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A captivating novel following the exploits of Kathleen "Kick" Kennedy, the forgotten and rebellious daughter of one of America's greatest political dynasties. London, 1938. The effervescent "It girl" of London society since her father was named the ambassador, Kathleen "Kick" Kennedy moves in rarified circles, rubbing satin-covered elbows with some of the 20th century's A captivating novel following the exploits of Kathleen "Kick" Kennedy, the forgotten and rebellious daughter of one of America's greatest political dynasties. London, 1938. The effervescent "It girl" of London society since her father was named the ambassador, Kathleen "Kick" Kennedy moves in rarified circles, rubbing satin-covered elbows with some of the 20th century's most powerful figures. Eager to escape the watchful eye of her strict mother, Rose, the antics of her older brothers, Jack and Joe, and the erratic behavior of her sister Rosemary, Kick is ready to strike out on her own and is soon swept off her feet by Billy Hartington, the future Duke of Devonshire.But their love is forbidden, as Kick's devout Catholic family and Billy's staunchly Protestant one would never approve their match. When war breaks like a tidal wave across her world, Billy is ripped from her arms as the Kennedys are forced to return to the States. Kick gets work as a journalist and joins the Red Cross to get back to England, where she will have to decide where her true loyalties lie—with family or with love . . .


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A captivating novel following the exploits of Kathleen "Kick" Kennedy, the forgotten and rebellious daughter of one of America's greatest political dynasties. London, 1938. The effervescent "It girl" of London society since her father was named the ambassador, Kathleen "Kick" Kennedy moves in rarified circles, rubbing satin-covered elbows with some of the 20th century's A captivating novel following the exploits of Kathleen "Kick" Kennedy, the forgotten and rebellious daughter of one of America's greatest political dynasties. London, 1938. The effervescent "It girl" of London society since her father was named the ambassador, Kathleen "Kick" Kennedy moves in rarified circles, rubbing satin-covered elbows with some of the 20th century's most powerful figures. Eager to escape the watchful eye of her strict mother, Rose, the antics of her older brothers, Jack and Joe, and the erratic behavior of her sister Rosemary, Kick is ready to strike out on her own and is soon swept off her feet by Billy Hartington, the future Duke of Devonshire.But their love is forbidden, as Kick's devout Catholic family and Billy's staunchly Protestant one would never approve their match. When war breaks like a tidal wave across her world, Billy is ripped from her arms as the Kennedys are forced to return to the States. Kick gets work as a journalist and joins the Red Cross to get back to England, where she will have to decide where her true loyalties lie—with family or with love . . .

30 review for The Kennedy Debutante

  1. 5 out of 5

    Miranda Reads

    "I can see I'm going to have my hands full with you," he said. "I'll see to it, sir." Kathleen "Kick" Kennedy has it all - the fame, the riches, the glory. Her life is so tied up in the Kennedy legacy, that she hardly knows where they end and she begins. And now, as she's entering her debutante years, Kick finally has a chance to become her own person, find her own love and (above all) escape from under her mother's thumb. It was the first time in ages she had felt carried away by something, par "I can see I'm going to have my hands full with you," he said. "I'll see to it, sir." Kathleen "Kick" Kennedy has it all - the fame, the riches, the glory. Her life is so tied up in the Kennedy legacy, that she hardly knows where they end and she begins. And now, as she's entering her debutante years, Kick finally has a chance to become her own person, find her own love and (above all) escape from under her mother's thumb. It was the first time in ages she had felt carried away by something, part of something, that had nothing to do with her family, and she loved it Kick falls in love with London...and a certain Billy Hartington, heir to the Duke of Devonshire. "So...has he kissed you yet?" "Deborah Mitford!" "What? You might be Catholic, but you're not a nun." But their love comes at a cost. Kick is a devout Catholic and Billy is an equally devout Protestant. And Kick's mother? A whole other story. "I'm not worried about God, I'm worried about Mother!" Rose (Kick's mother) puts all dragon mothers to shame - she is nothing if not completely and utterly in control. Any and all things Kennedy must first meet with her approval - and her good Catholic daughter marrying a Protestant Heathen is definitely not on the list of pre-approved Kennedy-friendly things... "But think, darling. You don't want to ruin your excellent reputation." Oh my gosh. Kerri Maher really brought Kick Kennedy to life. So often, Kick is a mere footnote to the long, extensive and outrageous Kennedy family history and I'm really pleased with how Maher brought Kick out from the background. Kick was spunky, feisty and sweet. The author did an excellent job with working Kick's faith into this story. You don't have too many stories where the main character's religion plays such a strong (and positive role). In addition, this book covers several years of Kick's life, so we are really able to see her character (and the others in this novel) grow and develop. I loved watching her grow from a spunky teen to a mature woman. I do wish the Rosemary angle was expanded upon in this novel. Rosemary, Kick's older sister, was always a little bit strange - behavioral issues, learning disability, etc. This novel touched on what happened to Rosemary: "Yes, you see, your father's heard about a procedure that might help our dear Rosemary..." but we don't really see the reactions and turmoil of the other characters - something that I think would really have enhanced the novel. Overall - really pleased with this one. Loved the new take on the Kennedy family. I know what love can be, and I'm not going to settle. With thanks to Berkley Publishing for a free copy in exchange for an honest review. All quotes are from an uncorrected proof and are subject to change upon publication. Blog | Instagram | Twitter

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader

    4 big stars to The Kennedy Debutante! ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ I recently listened to an audiobook about Rosemary Kennedy, and ever since, my interest has been piqued about Kick Kennedy’s short life. Why didn’t I know more about her? The Kennedy Debutante is Kick’s story. In 1930s London, Kick’s father is an ambassador in England, and she is a big time society girl. She has a yearning for a life of adventure, and with all her might, she works her way out of her strict mother’s grasp and into the arms of Billy Ha 4 big stars to The Kennedy Debutante! ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ I recently listened to an audiobook about Rosemary Kennedy, and ever since, my interest has been piqued about Kick Kennedy’s short life. Why didn’t I know more about her? The Kennedy Debutante is Kick’s story. In 1930s London, Kick’s father is an ambassador in England, and she is a big time society girl. She has a yearning for a life of adventure, and with all her might, she works her way out of her strict mother’s grasp and into the arms of Billy Hartington, the soon-to-be Duke of Devonshire. The lovers are star-crossed, though, because Kick’s family is devout Catholic, and Billy’s family is Protestant. Their parents would never approve. World War II begins, which sends Billy to war and the Kennedys back home to the States. Nothing stops determined Kick from making her way back overseas where she becomes a journalist and works for the Red Cross. Will Kick choose her family or her love? The Kennedys are like royalty in the US. Their contributions have been complex- from scandal to civil rights advocacy, to everything in between, including devastating tragedies of their own, but there is always a lurid fascination. Kerri Maher’s slower pacing of this story is deliciously detailed and offers insights into each of the Kennedy family members. The Kennedy Debutante is a wonderfully engaging story of the search for forbidden love while questioning family and faith. With World War II as its backdrop, The Kennedy Debutante is rife with a secured time and place and charming, robust characters. Highly recommended for fans of historical fiction, especially set against WWII. Thank you to Berkley for the invitation to participate in the blog tour and for the finished copy. All opinions are my own. My reviews can also be found on my blog: www.jennifertarheelreader.com

