I’ve been a Kennedy fan for as far back as I can remember. I don’t know if it’s because their life is so different than mine or whether it is because there is always something new to learn and a new relationship to explore.
I love historical fiction and more than that I love historical fiction that is based on real people or real events. The Kennedy Debutante by Kerri Maher is the behind the scenes story of Kathleen, better known as Kit, Kennedy. Kit was the fourth child of Joe and Rose Kennedy and the daughter that chose her own path despite the heartache that caused her parents.
The book opens in London during Kit’s debutante years and during a time when Joe, ambassador to the UK, was trying to build a stronger reputation of America in the eyes of the British and a stronger relationship with the British as the second great war hung on the horizon. Kit is followed as the she falls in love with Billy Cavendish, Marquess of Hartington, who happened to also be a protestant. When it becomes obvious the war is going to happen, the Kennedy’s return to the US and Kit pines for Billy all the while searching for a way to get back over the ocean to the life she learned to love. Once the US became involved in WW 2 she found her way over by joining the efforts of the American Red Cross. Eventually, Kit and Billy do reunite and despite him being dedicated to serving in the war they are able to fall in love again and even go against their parents wishes and the rules of the Catholic church and wed. Not long after the wedding Joe Jr dies while piloting for the US and Kit returns home to be with her family. While in the US mourning Joe Jr she finds out that Billy has also lost his life to the war. Kit ultimately returns to London and even takes a lover which unfortunately leads to her death in a plane crash. All of this information can be found in a google search but what Maher brings to the story is the conversations and the feelings felt that happen between the bullet points of information. Maher helped the readers to fall in love with Kit and Billy and to understand why she chose to follow her heart and jeopardize her place in the family and the Catholic church.
Kerri Maher explains in the authors notes that she was able to piece this story together through the writings on the other people in Kit’s life and the correspondence saved between Kit and Billy and Kit and her family. Maher says she felt honored to tell Kit’s story and I am grateful she did.
I have always soaked up what I could about the Kennedy’s and knew when I saw this offered as an advanced copy through First To Read that I would be lucky to get an early glimpse of this story. Thank you First to Read and Kerri Maher for the opportunity to read and review this book.
I received an advanced readers copy through First to Read in exchange for my review. All opinions are my own and I was not required to leave a positive review.