fiction will rouse curiosity in new readers as well as devotees of her annual summer smashes." (Susan Maguire, Booklist)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Not my favourite book

I have read almost every book by the author, this being one of my least favourites. The storyline didn’t interest me that much and the characters didn’t either. I will still continue to read her books- looking forward to the sequel to Winter in Paradise.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2019-07-09

great story

loved the story, hated the conversations. I would get lost in the story then be jolted back to reality and rip my earbuds out because I couldn't take the way conversations were written, kirby said, jessie said kirby said david said kate said kirby said jessie said

98 of 104 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • MomsieSteelie
  • 2019-07-29

A little like I was listening to a Soap Opera

My husband and I took a roadtrip and needed a no-brainer. This succeeded in doing just that!
Somewhat entertaining but ended with a lot of loose ends.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2019-07-03

Summer of ‘69

I wanted to hear this book because I was a rising senior summer ‘69. I knew it was my last summer of youth. I wasn’t disappointed. This novel took me back 50 years and it was so real it was as if I were there once again. Thanks for the memories

26 of 28 people found this review helpful

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  • ROBIN
  • 2019-06-21

My favorite from E.H and I have read them all !!

For me the sign of an excellent story is when you know you're going to miss the people in it when it ends.
I was born in the summer of 65 and this book reminded me of so many things from my childhood, and just how much has changed in the last 50 years!
I have to admit that the last couple of books from E.H. have not been my favorites ...even to the point of questioning whether I was going to purchase this one at all, and then with all the hype, I couldn't resist, but worried it would fall short.
This book did not disappoint!! I am so glad I read (listened to) it, and it moved right to the top of my favorite books from this author. Well done Elin, and happy upcoming birthday to you and your twin!! And above all... thank you for the wonderful trip down memory lane ♡ The music references were an especially nice touch

38 of 42 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2019-06-22

The best book to come along in years!

I loved this book so much! Elin Hildebrand is the most gifted novelist to come along in a lifetime.... Her beautifully written novel was absolutely amazing... This lady can flat - out write!
Summer of '69 draws the reader into the pages of the story and at the same time, brings all her endearing characters right into your heart. I admired the way the historical facts were interwoven throughout the midst of the book. It brought back so much nostalgia of the era in which the whole storyline surrounded.
I would highly recommend this heartfelt book to anyone... My husband and I have really adored listening to it... I just wish it never had to end!

48 of 54 people found this review helpful

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  • LoRe Bolling
  • 2019-06-21

Her best yet!

Much more substantive than Elin's normal beach reads. I thoroughly enjoyed it. There are a host of characters to love, a few to despise, and many more plot twists and a few side trips to enjoy in this one!

25 of 28 people found this review helpful

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  • Katharine A. Sokoloff
  • 2019-07-06

dependable

An interesting direction for Elin Hildebrand. I enjoy reading her boos but when listening, I become acutely aware of her laziness as an author. All the dialogue ends with "he said," or "she said." Once you notice that, it's hard to un-notice. She's a great storyteller but could and should be a better writer at this point in her career.

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • C. Klein
  • 2019-08-06

Good, solid

Many good things to enjoy about this book. It is a solid good, not great but very enjoyable!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Bernice Barron
  • 2019-07-01

Summer of ‘69

By far the best book Ms. Hilderbrand has ever written. She brought to the readers attention what it was like to live and communicate at the end of the sixties and the time. We are so consumed with our social media and electronics that we take everything for granted. Reading this story has made me more humble.

12 of 14 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • T. L. Babcock
  • 2019-07-18

Too predictable

If there was a current issue in the 60’s, it’s part of this book. Would have been better to just focus on one or two issues....not everything that was happening in that era.

13 of 16 people found this review helpful