  3. 4 out of 5

    Cindy Burnett

    5++ stars I absolutely loved this book and plan to recommend it to everyone I know. The Kennedy Debutante tells the story of Kathleen “Kick” Kennedy, sister of John F. Kennedy and Robert F. Kennedy. As I began reading the book, I realized how little I knew about her or any of the lesser known siblings of these two famous men. Maher masterfully unveils Kick’s complex story interweaving details of her staunch Catholic upbringing, her desire to please her strict mother, the effects of her father’s f 5++ stars I absolutely loved this book and plan to recommend it to everyone I know. The Kennedy Debutante tells the story of Kathleen “Kick” Kennedy, sister of John F. Kennedy and Robert F. Kennedy. As I began reading the book, I realized how little I knew about her or any of the lesser known siblings of these two famous men. Maher masterfully unveils Kick’s complex story interweaving details of her staunch Catholic upbringing, her desire to please her strict mother, the effects of her father’s focus on his sons and his ineffectiveness as the U.S.’s ambassador to the United Kingdom, and her relationship with her close-in-age siblings. Overarching a significant portion of the story is Kick’s relationship with Billy Hartington, the future Duke of Devonshire and a devout Protestant. Her Catholicism and his Protestant background created a far greater issue for them with both families than I would have supposed would be the case. While Kick is the focus of The Kennedy Debutante, Maher interweaves tidbits about the other Kennedy siblings, particularly those she was close to - Joe Jr., Rosemary, Jack, and occasionally Eunice. It was fascinating to learn about their time in London, Jack’s relationships with numerous women, Joe Jr.’s feelings of being overshadowed by his younger, charismatic brother Jack, and many other interesting tidbits. I also liked learning more about the Mitfords through Kick’s close relationship with Deborah Mitford. Fighting every inclination I had, I waited to Google Kick until I completed the book. Usually when I start a historical fiction novel and encounter people with whom I am unfamiliar, I immediately look them up to learn more about them and put them in context. However, in this instance, I loved The Kennedy Debutante so much that I did not want to spoil the story, and I was very thankful that I waited. I laughed when I finished the book and immediately turned to the Author’s Note (frequently one of my favorite parts of reading historical fiction). Maher’s first sentence started with “Allow me to save you the rush to Google….” as she then proceeded to provide more details on Kick’s life and how she came to write Kick’s story. The Kennedy Debutante will certainly have a highlighted spot on my top ten list for 2018. Maher hit it out of the park with her debut novel, and I look forward to reading her future endeavors. I highly, highly recommend this book to anyone who loves a good story – it is a fascinating tale of a strong, independent woman and a glimpse into the lives of a famous American family who endured more heartbreak than one family should have to bear. Grab some tissues before you start the book – you will need them!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Cheri

    !! NOW AVAILABLE !! 4.5 Stars “Long ago it must be I have a photograph Preserve your memories They're all that's left you” -- Old Friends / Bookends Theme, Simon & Garfunkel, Songwriters: Paul Simon ”It all seems like a beautiful dream. Thanks a lot, Daddy, for giving me one of the greatest experiences anyone could have had. I know it will have a great effect on everything I do from her in.” --Kick Kennedy, 18 September 1939 A young Kathleen “Kick” Kennedy falls in love with London, the people and !! NOW AVAILABLE !! 4.5 Stars “Long ago it must be I have a photograph Preserve your memories They're all that's left you” -- Old Friends / Bookends Theme, Simon & Garfunkel, Songwriters: Paul Simon ”It all seems like a beautiful dream. Thanks a lot, Daddy, for giving me one of the greatest experiences anyone could have had. I know it will have a great effect on everything I do from her in.” --Kick Kennedy, 18 September 1939 A young Kathleen “Kick” Kennedy falls in love with London, the people and the country, in this debut by Kerri Maher. Maher does a wonderful job in bring this young woman, a product of American Royalty, and those she meets in London, to life in a way that seems authentic in this story, her debut novel. I felt as though I was walking through London with her. Nine children, a good Catholic family, their mother Rose seemed especially devoted to her faith and her family. As the eldest children were adults, or nearly adults as this story begins, there is not a lot devoted to childhood, but their fondness for one another is evident as is their closeness. It’s 1938 when the family goes to London, arriving on St. Patrick’s Day, of course, and Kick promptly falls in love with the country, the accent, everything about it fills her with happiness, the gardens, and even the lush lawns. Everything is lovely except the war that will come, eventually, but in this moment in time it is only a cautionary atmosphere that calls your attention to it. The reality of the impending war hasn’t fully sunk in. In this atmosphere, it only makes sense that the men would flock to the pretty new girl being shown around. But Kick loved more than just the attention or the social festivities. ”It was the first time in ages she had felt carried away by something, part of something, that had nothing to do with her family, and she loved it.” Kick makes friends among those young men and women she meets at various soirees she attends, some she will remain friends with for the remainder of her life, some will be lost to war, some will fade away. She can’t imagine ever leaving, but then the war comes closer and the Kennedys leave for the safer grounds of American soil. This is also a time before John F Kennedy would marry Jackie, Jacqueline Lee Bouvier, and before his presidency, so it does include some of the goings on of the family, including her most famous brothers, John F. Kennedy (Jack) and Robert Kennedy, but focuses more on Jack’s big brother protectiveness, and his women. What focus there is on Joe as this story unfolds, is how sweetly he tries to protect her in his own way. Rose and Joe Sr.’s eldest son, who Joe Sr. had long dreamed of running for President, a dream that would come true for Jack, but not for Joe. Still, there is romance, a somewhat prolonged on and off romance that is forbidden due to the restrictions against Catholics marrying outside their faith, distance and war. She can’t imagine marrying outside of her faith and breaking her mother’s heart, or her father’s. While she may have seemed rebellious to her family, not acquiescing to all of their parental dictates, but her rebellions were more than in thought than in deed and seem tame in comparison to today. A lovely, bittersweet story of love and loss, of having – and keeping – faith and hope alive, the importance of family and faith, but perhaps more importantly, of having faith in yourself enough to know, and accept the gift, when love finds you. Pub Date: 02 OCT 2018 Many thanks for the ARC provided by Berkley Publishing Group / Berkley

