Title: The Kennedy Debutante
Author: Kerri Maher
Publisher: Berkley Books
Publish Date: October 2, 2018 (Today!)
What's the Story?:
From Goodreads.com: "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 . . ."
My Two Cents:
When I read books like "The Kennedy Debutante," I always wonder why there isn't more historical fiction about the Kennedy family. To some degree, the family still looms large in the American psyche. There are still Kennedys in Congress and on the world stage. It's hard to give the "right" treatment to such famous subjects that loom so large in our collective memories but as Maher shows in this book, it can definitely be done and be done well.
Our main character, Kick, may not be the most famous Kennedy but she is definitely interesting and very worthy of her own story. I loved seeing how she goes from high society in London to trying to carve out a life for herself outside of riding on the Kennedy name. She is definitely a woman before her time - willing to put herself out there, take a stand, and make her own way in the world.
I loved all of the historical detail that the author packed in and the wonderful story that she was able to weave. This book is a debut novel, which makes it all the more impressive. This book will definitely appeal to those who avidly follow the Kennedys (like me) and those who don't know much about them at all. I can't wait to see what else Maher writes!