Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Summer of '69” as Want to Read:
Summer of '69
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Summer of '69

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  1,042 ratings  ·  177 reviews
Follow New York Times bestselling author Elin Hilderbrand back in time and join a Nantucket family as they experience the drama, intrigue, and upheaval of a 1960s summer.

Welcome to the most tumultuous summer of the twentieth century! It's 1969, and for the Levin family, the times they are a-changing. Every year the children have looked forward to spending the summer at the
Hardcover, 432 pages
Published June 18th 2019 by Little, Brown and Company
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Summer of '69, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Ashley Marudas Yes! The Target Edition includes exclusive content. There are also Signed Copies available via Barnes & Noble or Nantucket Books (but no extra…moreYes! The Target Edition includes exclusive content. There are also Signed Copies available via Barnes & Noble or Nantucket Books (but no extra content in those). (less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
4.22  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,042 ratings  ·  177 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Ana O
May 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Me: I don't feel like reading

Elin Hilderbrand: writes a book about the 1960s

Me: whips out credit card

♪ Standin' on your mama's porch
You told me that it'd last forever
Oh, and when you held my hand
I knew that it was now or never
Those were the best days of my life ♪

I'm kinda disappointed because I went in expecting it to be a flashback story about Bryan Adams and his summer crush.


Rest assured it is not.

I've always been fascinated by the '60. The free love era has given us Woodstock, quirky fashi
Stephanie (Stephanie's Novel Fiction)
It's not officially summer for me until I've read an Elin Hilderbrand book by the pool or sitting on the beach so luckily for me, I was able to read this one Memorial Day weekend, poolside, with a fruity beverage in hand. Hilderbrand's first historical novel was everything that I've come to expect from the queen of the summer novel and more. 

In classic Hilderbrand style, Summer of '69 revolves around the lives of several members of the Foley-Levin family and of course, Nantucket is the main sett
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
Jun 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
To say I’ve been ecstatic to read Elin Hilderbrand’s first historical fiction book is an understatement. Last summer, she wrote her first murder mystery, and this summer she brings us Summer of ‘69. ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

Expect the stories the Nantucket stories we’ve known and loved from our beloved EH, but this time, with a historic backdrop.

The Levin family spends its summers on Nantucket, and everyone looks forward to it. They stay at their grandmother’s stately, historic home. But this year, things ar
Book of the Month
Why I love it
Siobhan Jones

We pick the books a few months in advance here at BOTM, so all the reading for June occurs sometime in mid-March. Maybe that was why I warmed to Summer of ‘69 so readily—this beachy, feel-good story with ample family drama and purple haze-era feels had me practically smelling the sunscreen. Then again, maybe I just liked this book so much because it was another satisfying winner from an author who always delivers the goods.

Elin Hilderbrand’s first historical novel plops
Jun 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Summer of ’69 by Elin Hilderbrand is a historical fiction novel that follows the Levin family during the summer of 1969. Of course with the book focusing on the various family members in this family the point of view does change between them.

For years the Levin family has spent summers in Nantucket visiting their grandmother’s historic home. This year however the family is being pulled apart in their own directions. Tiger, the only son, has been drafted into the military and will be sent to the
Literary Soirée
Jun 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
“Summer does something to the brain. It’s intoxicating. Everything shimmers." So says a character in Summer People, a previous novel by Hilderbrand, which captures the essence of her entire oeuvre.

I’ve devoured every book she’s written, so taken with her addictive stories set on Nantucket. Her own backstory is engaging, including how she came to the island, her education at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, her world travels, her survival of breast cancer and a post-surgical infection th
Apr 01, 2019 rated it really liked it

4.5 ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

In pure Elin Hilderbrand style, Summer of ‘69 brings a historical twist on your favorite Nantucket summer beach read. In her first venture in the historical fiction genre, Hilderbrand takes us back in time to the summer of the moon launch, the Chappaquiddick incident and Woodstock. The fashion, the food, the culture, the music, it’s all there. Using song titles from ‘69 as each chapter title, we are transported to a time when pregnant mommies smoked cigarettes and drank scotch to wa
Jun 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arcs-2019

The year ‘Nineteen hundred sixty-nine,’ 1969, was a busy year for the United States of America; and as such, was no different for the combined families of Nichols, Foley, Levin and Whalen, all under the matriarchal umbrella of Exalta Nichols. Since Exalta was such a stickler for tradition the family prepares to pack up and move out to Nantucket for the summer, regardless that the 3rd Monday of June is Jessie’s 13th birthday, or that Kate is sick with worry about Tiger, her 19 year old son who wa
Jun 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It’s the summer of 1969 and the Levin family have big plans to vacation in Nantucket, like they have every year for decades.