  5. 4 out of 5

    Marialyce

    3 wished I had liked it more stars My reviews can be seen here: https://yayareadslotsofbooks.wordpres... Kathleen "Kick" Kennedy had it all. She was beautiful, the second daughter of Joseph and Rose Kennedy and a life that was privileged where she wanted for very little. When her father was made Ambassador to the Royal Court of St James, Kick went to London with her family where she met a man she was to love and her life took a sad but inevitable turn. In the novel, The Kennedy Debutante, we take a 3 wished I had liked it more stars My reviews can be seen here: https://yayareadslotsofbooks.wordpres... Kathleen "Kick" Kennedy had it all. She was beautiful, the second daughter of Joseph and Rose Kennedy and a life that was privileged where she wanted for very little. When her father was made Ambassador to the Royal Court of St James, Kick went to London with her family where she met a man she was to love and her life took a sad but inevitable turn. In the novel, The Kennedy Debutante, we take a trip with Kick to London and the years that followed. We see the effects of how in those days, religion determined one's suitability to marry. What I liked about this story was that the theme of being brought up as a strict Catholic was well played out. For Kick, an independent soul, when women were not destined to be so, the book portrayed what she had to contend with, the prejudices and the antipathy her father engendered while he did not support the upcoming war. We also see her portrayed with all the glitz and glamour that was afforded to the wealthy, the titled, and those who attained a certain social strata not to be enjoyed by most. I do think that there was so much more to Kick though and did appreciate her seeming to pluck up much courage to buck tradition and the tenets of the Catholic faith that seemed to hold them all in its grip in the second part of the story. What didn't work for me in this book was the actual telling. The first portion of the book was long and drawn out. While one certainly could appreciate the circles in which the Kennedy's traveled, the first section seemed liked one of name dropping and parties attended. I think it was somewhat of a disservice to Kick as it seemed, at least to me, to paint her as a party girl unfortunately. There was so much more to Kick and we do see glimpses of that as the second half of the story continued. In truth, although this was about Kick's later years, I would have liked to have seen her childhood years portrayed. How did she become the woman she eventually became? There was so much to the facets of her character and her strength and I wish the book would have accented those a bit more forcefully. As was the case with the Kennedy's there was a huge amount of unhappiness that seemed to follow the family. They seemed to almost have a curse upon them as one by one, they succumbed much before their time. The sadness that was leveled upon this family and the war that engulfed them was a basis for what their futures held. This is one of those times that I wish I had liked the story better for I do think that Kick was a most admirable, brave girl who grew to womanhood in a most trying and difficult time. As a footnote, when Kick was killed in an awful plane crash, her mother, Rose, refused to attend the memorial service held in her daughter's honor. How very very sad.....Her father, Joseph did attend.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Katie B

    3.5 stars I was so excited to get my hands on an advance copy of this because Kathleen Kennedy led an interesting life not just because she was the second oldest daughter of Joe Sr. and Rose, but because she had to make some tough decisions in life. So I'll admit my expectations were high because I thought the author would have a lot of material to work with when writing this historical fiction novel. While story got better towards the end, I really struggled for a big portion of the book. The Ken 3.5 stars I was so excited to get my hands on an advance copy of this because Kathleen Kennedy led an interesting life not just because she was the second oldest daughter of Joe Sr. and Rose, but because she had to make some tough decisions in life. So I'll admit my expectations were high because I thought the author would have a lot of material to work with when writing this historical fiction novel. While story got better towards the end, I really struggled for a big portion of the book. The Kennedy family has moved to London in the late 1930s because Joe Sr. has accepted the position of ambassador. Kathleen, aka Kick, and her older sister Rosemary are introduced to London society and soon Kick meets Billy Hartington who is in line to be the next Duke of Devonshire. While Kick and Billy fall in love they know their families will disapprove as the Kennedy family is Catholic and the Hartingtons are Protestant. Kick is sent back to the United States because of the war but Billy is never far from her mind. But will her family and religion get in the way of her happiness? I think the biggest problem I had with the book was for a very long time I just had this empty feeling while reading. Yes, the author did a good job with injecting historical facts into the story but it felt like it came at the expense of good storytelling. I just wish it hadn't taken so long before I felt an emotional connection to Kick. For me the real heart of the story is in the last 100 pages or so as it felt like the focus was more on what the characters were feeling rather than boring society stuff that was so present for most of the book. I would recommend this book if you have an interest in the Kennedy family but if you are just looking for any historical fiction read, I think there are more compelling ones out there. Thank you to First to Read for the opportunity to read an advance digital copy! I was under no obligation to post a review and all views expressed are my honest opinion.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Juli

    I inwardly cringe every time the Kennedy Family is portrayed as "American royalty.'' No, no, no. Wealthy? Yes. Privileged? Yes. Powerful? Without a doubt. But I hate seeing them put on a pedestal. Digging into the history and behavior of the Kennedy clan can be quite a disturbing experience. One daughter lobotomized to avoid scandal and hidden away for the rest of her life. Another dead in Europe before her time, separated from her family because she defied her father. Two sons shot to death. On I inwardly cringe every time the Kennedy Family is portrayed as "American royalty.'' No, no, no. Wealthy? Yes. Privileged? Yes. Powerful? Without a doubt. But I hate seeing them put on a pedestal. Digging into the history and behavior of the Kennedy clan can be quite a disturbing experience. One daughter lobotomized to avoid scandal and hidden away for the rest of her life. Another dead in Europe before her time, separated from her family because she defied her father. Two sons shot to death. One son getting away with murder after letting a girl drown in his car at Chappaquiddick. It's not a golden story....but a really dark and sad one. And all for ambition, power and greed. Seems such a waste. After listening to an audio book about the life and lobotomizing of Rosemary Kennedy earlier this year, I wanted to learn more about her sister, Kathleen "Kick'' Kennedy, so I snapped up this book! Kick grew up in privilege, enjoying Europe in the 1930's when her father was an ambassador and becoming a bright, beautiful debutante. Much was expected of her by her parents. They had ambitions for their family and expected Kick to tow the line. She didn't. She fell in love with an Englishman that her family did not approve of. Kick defied her family, choosing love over duty to her parents' ambitions. Her choices had consequences. Although I found the Kick's story disturbing and sad, the book is well-written and filled in some gaps in my knowledge of her life and experiences. This is Kerri Maher's debut novel. I will definitely be looking for more by this new author! This book was informative, obviously well-researched and very interesting. I think I need to lay off books about the Kennedy family for awhile though. It's just too much......with nothing really hopeful or uplifting coming out of any of it. Sad. No reflection on Maher's book -- the book is excellent! Great debut novel! Just thoughts about the family and all the destruction that came in the wake of extreme ambition. Power corrupts. **I voluntarily read a review copy of this book from Berkley Publishing via NetGalley. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.**

