[Reading] ➽ The Kennedy Debutante Author Kerri Maher – Uroturk.info
4 big stars to The Kennedy Debutante I recently listened to an audiobook about Rosemary Kennedy, and ever since, my interest has been piqued about Kick Kennedy s short life Why didn t I know about her The Kennedy Debutante is Kick s story In 1930s London, Kick s father is an ambassador in England, and she is a big time society girl She has a yearning for a life of adventure, and with all her might, she works her way out of her strict mother s grasp and into the arms of Billy Hartington, the soon to be Duke of Devonshire The lovers are star crossed, though, because Kick s family is devout Catholic, and Billy s family is Protestant Their parents would never approve World War II begins, which sends Billy to war and the Kennedys back home to the States Nothing stops determined Kick from making her way back overseas where she becomes a journalist and works for the Red Cross Will Kick choose her family or her love The Kennedys are like royalty in the US Their contributions have been complex from scandal to civil rights advocacy, to everything in between, including devastating tragedies of their own, but there is always a lurid fascination Kerri Maher s slower pacing of this story is deliciously detailed and offers insights into each of the Kennedy family members The Kennedy Debutante is a wonderfully engaging story of the search for forbidden love while questioning family and faith With World War II as its backdrop, The Kennedy Debutante is rife with a secured time and place and charming, robust characters Highly recommended for fans of historical fiction, especially set against WWII Thank you to Berkley for the invitation to participate in the blog tour and for the finished copy All opinions are my own My reviews can also be found on my blog www.jennifertarheelreader.com NOW AVAILABLE 4.5 StarsLong ago it must beI have a photographPreserve your memoriesThey re all that s left youOld Friends Bookends Theme, Simon Garfunkel, Songwriters Paul SimonIt all seems like a beautiful dream Thanks a lot, Daddy, for giving me one of the greatest experiences anyone could have had I know it will have a great effect on everything I do from her inKick Kennedy, 18 September 1939A young Kathleen Kick Kennedy falls in love with London, the people and the country, in this debut by Kerri Maher.Maher does a wonderful job in bring this young woman, a product of American Royalty, and those she meets in London, to life in a way that seems authentic in this story, her debut novel I felt as though I was walking through London with her Nine children, a good Catholic family, their mother Rose seemed especially devoted to her faith and her family As the eldest children were adults, or nearly adults as this story begins, there is not a lot devoted to childhood, but their fondness for one another is evident as is their closeness It s 1938 when the family goes to London, arriving on St Patrick s Day, of course, and Kick promptly falls in love with the country, the accent, everything about it fills her with happiness, the gardens, and even the lush lawns Everything is lovely except the war that will come, eventually, but in this moment in time it is only a cautionary atmosphere that calls your attention to it The reality of the impending war hasn t fully sunk in In this atmosphere, it only makes sense that the men would flock to the pretty new girl being shown around But Kick loved than just the attention or the social festivities It was the first time in ages she had felt carried away by something, part of something, that had nothing to do with her family, and she loved it Kick makes friends among those young men and women she meets at various soirees she attends, some she will remain friends with for the remainder of her life, some will be lost to war, some will fade away She can t imagine ever leaving, but then the war comes closer and the Kennedys leave for the safer grounds of American soil.This is also a time before John F Kennedy would marry Jackie, Jacqueline Lee Bouvier, and before his presidency, so it does include some of the goings on of the family, including her most famous brothers, John F Kennedy Jack and Robert Kennedy, but focuses on Jack s big brother protectiveness, and his women What focus there is on Joe as this story unfolds, is how sweetly he tries to protect her in his own way Rose and Joe Sr s eldest son, who Joe Sr had long dreamed of running for President, a dream that would come true for Jack, but not for Joe Still, there is romance, a somewhat prolonged on and off romance that is forbidden due to the restrictions against Catholics marrying outside their faith, distance and war She can t imagine marrying outside of her faith and breaking her mother s heart, or her father s While she may have seemed rebellious to her family, not acquiescing to all of their parental dictates, but her rebellions were than in thought than in deed and seem tame in comparison to today.A lovely, bittersweet story of love and loss, of having and keeping faith and hope alive, the importance of family and faith, but perhaps importantly, of having faith in yourself