Title: The Kennedy Debutante
Author: Kerri Maher
Genre: Historical Fiction
A captivating novel following the exploits of Kathleen "Kick" Kennedy, the forgotten and rebellious daughter of one of America's greatest political dynasties.
London, 1938. The effervescent "It girl" of London society since her father was named the ambassador, Kathleen "Kick" Kennedy moves in rarified circles, rubbing satin-covered elbows with some of the 20th century's most powerful figures. Eager to escape the watchful eye of her strict mother, Rose, the antics of her older brothers, Jack and Joe, and the erratic behavior of her sister Rosemary, Kick is ready to strike out on her own and is soon swept off her feet by Billy Hartington, the future Duke of Devonshire.
But their love is forbidden, as Kick's devout Catholic family and Billy's staunchly Protestant one would never approve their match. When war breaks like a tidal wave across her world, Billy is ripped from her arms as the Kennedys are forced to return to the States. Kick gets work as a journalist and joins the Red Cross to get back to England, where she will have to decide where her true loyalties lie--with family or with love . . .
Kathleen “Kick” Kennedy is the second oldest daughter of Joseph Kennedy Sr. and Rose Kennedy. When her father gets appointed to be ambassador in England, she becomes the toast of British society. Anxious to escape the iron-fist of her mother, Rose, Kick finds freedom in the arms of Billy Hartington, the future Duke of Devonshire. When her family discovers her affair, they forbid her to pursue him. War breaks out and Kick is ripped from her beloved’s side and forced to return to America. Does that stop her? She rebels against her family, faith and all she’s known to make it back to England on her own. Will she be reunited with her lover or will she choose to give up her own happiness to appease her family?
I’ve been fascinated by the Kennedys for as long as I can remember. The tragedies they’ve gone through is heartbreaking, but the story of Kathleen Kennedy is long-forgotten. This brave woman lived a short life, yet she managed to accomplish so much. I couldn’t wait to read it!
The Kennedy Debutante is an absorbing tale of one woman’s determination to be her own woman, even if it means leaving her family behind. The Kennedys come alive and practically fly off the page. Descriptive narration and emotive scenes make this one of the best historical fiction I’ve ever read. A must read, especially if you are fascinated with America’s Camelot.
Disclaimer: I received an ARC from Berkley via Netgalley in the hopes I’d review it.
My Rating: 5 stars
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KERRI MAHER is also the author of This Is Not a Writing Manual: Notes for the Young Writer in the Real World under the name Kerri Majors. She holds an MFA from Columbia University and founded YARN, an award-winning literary journal of short-form YA writing. A writing professor for many years, she now writes full-time and lives with her daughter in Massachusetts, where apple picking and long walks in the woods are especially fine.
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Reviewed by: Mrs. N