  8. 5 out of 5

    Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede

    I've long had an interest with the Kennedy family and this book about Kathleen "Kick" Kennedy was one that I had been looking forward to reading for a long time. Kick, the next oldest daughter of Joe and Rose Kennedy is one of the lesser known Kennedys. Her life and death have been overshadowed by her famous brothers. Kick's life was cut short, but she managed much during her short life. However, much came at a great cost. In the 1930s, her father Joe was the ambassador in London and Kick loved I've long had an interest with the Kennedy family and this book about Kathleen "Kick" Kennedy was one that I had been looking forward to reading for a long time. Kick, the next oldest daughter of Joe and Rose Kennedy is one of the lesser known Kennedys. Her life and death have been overshadowed by her famous brothers. Kick's life was cut short, but she managed much during her short life. However, much came at a great cost. In the 1930s, her father Joe was the ambassador in London and Kick loved her life there. She had great friends and she also met the love of her life Billy Hartington, the future Duke of Devonshire. But, Kick came from a devout Catholic family and Billy was Protestant. Neither could compromise their faith. She would lose her family and his family would never accept that Billy converted nor that their future children would be raised Catholics. And, then England is drawn into WW2 in the middle of this emotional turmoil. Will they ever be together? READ THE REST OF THE REVIEW OVER AT FRESH FICTION!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Christina (Confessions of a Book Addict)

    The Kennedy family lives in London now thanks to Joe Kennedy's job as ambassador. After being presented to the Queen, Kathleen "Kick" Kennedy is now in the same social circles as some of London's elite. That night she is celebrating her debut and she meets Billy Harrington, the future Duke of Devonshire. He is certainly smitten with her and as she starts to develop feelings for him, she realizes that things are more than a bit complicated. The Kennedys are very serious Catholics and his family i The Kennedy family lives in London now thanks to Joe Kennedy's job as ambassador. After being presented to the Queen, Kathleen "Kick" Kennedy is now in the same social circles as some of London's elite. That night she is celebrating her debut and she meets Billy Harrington, the future Duke of Devonshire. He is certainly smitten with her and as she starts to develop feelings for him, she realizes that things are more than a bit complicated. The Kennedys are very serious Catholics and his family is Protestant, not to mention they are also an aristocratic British family. How would this ever truly work? As time goes on and World War II breaks out, Billy joins the military and Kick heads back to the states. With oceans separating them along with their family's strict rules, do they really stand a chance? Kerri Maher's debut, The Kennedy Debutante, will excite fans of the Kennedys as well as fans of Downton Abbey and historical fiction. Read the rest of my review here: http://www.confessionsofabookaddict.c...

  10. 5 out of 5

    ✨Tamara

    "London, 1938. The effervescent "It girl" of London society since her father was named the ambassador, Kathleen "Kick" Kennedy moves in rarified circles, rubbing satin-covered elbows with some of the 20th century's most powerful figures. Eager to escape the watchful eye of her strict mother, Rose, the antics of her older brothers, Jack and Joe, and the erratic behavior of her sister Rosemary, Kick is ready to strike out on her own and is soon swept off her feet by Billy Hartington, the future Du "London, 1938. The effervescent "It girl" of London society since her father was named the ambassador, Kathleen "Kick" Kennedy moves in rarified circles, rubbing satin-covered elbows with some of the 20th century's most powerful figures. Eager to escape the watchful eye of her strict mother, Rose, the antics of her older brothers, Jack and Joe, and the erratic behavior of her sister Rosemary, Kick is ready to strike out on her own and is soon swept off her feet by Billy Hartington, the future Duke of Devonshire. But their love is forbidden, as Kick's devout Catholic family and Billy's staunchly Protestant one would never approve their match. When war breaks like a tidal wave across her world, Billy is ripped from her arms as the Kennedys are forced to return to the States. Kick gets work as a journalist and joins the Red Cross to get back to England, where she will have to decide where her true loyalties lie--with family or with love . . ." Ugh this book just dragged on. It was way too long and it seems like the story would never end. Which is understandable given the subject of its content but I still feel that it would have been better if the story was a little more interesting. Maybe I just wasn't a book for me.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Chanel Cleeton

    The Kennedy Debutante is a vivid and engrossing portrayal of the fascinating life of Kathleen “Kick” Kennedy. Maher offers a dazzling glimpse of London society filled with a rich, nuanced, and infamous cast of characters alongside a poignant depiction of the emotional cost of war. A stunning debut!

  12. 5 out of 5

    ☮Karen

    3.5 stars The Kennedy family makes for interesting story fodder, that's for sure. If nothing else, they provide a look into surviving multiple tragedies while maintaining a pretty charmed existence. Joe Sr. and Rose had nine children and tragedies befell five of them, six if you include Teddy's story that was mostly covered up. Then there was John Jr. and his wife, and I'm purposely leaving out the other grandchildren and great-grandchildren. But it makes me wonder and marvel at their history. I d 3.5 stars The Kennedy family makes for interesting story fodder, that's for sure. If nothing else, they provide a look into surviving multiple tragedies while maintaining a pretty charmed existence. Joe Sr. and Rose had nine children and tragedies befell five of them, six if you include Teddy's story that was mostly covered up. Then there was John Jr. and his wife, and I'm purposely leaving out the other grandchildren and great-grandchildren. But it makes me wonder and marvel at their history. I did not know much about the fourth oldest, Kathleen, aka Kick Kennedy, maybe the most tragic and short-lived of them. Because the family was living in London during Joe's term as Ambassador, Kick's debut took place there. These were her formative years and so she made her best friends and social connections in London. She would always consider London her home, not America. Her true love was an English noble who would one day become Duke of Devonshire. He was Protestant, which was a major issue with his family, with the Catholic church, and the Kennedys, especially Rose. Most of the book delves into Kick's conflicted feelings about marrying for love or marrying to keep the peace in the two families. I hope today religion isn't as big an issue, but I don't know. This kept me interested, even though it felt like a really long time before Kathleen and Billy finally found happiness. Actually it was about 5 years, and then very short-lived because, again, tragedies ensue. The author gives some additional history at the end, and then Google led me to reading about the Astors and Fred Astaire's sister. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this enjoyable preview copy.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Kelley