Kate’s 19-year old son, Richard “Tiger” has just been shipped off to Vietnam. Kate is petrified by what could happen to her only son, worried she’ll never see him again. And due to this, Kate picks up a nasty drinking habit that threatens the sanctity of her marriage.

Kate’s youngest, Jessie, turns 13 on the day they head to Nantucket. Jessie knows this summer will be big—
Jun 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Relevant, vivid, and absorbing!

Summer of ’69 is a nostalgic, domestic tale that takes us back to the idyllic island of Nantucket during a year when Vietnam was still raging, and Apollo 11 was finally going to put men on the moon, and into the lives of the blended Foley-Levin family as they navigate a summer of revelations, change, and new additions.

The writing is expressive and polished. The characters are genuine, troubled, and sympathetic. And the spirited plot is a delightful mix of summer fu
Apr 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
This new summer beach read by Elin Hilderbrand has the usual setting but with a historical backdrop. I enjoyed the titles of the chapters being songs from the era. The characters were fully developed with the problems and conflicts that depicted the era. The ending could have been a little longer to tie things up a little more but it was an enjoyable read. It is sure to be on the bestseller list. #netgalley #summerof’69
May 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Great summer read
Takes you back!!!
Family story with a very eventful summer as the backdrop

Highly recommended
Jun 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
It’s officially summer now that I’ve read the new EH book! Seriously, it truly doesn’t feel like summertime for me until I get my hands on her latest book and I did consider waiting to read this until my actual summer vacation, but who am I kidding, I have no willpower when it comes to her books. I’m so glad I didn’t make myself wait either because this was exactly the right book to get me into a summer vacation state of mind.

I was just a tiny bit apprehensive when I read the blurb of this and s
Jun 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: release-2019
Summer reading at its best!! I enjoy reading her novels and this little historic charmer, her first, was absolutely amazing! ❤ ...more
Beth McCraw
Jun 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
My first by Elin Hilderbrand and it definitely won’t be my last!! I loved this so much❤ ...more
Donna Hines
Apr 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley, arc
I must note Little Brown and Company has recently auto approved me @NetGalley and I'm beyond ecstatic to read these wonderfully talented authors such as the one and only Elin Hilderbrand.
I'm a huge fan who enjoys her work for the obvious reasons as they never disappoint.
The Summer of '69 is no exception as it's chock full of characters, vivid action, the locations center upon Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard (both places rich in history and steeped in traditions) as well as the historical aspect
Apr 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
When Elin comes out with a new book, it's a must. Like a don't-even-read-the-synopsis no-brainer. Just as she delivered a multi-dimensional page turner with The Perfect Summer, Summer of '69 is just as much a treat- but with historical fiction at its core, which is a genre Elin hasn't presented before.

The story lines of several members of the Foley/Levin families intertwine as their lives during the summer of 1969 unfurl (or in some cases, unravel). There's 13-year-old Jessie, her mother Kate,
Andrea Nourse
Jun 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is the first Elin Hilderbrand book that I’ve read and honestly, I’m mad at myself for waiting this long.

I absolutely adored this book and family. I saw a bit of myself in Kate, Jessie, Blair and Kirby. Through Hilderbrand’s words, I felt their story come to life.

Summer of ‘69 is a beautiful story that wholly embodied what I imagine the late 1960s to be like. And while I’ve never been to Nantucket, I feel as though I can say I’ve been now.
May 19, 2019 rated it liked it
✌🏻✌🏽✌🏿Quintessential Elin Hilderbrand summer book with a touch of a classic Judy Blume.

Not the main point, but one of my favorite parts of Hilderbrand’s novels are when she describes what the characters are eating, and the retro 1969 beach picnic descriptions were some of my favorite fun details 😋

It’s not the most poignant novel written about this time period, nor is it the best book in the author’s prolific collection, but if you enjoy escaping to Elin Hilderbrand’s Nantucket you’ll like her
Olivia & Lori (The Candid Cover)
Full Review on The Candid Cover

Summer of ’69 by Elin Hilderbrand is an epic historical fiction novel that will sweep its readers off their feet. Set in Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard, the book explores family relationships and an eventful time in U.S. history. It is a classic Hilderbrand summer novel with an exciting historical twist.

I have read a few of Hilderbrand’s novels before, but this one is my absolute favourite to date. This summer read has all of the classic elements that her works en
Krystal Hicks
Apr 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
As usual I loved this new novel by Elin Hildebrand. The only reason I did not give it 5 stars was I felt the ending needed more. I felt like it came to a sudden halt. But other than that I loved it. Thank you to Little Brown and Netgalley for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Jun 10, 2019 rated it liked it
I was pretty unsure about what I would think about Elin Hilderbrand venturing into historical fiction but overall, it was pretty enjoyable. I do think it felt a bit like she tried to fit in too many mentions of 60s issues and current events and pop culture so that no one could possibly miss what era she was writing about but whatever, at least it was an immersive experience. Not all the characters are likable, they are definitely flawed and some of their decisions annoyed me. Still, another fun ...more
Sarah Sabin
May 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arcs, netgalley
"And maybe, just maybe, this summer will end up being one that people write songs about."

