The Kennedy Debutante: Book summary and reviews of The Kennedy Debutante by Kerri Maher

The Kennedy Debutante

by Kerri Maher

The Kennedy Debutante by Kerri Maher X
The Kennedy Debutante by Kerri Maher

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Book Summary

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 ...

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"While the book's closing chapters will necessitate tissues, and readers familiar with Kick's fate will find the ending bittersweet, this is an engrossing tale of the importance of family, faith, and love in the life of one remarkable woman." - Booklist

"Maher shows the true cost of war, both for those fighting and those left behind. A romantic and heartbreaking look at an often forgotten American figure." - Kirkus

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Reader Reviews

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Gail L. (Dallas, TX)

Outstanding Historical Fiction
I have enjoyed reading about the Kennedy family for years, and I love well-written historical fiction. Kerri Maher has written an excellent book. She has managed to accurately capture a complicated period of history, bring the Kennedy family to life, and introduce us to a marvelously interesting character. Sometimes fictionalized history does not seem realistic, but this book Is fabulous! I highly recommend it.

Joy N. (Scottsdale, AZ)

The Kennedy Debutante
I loved this book. It is the most enjoyable read I have experienced this year. I knew nothing of the Kennedy women and enjoyed learning about them even though this was a fictional story. I never realized how much their religion affected their lives.

Diane W. (Lake Villa, IL)

One of the best I've enjoyed in a while...
Historical fiction is my favorite genre, and this book did not disappoint! I read it cover to cover in a short span of time (for me!) as I couldn't seem to put it down. The Kennedy family has always been a fascination for many of those in our generation, and though this was "fiction", I'm sure that it was based also on a good deal of fact. As others have pointed out in their reviews, much is known about the Kennedy men, but little about the women. I was intrigued by all the factors that impacted their lives and decisions and knew nothing about Kick and all that influenced how her life unfolded. A very captivating read and much recommended.

Diana C. (Delray Beach, FL)

It all seems like a beautiful dream...
The words Kathleen "Kick" Kennedy wrote to her father in 1939 and again in her diary in 1943, "it all seems like a beautiful dream..." echo hauntingly in this moving and fascinating account of the life of Kathleen Kennedy. Often the Kennedy family is viewed as fanciful or mythical and this book brings them all to life as the people they are, imperfect and human. In Kick, the author has created a convincing and compelling character, with a humanity that makes it feel as if she is a friend or someone we once knew personally. I loved the interaction with her brothers and sisters, which made this book all the more heartwarming. I look forward to more historical fiction biographies from this author whose prose and authenticity made the book a joy to read.

Erica M. (Chicago, IL)

Kick Kennedy - American Princess/British Marchioness
Oh how I loved this book! Full disclosure: I am an absolute fan of historical fiction and absolutely cannot get enough of all things Kennedy. If you are not a fan of either, you might not feel the way I did about this book.

Yes, Kick Kennedy was a privileged, pampered, watched-over American princess, but after understanding that (and forgiving it) Maher truly had her come off as her own being (as opposed to being in her brothers' shadows) and willing to give of herself, understanding the privilege under which she lived, donating her time, talent and treasure. I knew only the basic outline of her life (and death) and this book filled in the detail and gave it color. I thought that Maher did an excellent job of showing the depth of Kick as a partner/volunteer/employee and lover of her family, religion and the man she married.

Is it appropriate to call a book "delicious" any more? It was short of gossipy about a character who was talked about all of her adult life. So good!

Cam G. (Murrells Inlet, SC)

The Kennedy Debutant
I have been a fan of the Kennedys for a long time, and well remember the day when JFK was elected President of the US! While I knew that Kathleen Kennedy had died in a plane crash many years before, I knew very little about "Kick"until reading this book...I realize that this is a novel, however, it does let us know more about what she was like. It sounds as though she was a. brave, brash person so typical of he Kennedy family! Ms Maher has given us a very good book!

...16 more reader reviews

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Author Information

Kerri Maher

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. For many years a professor of writing, 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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More Recommendations

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