    Novel received courtesy of publisher for review As a child of the 60's, I've been in love with the Kennedy family my entire life. However, I didn't know about Kathleen (Kick) Kennedy at all. Kerri Maher did a great job of bringing this "forgotten" Kennedy girl to life. The story begins in 1939 with the Kennedy family ensconced in London. Joe Sr. is the Ambassador trying valiantly to keep England from war with Germany. Under this cloud, Kick makes her debut into society. Kick loves English society Novel received courtesy of publisher for review As a child of the 60's, I've been in love with the Kennedy family my entire life. However, I didn't know about Kathleen (Kick) Kennedy at all. Kerri Maher did a great job of bringing this "forgotten" Kennedy girl to life. The story begins in 1939 with the Kennedy family ensconced in London. Joe Sr. is the Ambassador trying valiantly to keep England from war with Germany. Under this cloud, Kick makes her debut into society. Kick loves English society and falls for Billy Hartington. For me, the novel was really about Kick's Catholicism and her family. Kick loved Billy for years but was unable, in her heart, to marry him because of his Protestant faith. The author did a great job of showing Kick's fight to remain Catholic and marry Billy. I've never read anything that delved into the differences between Catholicism and Protestantism before. It was heart-wrenching to read! The novel also showed a more real side of the Kennedy clan. Rose, the matriarch, clinging to her faith. Rosemary, the eldest daughter, shipped off for a lobotomy and never talked about again. Joe Jr. and his struggle to be "good enough". While we usually see the Kennedy clan through rose-colored glasses, Maher showed that they were a real family. I've read several books, both fiction and non-fiction about the Kennedy's over the years. This is one of my very favorites! I will enjoy recommending it to others~

  14. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl

    In The Kennedy Debutante, author Kerri Maher writes a fictionalized account of the life of Kathleen “Kick” Kennedy. Beginning in 1938 when Joseph Kennedy Sr. was appointed ambassador to England, Kathleen’s life changed in ways she could never have imagined. It seemed like a fairytale beginning for Kick. Kick’s experiences in London, and the friends she made there gave her an appreciation for the country she began to think of as home. It was during this time that she met her soulmate, Billy Hartin In The Kennedy Debutante, author Kerri Maher writes a fictionalized account of the life of Kathleen “Kick” Kennedy. Beginning in 1938 when Joseph Kennedy Sr. was appointed ambassador to England, Kathleen’s life changed in ways she could never have imagined. It seemed like a fairytale beginning for Kick. Kick’s experiences in London, and the friends she made there gave her an appreciation for the country she began to think of as home. It was during this time that she met her soulmate, Billy Hartington, son of the Duke of Devonshire and heir to a large estate and an immense fortune. Hartington was smitten by Kick and their relationship grew stronger over time. Maher combines fact and fiction to write a love story that overcame formidable obstacles, but ended tragically. It’s a novel based on a true story with a likable heroine, famous people, and a glimpse into the lives of America’s most intriguing family, set in wartime Europe and America. It’s hard to put down. Adults interested in the Kennedy family would enjoy this historical novel. Thank you to NetGalley, Berkley Press, a division of Penguin Random House, and author Kerri Maher for giving me the opportunity to read the ARC of this fascinating novel.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Joelle

    In Kerri Maher’s historical fiction debut, she seamlessly combines the real and imagined details of Kick Kennedy’s brief life in England. Kick Kennedy has largely been forgotten by history due to her short life and separation from her relatives. This glimpse into her young life was thoughtful and entertaining. The author adds her own imaginings to the public knowledge of Kick’s life events and relationships. I personally found her interactions with her older brothers and father to be some of the In Kerri Maher’s historical fiction debut, she seamlessly combines the real and imagined details of Kick Kennedy’s brief life in England. Kick Kennedy has largely been forgotten by history due to her short life and separation from her relatives. This glimpse into her young life was thoughtful and entertaining. The author adds her own imaginings to the public knowledge of Kick’s life events and relationships. I personally found her interactions with her older brothers and father to be some of the most heartfelt moments in the novel. Getting further insight into this Kennedy daughter’s life was enlightening. Although the book is historical fiction, I could feel each scene come to life and be completely plausible. Maher’s book was well researched and executed. I highly recommend this novel to those interested in the lesser known members of the Kennedy family and frequent readers of historical fiction, especially WWII fiction. ***I received an advanced copy of this novel from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Tammy

    I have always had a fascination with the Kennedy family and have read quite a few books on the men in the family but not a lot about the women. I was instantly pulled into Kathleen (Kick's) story. Kick lived a short life and although there was a lot of family pressure, she tended to follow her heart. I highly recommend this book to lovers of historical fiction and all things Kennedy. The Kennedy Debutante is a mesmerizing debut!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Sterlingcindysu

    3.5 rounded down. I didn't know anything about Kick Kennedy so I give credit for that. Very interesting to read about Rose and Rosemary Kennedy. What a different world where such roadblocks stop a couple from marrying! So sad--when I googled Rosemary Kennedy, it said that when she died in 2005, she was the first child in that family to die of natural causes. Also sad that it mentioned that she stumbled at her debutante...the things people remember about you after you die. As others have said, th 3.5 rounded down. I didn't know anything about Kick Kennedy so I give credit for that. Very interesting to read about Rose and Rosemary Kennedy. What a different world where such roadblocks stop a couple from marrying! So sad--when I googled Rosemary Kennedy, it said that when she died in 2005, she was the first child in that family to die of natural causes. Also sad that it mentioned that she stumbled at her debutante...the things people remember about you after you die. As others have said, there was alot of name dropping and I didn't put much effort in keeping track of who was a brother, sister-in-law, etc.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Leslie aka StoreyBook Reviews

    I would not say I am a Kennedy aficionado but I thought this book sounded interesting.  It combines history, a forbidden romance due to differences in religion, and WWII.  While I understand that this is fiction, it is based on some facts and truth.  I learned more about this iconic family and the struggles they faced in life.  Kick is a strong woman but because of the era does fall prey to following her parent's edicts.  She is not happy about most of them and tries to become more independent, I would not say I am a Kennedy aficionado but I thought this book sounded interesting.  It combines history, a forbidden romance due to differences in religion, and WWII.  While I understand that this is fiction, it is based on some facts and truth.  I learned more about this iconic family and the struggles they faced in life.  Kick is a strong woman but because of the era does fall prey to following her parent's edicts.  She is not happy about most of them and tries to become more independent, they are just not having any of it especially being in Europe and the tensions between the countries and the brewing war. I did feel like this book was a bit long and there were many times where I skimmed a lot of the material.  The book moved slowly in the beginning, picked up the pace, slowed down again, and picked up the pace.  The book really grabbed my attention about the last third of the book. I think the pace of the story and what Kick was dealing with moved along smoothly.  I would have liked to have seen a more consistent pace with the events and dialogue. I did learn about Kick and the author's notes at the end were interesting as she described her research.  Apparently it wasn't easy finding information about Kick's life.  I like how she started the acknowledgements and said she was going to save us time and we wouldn't have to Google Kick, here is what happened to her once the story ended.  I didn't realize she had died so young. We give this 4 paws and felt it was a different look into a member of the iconic Kennedy family but one that is not as well known.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Erin