Every summer, the Foley-Levin family stays on Nantucket with Kate's mother, enjoying the sun, the beach, and the restaurants. But this summer is different. Tiger gets drafted to fight in Vietnam. Blair is pregnant and her marriage is failing. Kirby decides to spend her summer working on Martha's Vineyard, and Jessie is thirteen and her body is changing. Set during the summer of the moon landing, this will be
Lisa B.
Jun 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing

We spend the summer of '69 with 5 women of the Levin family - matriarch Exalta, her daughter Kate, and Kate's daughter Blair, Kirby and Jessie. There is an occasional male presence, most notably Kate's son Tiger, who opens the story by being drafted into the Vietnam war and writes home to shar some of his war experiences. Exalta wants nothing more than for everyone to act like nothing in the world is changing. Kate is beside herself with worry over Tiger's survival. Blair is pregnant and tryin
Lynn Horton
Jun 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Summer of '69 is fulfilling summer read. The word that comes to mind is "professional."

Hilderbrand does an excellent job of weaving a fairly intricate story populated by a lot of characters, yet manages to maintain each character's identity—no small feat. I was happy to come into my house after long days of gardening to pick up Summer of '69 and relax into its world. This isn't a deeply engaging read, one that brought tears to my eyes, nor did the characters get under my skin to the point that
Jun 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley, 2019
Thanks to the publisher, via Netgalley, for an advance e-galley for honest review!

Elin Hilderbrand takes on historical fiction for the first time with Summer of '69, and it is just as well executed as any of her contemporary novels have been. Still set primarily on Nantucket, it's the story of a summer that is going to define the lives of the members of one family in different ways, told through the women of the family- Kate, who believes that the secrets she's kept is why she's been "punished"
Emily Carter
Jun 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Elin Hilderbrand is back with her first ever foray into Historical Fiction, set as always on Nantucket! It was the most tumultuous summer of the twentieth century, with the Vietnam War, the moon landing, political drama, racism/civil/women rights protests, and standing up to outdated social norms.

We follow matriarch Exalta, her daughter Kate (both harbouring secrets from her entire family), and her kids Jessie (newly 13), Blair (pregnant with twins and kicked out of her house by her husband), Ki
Jun 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
5 beautiful stars! This book is the absolute PERFECT summer read and I highly suggest that if you have some time off, are at the beach, or simply are looking for a heart-warming summer book, you pick this up immediately! This was the first book of Elin Hilderbrand's that I have read and I was so impressed with how captivating her writing and her characters are. The characters in this really came to life and almost gave me the same vibe as a really good Nicholas Sparks novel, but better. I did no ...more
Jun 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
So I read most of it in one day. It was like something took over and I had to know how it ended.
I’m so glad I read this. I had been having a hard time picking out books that held my interest. I love the 60s and I love the ideas of a family vacation home where you spend an entire summer. That sounds so nice to me. So this book checked a lot of my boxes to begin with. But I was truly invested in all the characters. Some of it was very predictable (I knew who Trixie was from the start) but I had t
Peggy Jaeger
May 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Set during the turbulent summer of 1969 America, Elin Hilderbrand’s newest novel takes the reader on an emotional rollercoaster ride that mimics the tumultuous time it’s set in.

Siblings Blair, Kirby and Jessie each miss their brother, Tiger, who’s been called off to Viet Nam to fight a war no one wants. The sisters each have personal problems to deal with and could use the support of one another. But, that isn’t happening. 13 year old Jessie is spending the summer at her grandmother’s house – a
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Beach Reads 1 2 Jun 20, 2019 10:48AM  
Book of The Month: Summer of 69 1 12 May 31, 2019 11:46AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Firefly: Generations
  • Firefly: The Magnificent Nine
  • Daddiopath
  • Someone Knows
  • Vampires Never Get Old
  • The Kingdom
  • The Southern Side of Paradise (Peachtree Bluff #3)
  • Muse
  • The Friends We Keep
  • The Chelsea Girls
  • The Life Below (The Final Six, #2)
  • 47 Ronin
  • Under Currents
  • Meet Me in Monaco
  • You Must Not Miss
  • Arrow of Death (The Rise and Fall #1)
  • A Cathedral of Myth and Bone
  • Woman 99
See similar books…
Elin Hilderbrand lives on Nantucket with her husband and their three young children. She grew up in Collegeville, Pennsylvania, and traveled extensively before settling on Nantucket, which has been the setting for her five previous novels. Hilderbrand is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University and the graduate fiction workshop at the University of Iowa.
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »