When We Were the Kennedys

When We Were the Kennedys

A Memoir From Mexico, Maine

Book - 2012
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1963, Mexico, Maine. The Wood family is much like its close, Catholic, immigrant neighbors, all dependent on a father's wages from the Oxford Paper Company. Until the sudden death of Dad, when Mum and the four closely connected Wood girls are set adrift. Funny and to-the-bone moving, When We Were the Kennedys is the story of how this family saves itself, at first by depending on Father Bob, Mum's youngest brother, a charismatic Catholic priest who feels his new responsibilities deeply. And then, as the nation is shocked by the loss of its handsome Catholic president, the televised grace of Jackie Kennedy--she too a Catholic widow with young children--galvanizes Mum to set off on an unprecedented family road trip to Washington, D.C., to do some rescuing of her own. An indelible story of how family and nation, each shocked by the unimaginable, exchange one identity for another.
   "Monica Wood has written a gorgeous, gripping memoir. I don't know that I've ever pulled so hard for a family."--Michael Paterniti, author of Driving Mr. Albert
Publisher: Boston : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2012.
ISBN: 9780547630144
Branch Call Number: 813.54 WOO
Characteristics: xvii, 235 p. ; 22 cm.


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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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