    Find this and other reviews at: https://historicalfictionreader.blogs... As with Therese Anne Fowler’s A Well-Behaved Woman, my experience of Kerri Maher’s The Kennedy Debutante was undermined by my familiarity with the subject matter and a very defined expectation regarding its fictionalization. My reading was also impacted by my admiration for Marius Gabriel’s interpretation of both Rose and Rosemary in The Ocean Liner. Fair or not, I can only comment on my experiences and perspective so please Find this and other reviews at: https://historicalfictionreader.blogs... As with Therese Anne Fowler’s A Well-Behaved Woman, my experience of Kerri Maher’s The Kennedy Debutante was undermined by my familiarity with the subject matter and a very defined expectation regarding its fictionalization. My reading was also impacted by my admiration for Marius Gabriel’s interpretation of both Rose and Rosemary in The Ocean Liner. Fair or not, I can only comment on my experiences and perspective so please consider context before passing judgment and proceed with the knowledge that the following contains spoilers. Like Fowler, Maher has an eye for subject matter and I found no flaw in her writing. I think many readers will fall in love with this story, but I personally wanted more from it. I certainly understand the romanticism surrounding an American marrying into the upper echelons of British society, but I think Kick was a far more complex character than the society darling presented between these pages. Though she pursued a very different goal, I think she was as ambitious and determined as her father before her. I think the story substituted Jack and Rosemary to bolster the narrative where Joe Jr. was the more appropriate historical counterpart and I feel very strongly that Kick’s story began the day Billy died. Maher disagrees and there is nothing wrong with that, but my tastes favor stories with more depth and heavier motifs. My commentary is personal opinion and its only relevance is in illustrating my point of view. The Kennedy Debutante is a well-researched novel that includes details that will appeal to both family enthusiasts and those discovering the story for the first time, it simply missed my inflated mark and while I stand by my feelings, I’d have no trouble recommending this title to other readers as light biographic fiction.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    On the verge of WWII, Joe Kennedy Sr was appointed ambassador and moved to London with his wife, Rose, and their 9 children, Joseph Jr (Joe), John (Jack), Rosemary, Kathleen (Kick), Eunice, Patricia (Pat), Robert (Bobby), Jean, and Edward (Ted). The Kennedy Debutante focused on 18 year old Kathleen, who preferred to be called "Kick." Although Kick enjoys the debutante scene, she is also independent and somewhat rebellious in nature. After falling in love with 20 year old Billy Hartington, the fu On the verge of WWII, Joe Kennedy Sr was appointed ambassador and moved to London with his wife, Rose, and their 9 children, Joseph Jr (Joe), John (Jack), Rosemary, Kathleen (Kick), Eunice, Patricia (Pat), Robert (Bobby), Jean, and Edward (Ted). The Kennedy Debutante focused on 18 year old Kathleen, who preferred to be called "Kick." Although Kick enjoys the debutante scene, she is also independent and somewhat rebellious in nature. After falling in love with 20 year old Billy Hartington, the future Duke of Devonshire, their relationship met many obstacles, including parental disapproval, WWII, and the biggest, their religious differences. She was Catholic while he was Protestant, and neither was willing to convert. If they were to marry, in which faith would they raise their children? Would Kick choose her faith and family, or her one true love? The first half about all of the parties attended and trips taken by Kick moved way too slowly for me, and I wish it would have been cut in half. About halfway through the book, my interest was finally piqued, but overall, the story just wasn't as interesting as I'd hoped. Since I was born after the Kennedy presidency, I have never been overly curious about their family, so that may explain at least part of my apathy. Of course, my heart ached for Kick at the end (I'm not made of ice!), but unfortunately, it just wasn't enough to raise my rating another full star. I did, however, enjoy this debut author's writing style and would try her next one. Lastly, if anyone knows of a great book about Kick's younger sister, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, who founded the Special Olympics, then please let me know because her life sounds much more intriguing! I received an advance copy of this book. All opinions are my own. Location: 1938-1944 London, England and NYC

  21. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

    3.5 Stars Kathleen "Kick" Kennedy is certainly not as widely known as several of her more famous siblings: brothers John, Bobby, and Teddy, or her sisters Jean, former American ambassador to Ireland for many years or Eunice, the founder of the Special Olympics (or brother Joe Jr. and sisters Rosemary and Pat), but I already knew Kick's story before picking up The Kennedy Debutante since I've read more than my share of fictional and biographical accounts of the Kennedy clan over the decades. My Ke 3.5 Stars Kathleen "Kick" Kennedy is certainly not as widely known as several of her more famous siblings: brothers John, Bobby, and Teddy, or her sisters Jean, former American ambassador to Ireland for many years or Eunice, the founder of the Special Olympics (or brother Joe Jr. and sisters Rosemary and Pat), but I already knew Kick's story before picking up The Kennedy Debutante since I've read more than my share of fictional and biographical accounts of the Kennedy clan over the decades. My Kennedy obsession just about equals my Tudor obsession since they are about as close of a family as we have to royalty here in America! Yet this was the first time I'd read about Kick's personal life told as a fictional account (based on biographies and personal letters from the JFK library read by the author), so I couldn't wait to read Kerri Maher's debut novel written about the years when Kick became known as the "debutante of 1938" in London society until 1944, years leading up to and during WWII. Kick not only takes London society by storm, but she genuinely becomes to feel that England is where she belongs and is more her home than America as she makes friends among the young nobles and the elite of English society. This, of course, is in part because Kick falls madly in love with Billy Hartington, the Marquess of Hartington, the future Duke of Devonshire. It would seem to be a perfect match between the two since Kick's wealth and standing as a member of the famous (or infamous?) Kennedy family more than matches Billy's title, yet there is one tremendous thing standing in the way of their future happiness and prevents them from moving their relationship forward. The Kennedy family is staunchly Catholic while the Harrington family is decidedly Protestant, and neither Kick nor Billy wants to convert to the other's religion for various reasons. Then WWII breaks out and the world changes for them and everyone they love. Kick is forced to return to America by her father and Billy goes off to war to fight for a country and culture he deeply loves. The time away pushes both of them to decide what they really want and what compromises they will willingly make to be together. Will Kick be able to marry a Protestant even though she knows it will be against her parent's wishes? The novel really showcases Kick's strong faith and her struggle for her beliefs, her love of family, and her love for Billy. While this novel is about Kick and allows an intimate look as she blossoms and matures over the course of a six-year span from a naive girl to a young woman very much in love, which makes for a lovely coming of age story, it also gives a rather insightful and engaging look at Kick's interaction with her family, especially with her somewhat demanding father Joe Sr., her strict mother Rose, and siblings Joe Jr., John, Rosemary and Eunice. Since I thoroughly enjoy reading about the Kennedy family, I loved the little day to day interactions interspersed throughout the book. It was sweet to read about Joe Jr. and John giving their little sister romance advice, but I actually cried when Joe Jr., who heartbreakingly died much too young during WWII, was so supportive and loving of Kick while she was grappling with the choice of her heart or her faith. The Kennedy Debutante is an interesting look at a little known but extremely fascinating Kennedy woman (the men seem to get all the attention). I enjoyed getting to know Kick better, learn of her time spent in London, both as a socialite and as a Red Cross worker during WWII, and read more about the captivating Kennedy family. However, the novel often felt like it was dragging on and on and on and on...you get the idea and although I knew the outcome between Kick and Billy before I picked up the book, there were times even I felt like there was never going to be a resolution to the religious issue between them! Instead of dragging out this particular plot, I do wish Maher had been able to include the remainder of Kick's extremely short life into the story since Kick tragically died in 1948, just 4 short years after this book ends, in a horrifying airplane crash. I enjoyed The Kennedy Debutante but didn't love it like I hoped that I would. I do believe I'll be in the minority with my opinion, so I think most historical fiction fans will enjoy this one but be forewarned of the slow pacing, especially in the book's middle. **Thank you Edelweiss and Berkley Books for the ARC in exchange for my fair and honest review.**

