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When We Were the Kennedys: A Memoir from Mexico, Maine Hardcover – Import, 10 July 2012

4.4 out of 5 stars 387 ratings

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From the Inside Flap

"Monica Wood has written a gorgeous, gripping memoir. I don't know that I've ever pulled so hard for a family. When We Were the Kennedys captures a shimmering mill-town world on the edge of oblivion, in a voice that brims with hope, feeling, and wonder. The book humbles and soars.”—Mike Paterniti, author of Driving Mr. Albert

Mexico, Maine, 1963: The Wood family is much like its close, Catholic, immigrant neighbors, all dependent on the fathers' wages from the Oxford Paper Company. But when Dad suddenly dies on his way to work one April morning, Mum and the four deeply connected Wood girls are set adrift. Funny and to-the-bone moving, When We Were the Kennedys is the story of how this family saves itself, at first by enlisting the help of Mum's brother, Father Bob, a charismatic Catholic priest. And then, come November—her brother still overwhelmed by grief, her country shocked by the president's death, and her town bracing for a labor strike—Mum announces an unprecedented family road trip. Inspired by the televised grace of Jackie Kennedy, herself a new widow with young children, Mum and her girls head to "our nation's capital" to do some rescuing of their own. An indelible story of how family and nation, each shocked by the unimaginable, exchange one identity for another.

From the Back Cover

A memoir of the season when a family lost its father and the nation lost its president.  

"Every few years, a memoir comes along that revitalizes the form, that takes us by the hand and leads us into the dream world of our collective past from which we emerge more wholly ourselves. With generous, precise, and unsentimental prose, Monica Wood brilliantly achieves this, bringing back to life the rural paper mill town of not only her youth but America's, too, its bumbling, hard-working, often violent, yet mostly goodhearted lurch forward into the twenty-first century. When We Were the Kennedys is a deeply moving gem!"—Andre Dubus III, author of House of Sand and Fog and Townie
"This is an extraordinarily moving book, so carefully and artfully realized, about loss and life and love. Monica Wood displays all her superb novelistic skills in this breathtaking, evocative new memoir. Wow."—Ken Burns, filmmaker

"Monica Wood is a stunning writer and When We Were the Kennedys a luminous and resonant achievement. If I were standing beside you, I would press this book into your hands."—Lily King, author of The Pleasing Hour and Father of the Rain

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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; 1st edition (10 July 2012)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 235 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 054763014X
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0547630144
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 386 g
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 14.61 x 2.54 x 22.23 cm
  • Country of Origin ‏ : ‎ USA
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.4 out of 5 stars 387 ratings

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4.4 out of 5 stars
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4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable read
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5.0 out of 5 stars would definitely recommend.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A warm and compelling read... I thoroughly enjoyed it !
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5.0 out of 5 stars Kennedy name caught my attention
Reviewed in Canada on 11 January 2021
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