Amy's Reviews > When We Were the Kennedys: A Memoir from Mexico, Maine
When We Were the Kennedys: A Memoir from Mexico, Maine
by Monica Wood
by Monica Wood
Jul 14, 12
Read in July, 2012
In April of 1963, as novelist Monica Wood was getting ready for another day in fourth grade, the terrible news that her father died suddenly on his way to work forever changes her family. Later in 1963 the Woods family will be joined in mourning s the entire nation is stunned by the assassination of President Kennedy. Forty-nine years later these events will become the heartfelt When We Were the Kennedys: A Memoir from Mexico Maine. Albert Wood, father of two adult children and the surprising three late in life girls had worked for the Oxford Paper Company for years before his untimely death, as have most of the men in the town of Mexico Maine. Woods takes readers back to a seemingly more benevolent time in history, when generations of families remained in the small towns that supported and nurtured them. By 1963 times have begun to change. The town is tense with the talk of a strike at the mill, an indicator of the direction of the many woes that will befall manufacturing towns in the years following. While Woods skillfully incorporates these changes into her memoir, it is the death of President Kennedy and subsequent mourning of the nation that will touch reader’s hearts. It is evident that the assassination assists the Woods family on their own very personal grieving process. Monica Wood and her young sisters immediately identify with Caroline Kennedy, who is also now fatherless; and Monica’s Mum is forever drawn to Mrs. Kennedy who illustrates an ability to remain strong in her grief. It is perhaps the country’s defining moment that allows the Woods family to move forward in their loss and to begin to live again. Poignant and unforgettable, When We Were the Kennedys is at once both a moving family memoir, and a keen observation of the turning points of history; it should have broad appeal to many readers.
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