  22. 5 out of 5

    Taylor (shihtzus.and.book.reviews)

    FULL REVIEW: https://shihtzusandbookreviews.com/th... When we meet Kick (what a badass nickname) she is a fun-loving, witty and flirtatious girl of 18, who has just been “presented” to society. She goes to parties and shops, has many friends and catches the eye of many young English men as the fun American girl who loves to dance. The headline, “Celebrities: They’re Just Like Us!” comes to mind. Even though her “normal” is a bit different than everyone else, Kick likes to have fun with her girlfr FULL REVIEW: https://shihtzusandbookreviews.com/th... When we meet Kick (what a badass nickname) she is a fun-loving, witty and flirtatious girl of 18, who has just been “presented” to society. She goes to parties and shops, has many friends and catches the eye of many young English men as the fun American girl who loves to dance. The headline, “Celebrities: They’re Just Like Us!” comes to mind. Even though her “normal” is a bit different than everyone else, Kick likes to have fun with her girlfriends and crush on handsome young men. She has her own political opinions (that sometimes differ from her fathers) and wishes her voice to be heard. As Kick falls in love and moves back to America, she desperately searches for her place of independence while still holding strong to her Kennedy family beliefs and her devout Catholic upbringing. I absolutely loved her. She had an amazing will power and a kind heart. She loved her family and her religion and stood up for what she believed in. An absolute amazing woman!! The only negative some might say is that the book is around 375 pages and absolutely chocked full of information. It covers 6 years so there are many events to cover, and while I enjoyed watching the many transformations that take place, I could see how some might feel the story to move a bit slow. I didn’t mind one bit and always looked forward to reading.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Cassie-Traveling Sister-

    Right before world World War Two , Joe Kennedy Sr is appointed ambassador and moves his family to London. His family consists of his wife Rose and nine children. This book focuses on their eighteen year old daughter Kathleen but is nicknamed kick. Kick enjoys the debutante scene she also wants to be independent and she has a slight rebellious side. After meeting Billy Harrington at a party she’s instantly drawn to him and quickly falls in love. There are two challenging issues that come between Right before world World War Two , Joe Kennedy Sr is appointed ambassador and moves his family to London. His family consists of his wife Rose and nine children. This book focuses on their eighteen year old daughter Kathleen but is nicknamed kick. Kick enjoys the debutante scene she also wants to be independent and she has a slight rebellious side. After meeting Billy Harrington at a party she’s instantly drawn to him and quickly falls in love. There are two challenging issues that come between Kicks and Billy’s new love , one is Billy’s family are Protestant and Kicks is catholic and the other issue is that Billy’s family is British aristocracy. Between the constant parties and other activists the wealthy celebrate. World War Two is closing in along with Hitlers aggressive behavior threatening the world along with England. Kicks family is affected and Kick wants to help so she donates her time in the war efforts and Billy signs up for Royal Service. This book will have you traveling back in time along with Kick, your heart will break with Kicks. The author did a wonderful job taking you into the everyday life of the Kennedy’s and not covering up any flaws in any of the characters. This was a wonderful read I turned every page and felt like I was walking right next Kick as she dealt with so much in her life , not just within her family but her love for Billy and the world around them.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    Anyone with a hunger for anything Kennedy will enjoy this dip into the most interesting years of young Kick Kennedy's life as a debutante. I recently read The Summer I Met Jack and The Kennedy Debutante was the first and only book since that has helped me quench my thirst for more stories of that era. I loved the endless details about aristocrats, parties, political and general historical based fiction. I found the parties, fashion and people delightful. I liked this book because it took you und Anyone with a hunger for anything Kennedy will enjoy this dip into the most interesting years of young Kick Kennedy's life as a debutante. I recently read The Summer I Met Jack and The Kennedy Debutante was the first and only book since that has helped me quench my thirst for more stories of that era. I loved the endless details about aristocrats, parties, political and general historical based fiction. I found the parties, fashion and people delightful. I liked this book because it took you under its wing, acting as your host to all the best clubs, parties and crowds of the mid 1930s, assuming you knew most of the details so it could usher you right in to the nitty-gritty. Kick Kennedy's love affair with Billy Hartington was sweet, and so slow building that I was really routing for their love story before it even began. I knew the outcome of Kick's unfortunately short life, but I still enjoyed life as a debutante in her eyes. I especially loved her portrayal of her beloved brother, Jack. This book is a gem!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Davida Chazan

    (Thanks for the free book, @PRHGlobal / @prhinternational) The name Kennedy is known worldwide, and descendants of that famous family are in the public eye to this day. However, there’s one Kennedy who we know little about, mostly due to her early demise. She was named Kathleen, but everyone knew her as Kick. Kerri Maher’s debut book “The Kennedy Debutante” is a biographical historical fiction novel about this fascinating woman, and you can read my review of it on my blog now. https://tcl-bookre (Thanks for the free book, @PRHGlobal / @prhinternational) The name Kennedy is known worldwide, and descendants of that famous family are in the public eye to this day. However, there’s one Kennedy who we know little about, mostly due to her early demise. She was named Kathleen, but everyone knew her as Kick. Kerri Maher’s debut book “The Kennedy Debutante” is a biographical historical fiction novel about this fascinating woman, and you can read my review of it on my blog now. https://tcl-bookreviews.com/2018/10/2...

