Genre: Historical Fiction
Setting: 1950-1962 mainly set in Hyannisport, Massachusetts with scenes in New York City, Hollywood, and Rome. Also 2016 Rome and Los Angeles.
***I received an eARC copy of The Summer I Met Jack from the publisher, St. Martin’s Press, via NetGalley***
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Review: What a book! The Summer I Met Jack will have you doing research on the side, to read more about the fascinating Kennedy family. When I first read the synopsis for this book, I knew it was a title that I had to read. A forbidden romance, politicians, a cover up, and celebrities?! I was immediately intrigued! And this book, for the most part, did not disappoint.
The Summer I Met Jack takes us to Hyannisport, Massachusetts where our main character, Alicia, meets Jack Kennedy one night. Alicia and Jack immediately have a connection, and I found their romance believable and real. Alicia is very aware of Jack’s faults, but she falls for him hard and fast regardless. There are some sexy scenes here, nothing too terribly graphic, and a bit of language as well.
Alicia was an interesting main character, in that she lived a very exciting, memorable life, but unfortunately, I never truly was invested in her character. The characters that just leapt off the page for me were the characters of Jack, and the rest of the Kennedy family, specifically Eunice (Jack’s sister) and Joe (Jack’s father). So, by comparison, Alicia felt very bland, perhaps I should just describe her as ordinary, and also like she kept the reader at arm’s length. There was a distance there, so even though the story is about her, I never felt like I truly knew her.
The most interesting thing about The Summer I Met Jack is the story of Jack Kennedy, his rise to power, and his family. I was constantly looking items up online while I was reading this, and funnily enough, in the acknowledgments at the end of the book, the author states that she hopes “the story has you googling for days”. Well, I most certainly did that, and am still doing that, and I’m truly fascinated with the Kennedy family. From the possible mob connections, to the arranged marriages, to the family drama, to murder and mayhem, it is absolutely fascinating.
The Summer I Met Jack was gossipy and a bit trashy, but I mean that in the best possible way. This was an enormously entertaining book, and is a wonderful summer read! Oh, and Katherine Hepburn, who is a good friend of Alicia’s later on, is also in the book, and I just love her, so that was a fun addition to this book!
Bottom Line: An intriguing summer read that is a lot of fun and full of fascinating detail!