When We Were the Kennedys

When We Were the Kennedys

A Memoir From Mexico, Maine

eBook - 2012
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Monica Wood's moving memoir of the season in 1963 Mexico, Maine, as she, her mother, and her three sisters healed after the loss of their mill-worker father and then the nation's loss of its handsome young Catholic president.

Winner of the 2012 Sarton Memoir Award

“Every few years, a memoir comes along that revitalizes the form…With generous, precise, and unsentimental prose, Monica Wood brilliantly achieves this . . . When We Were the Kennedys is a deeply moving gem!”—Andre Dubus III, author of House of Sand and Fog and Townie

Mexico, Maine, 1963: The Wood family is much like its close, Catholic, immigrant neighbors, all dependent on the fathers’ wages from the Oxford Paper Company. But when Dad suddenly dies on his way to work, Mum and the four deeply connected Wood girls are set adrift. When We Were the Kennedys is the story of how a family, a town, and then a nation mourns and finds the strength to move on.

“On her own terms, wry and empathetic, Wood locates the melodies in the aftershock of sudden loss.”—Boston Globe

“[A] marvel of storytelling, layered and rich. It is, by turns, a chronicle of the renowned paper mill that was both pride and poison to several generations of a town; a tribute to the ethnic stew of immigrant families that grew and prospered there; and an account of one family’s grief, love, and resilience.”—Maine Sunday Telegram

Baker & Taylor
An account of the 1963 death of the author's father against a backdrop of JFK's assassination describes how her mother, three sisters and she were financially dependent on her father's wages and how their loss and Catholic faith resonated with the experiences of the nation. By the award-nominated author of My Only Story. 25,000 first printing.

Publisher: Boston : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2012
ISBN: 9780547632292
Characteristics: 1 online resource


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Oct 05, 2017

Monica Wood is one of those rare, truly gifted writers. I knew it would be a sad story--it tells of the first year following her father's sudden death, when the author was only nine. But her memoir is full of such rich metaphor and wit that it was an absolute joy to read--one of those books you never want to end. And of course, being a child of the 60's, I could relate to so many things of everyday life. I watched a YouTube interview of Miss Wood with her disabled older sister, Betty, and they were both just lovely. Later I watched her address her Alma mater for an hour as she talked about various parts of the book and was struck by what a gifted speaker she is as well. Truly a treat to read.

Dec 10, 2015

What a great book. I read it over a few days. Monica Wood is a natural writer. She speaks with such ease about her upbringing in Maine, in a factory town. What happens when her Dad dies when she only 9 years old and how her Catholic family manages. It touched me and educated me.

Oct 25, 2015

I loved this beautifully written book! I read about it in Down East magazine. This book speaks to anyone who grew up in a family or town in which a factory was a major employer; anyone who grew up in a Catholic family (and/or a Catholic school); anyone from a family who immigrated to the US to find a better life; anyone who has experienced the loss of a beloved family member, especially in childhood; anyone who remembers 1963 and the Kennedy assassination. In other words, this book is universal, for anyone who has lived any length of time at all. Please order more Monica Wood books!

Sep 25, 2013

An affectionate and clear-eyed backward glance at life in 1960s small-town Maine. I didn't realize how affecting it was until I started to weep reading the acknowledgements at the end. Monica Wood is such a lovely writer.


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