enough to know, and accept the gift, when love finds you Pub Date 02 OCT 2018Many thanks for the ARC provided by Berkley Publishing Group Berkley 5 starsI absolutely loved this book and plan to recommend it to everyone I know The Kennedy Debutante tells the story of Kathleen Kick Kennedy, sister of John F Kennedy and Robert F Kennedy As I began reading the book, I realized how little I knew about her or any of the lesser known siblings of these two famous men Maher masterfully unveils Kick s complex story interweaving details of her staunch Catholic upbringing, her desire to please her strict mother, the effects of her father s focus on his sons and his ineffectiveness as the U.S s ambassador to the United Kingdom, and her relationship with her close in age siblings Overarching a significant portion of the story is Kick s relationship with Billy Hartington, the future Duke of Devonshire and a devout Protestant Her Catholicism and his Protestant background created a far greater issue for them with both families than I would have supposed would be the case While Kick is the focus of The Kennedy Debutante, Maher interweaves tidbits about the other Kennedy siblings, particularly those she was close to Joe Jr., Rosemary, Jack, and occasionally Eunice It was fascinating to learn about their time in London, Jack s relationships with numerous women, Joe Jr s feelings of being overshadowed by his younger, charismatic brother Jack, and many other interesting tidbits I also liked learning about the Mitfords through Kick s close relationship with Deborah Mitford.Fighting every inclination I had, I waited to Google Kick until I completed the book Usually when I start a historical fiction novel and encounter people with whom I am unfamiliar, I immediately look them up to learn about them and put them in context However, in this instance, I loved The Kennedy Debutante so much that I did not want to spoil the story, and I was very thankful that I waited I laughed when I finished the book and immediately turned to the Author s Note frequently one of my favorite parts of reading historical fiction Maher s first sentence started with Allow me to save you the rush to Google as she then proceeded to provide details on Kick s life and how she came to write Kick s story.The Kennedy Debutante will certainly have a highlighted spot on my top ten list for 2018 Maher hit it out of the park with her debut novel, and I look forward to reading her future endeavors I highly, highly recommend this book to anyone who loves a good story it is a fascinating tale of a strong, independent woman and a glimpse into the lives of a famous American family who endured heartbreak than one family should have to bear Grab some tissues before you start the book you will need them 3 wished I had liked it starsMy reviews can be seen here Kick Kennedy had it all She was beautiful, the second daughter of Joseph and Rose Kennedy and a life that was privileged where she wanted for very little When her father was made Ambassador to the Royal Court of St James, Kick went to London with her family where she met a man she was to love and her life took a sad but inevitable turn.In the novel, The Kennedy Debutante, we take a trip with Kick to London and the years that followed We see the effects of how in those days, religion determined one s suitability to marry What I liked about this story was that the theme of being brought up as a strict Catholic was well played out For Kick, an independent soul, when women were not destined to be so, the book portrayed what she had to contend with, the prejudices and the antipathy her father engendered while he did not support the upcoming war We also see her portrayed with all the glitz and glamour that was afforded to the wealthy, the titled, and those who attained a certain social strata not to be enjoyed by most I do think that there was so much to Kick though and did appreciate her seeming to pluck up much courage to buck tradition and the tenets of the Catholic faith that seemed to hold them all in its grip in the second part of the story.What didn t work for me in this book was the actual telling The first portion of the book was long and drawn out While one certainly could appreciate the circles in which the Kennedy s traveled, the first section seemed liked one of name dropping and parties attended I think it was somewhat of a disservice to Kick as it seemed, at least to me, to paint her as a party girl unfortunately There was so much to Kick and we do see glimpses of that as the second half of the story continued In truth, although this was about Kick s later years, I would have liked to have seen her childhood years portrayed How did she become the woman she eventually became There was so much to the facets of her character and her strength and I wish the book would have accented those a bit forcefully.As was the case with the Kennedy s there was a huge amount of unhappiness that seemed to follow the family They seemed to almost have a curse upon them as one by one, they succumbed much before their time The sadness that was leveled upon this family and the war that engulfed them was a basis for what their futures held.This is one of those times that I wish I had liked the story better for I do think that Kick was a most admirable, brave girl who grew to womanhood in a most trying and difficult time.As a footnote, when Kick was killed in an awful plane crash, her mother, Rose, refused to attend the memorial service held in her daughter s honor How very very sad..Her father, Joseph did attend. I inwardly cringe every time the Kennedy Family is portrayed as American royalty No, no, no Wealthy Yes Privileged Yes Powerful Without a doubt But I hate seeing them put on a pedestal Digging into the history and behavior of the Kennedy clan can be quite a disturbing experience One daughter lobotomized to avoid scandal and hidden away for the rest of her life Another dead in Europe before her time, separated from her family because she defied her father Two sons shot to death One son getting away with murder after letting a girl drown in his car at Chappaquiddick It s not a golden story.but a really dark and sad one And all for ambition, power and greed Seems such a waste.After listening to an audio book about the life and lobotomizing of Rosemary Kennedy earlier this year, I wanted to learn about her sister, Kathleen Kick Kennedy, so I snapped up this book Kick grew up in privilege, enjoying Europe in the 1930 s when her father was an ambassador and becoming a bright, beautiful debutante Much was expected of her by her parents They had ambitions for their family and expected Kick to tow the line She didn t She fell in love with an Englishman that her family did not approve of Kick defied her family, choosing love over duty to her parents ambitions Her choices had consequences Although I found the Kick s story disturbing and sad, the book is well written and filled in some gaps in my knowledge of her life and experiences This is Kerri Maher s debut novel I will definitely be looking for by this new author This book was informative, obviously well researched and very interesting I think I need to lay off books about the Kennedy family for awhile though It s just too muchwith nothing really hopeful or uplifting coming out of any of it Sad No reflection on Maher s book the book is excellent Great debut novel Just thoughts about the family and all the destruction that came in the wake of extreme ambition Power corrupts I voluntarily read a review copy of this book from Berkley Publishing via NetGalley All opinions expressed are entirely my own. 3.5 starsI was so excited to get my hands on an advance copy of this because Kathleen Kennedy led an interesting life not just because she was the second oldest daughter of Joe Sr and Rose, but because she had to make some tough decisions in life So I ll admit my expectations were high because I thought the author would have a lot of material to work with when writing this historical fiction novel While story got better towards the end, I really struggled for a big portion of the book.The Kennedy family has moved to London in the late 1930s because Joe Sr has accepted the position of ambassador Kathleen, aka Kick, and her older sister Rosemary are introduced to London society and soon Kick meets Billy Hartington who is in line to be the next Duke of Devonshire While Kick and Billy fall in love they know their families will disapprove as the Kennedy family is Catholic and the Hartingtons are Protestant Kick is sent back to the United States because of the war but Billy is never far from her mind But will her family and religion get in the way of her happiness I think the biggest problem I had with the book was for a very long time I just had this empty feeling while reading Yes, the author did a good job with injecting historical facts into the story but it felt like it came at the expense of good storytelling I just wish it hadn t taken so long before I felt an emotional connection to Kick For me the real heart of the story is in the last 100 pages or so as it felt like the focus was on what the characters were feeling rather than boring society stuff that was so present for most of the book I would recommend this book if you have an interest in the Kennedy family but if you are just looking for any historical fiction read, I think there are compelling ones out there.Thank you to First to Read for the opportunity to read an advance digital copy I was under no obligation to post a review and all views expressed are my honest opinion. A Captivating Novel Following The Exploits Of Kathleen Kick Kennedy, The Forgotten And Rebellious Daughter Of One Of America S Greatest Political DynastiesLondon, 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 Th 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 DevonshireBut 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 has it all money, a comfortable life, privilege, and a high status all due to her family name Kathleen is a Kennedy When her father, Joseph P Kennedy, is appointed US ambassador, the Kennedy clan moves to London Kick as Kathleen is mostly called is introduced as a debutante into British high society Soon Kick is mingling in dances, attending races, doing charity work and meeting new friends in London When she in introduced to Billy Hartington, Kick feels she has found than a friend but family obligations keep her from following her heart Its up to Kick to decide to follow tradition or march to the beat of her own drum.Recently I read about Alice Roosevelt, Theodore Roosevelt s daughter, and her almost forgotten life Following that same theme, I very much looked forward to reading about a member about the Kennedy family that not much is known about, Kathleen Kick Kennedy Kick moves to London after her father s appointment and falls in love with the city and all it has to offer She moves in circles of British high society and becomes quite popular Since her debut, she has meet many new friends and then she meets Billy Hartington, the future duke of Devonshire Kick becomes smitten by Billy but there is a big problem He is a Protestant while Kathleen comes from a devoutly Catholic family Any romantic relationship between them will be frowned upon, especially by Kick s mother Rose As the war looms and its dangers become tangible, Kick needs to decide wether or not to follow her heart I love novels that introduce me to people whose story has been forgotten While I did not love this book initally, the I read the invested I became Characterizaion was done well as characters were flawed but still admirable The pace and flow worked for this novel as Kick tries to earn her independence from her restrictive mother While this story might not be unique, it was rendered in a moving manner.Kathleen Kick Kennedy did live up to her name not the Kennedy name, bur hers She is the second daughter in the Kennedy family, the fourth child out of nine and sister to Robert, John and Ted Kennedy We know their names and I am surprised that til about a few days ago, I did not who she was She loved life and adventure She did try to please her family and respect the legacy She liked being a Kennedy but it put pressure on her to perform accordingly Being in love with someone outside her faith was downright wrong Catholics did not marry outside their faith and her family was proudly catholic This was a rather large offense to defy and Kick did not know if she was going to toe line Maybe not all of Kick s decisions were perfect but I have to respect her, standing up for herself to her formidable family The Kennedy family has got to be the largest American political dynasty and while we know about them, Kick has been almost forgotten Thanks to Maher for bringing her story into the spotlight. I ve long had an interest with the Kennedy family and this book about Kathleen Kick Kennedy was one that I had been looking forward to reading for a long time Kick, the next oldest daughter of Joe and Rose Kennedy is one of the lesser known Kennedys Her life and death have been overshadowed by her famous brothers Kick s life was cut short, but she managed much during her short life However, much came at a great cost In the 1930s, her father Joe was the ambassador in London and Kick loved her life there She had great friends and she also met the love of her life Billy Hartington, the future Duke of Devonshire But, Kick came from a devout Catholic family and Billy was Protestant Neither could compromise their faith She would lose her family and his family would never accept that Billy converted nor that their future children would be raised Catholics And, then England is drawn into WW2 in the middle of this emotional turmoil Will they ever be together READ THE REST OF THE REVIEW OVER AT FRESH FICTION 3.5 starsThe Kennedy family makes for interesting story fodder, that s for sure If nothing else, they provide a look into surviving multiple tragedies while maintaining a pretty charmed existence Joe Sr and Rose had nine children and tragedies befell five of them, six if you include Teddy s story that was mostly covered up Then there was John Jr and his wife, and I m purposely leaving out the other grandchildren and great grandchildren But it makes me wonder and marvel at their history.I did not know much about the fourth oldest, Kathleen, aka Kick Kennedy, maybe the most tragic and short lived of them Because the family was living in London during Joe s term as Ambassador, Kick s debut took place there These were her formative years and so she made her best friends and social connections in London She would always consider London her home, not America Her true love was an English noble who would one day become Duke of Devonshire He was Protestant, which was a major issue with his family, with the Catholic church, and the Kennedys, especially Rose Most of the book delves into Kick s conflicted feelings about marrying for love or marrying to keep the peace in the two families I hope today religion isn t as big an issue, but I don t know.This kept me interested, even though it felt like a really long time before Kathleen and Billy finally found happiness Actually it was about 5 years, and then very short lived because, again, tragedies ensue The author gives some additional history at the end, and then Google led me to reading about the Astors and Fred Astaire s sister Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this enjoyable preview copy.