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jillian Doherty

    This beautiful historical fiction reads more like a biography! I never knew much about the Kennedy siblings, yet with this incredibly immersive novel Kick Kennedy, and all of her cohorts come vividly to life in a way I could never expected. From intimate religious contemplation, to years of filling reporting, to years of painfully unfulfilled love – Kick’s story is one of wartime, of the privileged gilded age, of family love, and city pride. Kick’s adventures showcased her hard work - as a reporte This beautiful historical fiction reads more like a biography! I never knew much about the Kennedy siblings, yet with this incredibly immersive novel Kick Kennedy, and all of her cohorts come vividly to life in a way I could never expected. From intimate religious contemplation, to years of filling reporting, to years of painfully unfulfilled love – Kick’s story is one of wartime, of the privileged gilded age, of family love, and city pride. Kick’s adventures showcased her hard work - as a reporter, in her wild and infamous parties, and in her relatable experiences of love and loss. These moments can touch any generation, and any social cast. And if you enjoy Googling every factual details like I do, then you’ll be as equally relieved for such and detailed epilogue in the authors note!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Tina Woodbury

    For all of my reviews: www.readingbetweenthepagesblog.wordpr... **3.5 Stars I’ve never heard of Kathleen (Kick) Kennedy before running into this book. I was instantly intrigued and knew without a doubt that I wanted to learn more about Kick. The story opens on Presentation Day. Kick has been preparing for this day ever since moving to London two months prior. She can hardly wait to be presented in front of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth. I loved Kick Kennedy’s strength and enthusiasm. She is adv For all of my reviews: www.readingbetweenthepagesblog.wordpr... **3.5 Stars I’ve never heard of Kathleen (Kick) Kennedy before running into this book. I was instantly intrigued and knew without a doubt that I wanted to learn more about Kick. The story opens on Presentation Day. Kick has been preparing for this day ever since moving to London two months prior. She can hardly wait to be presented in front of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth. I loved Kick Kennedy’s strength and enthusiasm. She is adventurous, outspoken, and determined to carve her own path. Her love of London, England shines through loud and clear in the book! It is clearly her home and where she is meant to be. Even during the short time period when she had to return to America, she remained steadfast that her home was London. I admired her drive and persistence to return to the city where her heart resides. Kick meets the love of her life, Billy, and everything between them seems perfect with one exception – religion. The majority of this book is about Kick and Billy, their love for each other and their struggles due to their incompatible religions. Neither wants to convert to the other religion nor do they want to cause pain for their families. A compromise must lie somewhere, they just need to find it. For the most part I enjoyed this book and loved learning more about Kick. I did feel it dragged on a bit at times and I would have liked the story to go even further. Kick died quite young and I was surprised the story ended before her untimely death. *Thank you NetGalley, Berkley Publishing Group, and Kerri Maher for the opportunity to read and review this book for my honest opinion.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Lindsay

    Thank you to Berkley for sending me a free copy of The Kennedy Debutante in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. The Kennedy Debutante is a perfect blend of history, faith, culture, love and life. Maher did a superb job writing Kick as the young, naïve girl she was. Kick is full of hope for the future mixed with the desire to please her family yet not lose sight of what is most important in her heart. I enjoyed getting to know more about the Kennedy family through a much un-tal Thank you to Berkley for sending me a free copy of The Kennedy Debutante in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. The Kennedy Debutante is a perfect blend of history, faith, culture, love and life. Maher did a superb job writing Kick as the young, naïve girl she was. Kick is full of hope for the future mixed with the desire to please her family yet not lose sight of what is most important in her heart. I enjoyed getting to know more about the Kennedy family through a much un-talked about member. A very well paced novel, The Kennedy Debutant takes the reader through the Kennedy family's time in Europe, before the war and during. I was constantly shaking my head at their strong need to keep up appearances. Even though I know it was a different time, I still had a hard time reading through the difficulties Kick faced all because she had to make her family look good. He hearts desires had to take a back seat to appearances. The only part of this book that I didn't love was the focus on Kick's relationship with Billy Harrington. I felt like a large chunk of the second half was going in circles about the adversity they were facing, being of different religions. However, the love/relationship part of any book is my least favorite part. It's just not for me. If you don't mind love stories or enjoy them then it shouldn't bother you at all. I went into this book a little in the dark about the Kennedy family. I knew they were a big political family but that was about it. Now I know so much more about not just Kick, but the rest of the family as well. Yay to learning from books! If you are interested in the Kennedy family or you just like historical fiction in general, this book should be on your TBR. I rate it 4/5 stars.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Linda Zagon

    Lindas Book Obsession Review of "The Kennedy Debutante" by @Kerri Maher  Berkley Publishing Group October, 2018 Kerri Maher, Author of "The Kennedy Debutante has vividly described the "Golden World" of the Kennedys in this enchanting, dramatic, romantic, endearing, captivating, intense and riveting novel. The Genres for this novel are Historical Fiction, Fiction, Women's Fiction, with a touch of Romance. The timeline for this novel starts in London in 1938, and is also in the United States, Spain Lindas Book Obsession Review of "The Kennedy Debutante" by @Kerri Maher  Berkley Publishing Group October, 2018 Kerri Maher, Author of "The Kennedy Debutante has vividly described the "Golden World" of the Kennedys in this enchanting, dramatic, romantic, endearing, captivating, intense and riveting novel. The Genres for this novel are Historical Fiction, Fiction, Women's Fiction, with a touch of Romance. The timeline for this novel starts in London in 1938, and is also in the United States, Spain and other European countries during the pre-war and war. The story goes to the past only when it pertains to the characters or events. Kerri Maher describes her colorful cast of characters as complicated and complex. Kathleen "KICK" Kennedy makes her debut in England the year that her father is the Ambassador to London. Kick is the absolute darling , extremely  sought after among the popular set. She also has the responsibilities of watching out for her older sister, Rosemary, who has some problems. Some of my favorite parts in this novel are the interaction among the Kennedy clan. It is fun watching the interaction with Joe and John, her brothers. Kick's mother is a stern and dominant force in her life. The Kennedys are Roman Catholic, and that causes conflict for Kick when she falls in love with  Billy Harrington, the future Duke of Devonshire, who comes from a Protestant family. Kick is regarded as the rebellious sister but she questions her loyalty to her family or the man she loves.I would highly recommend this entertaining and enjoyable Historical novel for those readers that enjoy reading about the Kennedys, and the start of World War Two. I received an ARC from NetGalley for my honest review.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Quirkybookworm

    Not much is known about this sibling of Kennedy Clan. Her name's Kathleen Kennedy who insisted on her name "Kick". This is a fictionalized account of her life. This novel starts in 1938 until 1944 in London and NYC due to the fact her father was an appointed Ambassador. I wanted to learn more about her despite of her short life since she wasn't as famous as her siblings like Jack and John. The story tells of loyalty, family, high society, love, and religion. However, the first part of the book j Not much is known about this sibling of Kennedy Clan. Her name's Kathleen Kennedy who insisted on her name "Kick". This is a fictionalized account of her life. This novel starts in 1938 until 1944 in London and NYC due to the fact her father was an appointed Ambassador. I wanted to learn more about her despite of her short life since she wasn't as famous as her siblings like Jack and John. The story tells of loyalty, family, high society, love, and religion. However, the first part of the book just dragged on with the detailss of the parties and trips. It's a meticulous detailed historical novel which I know many of you would enjoy. Don't get me wrong, I'm a major history nerd! I just felt Kerri Maher's writing lacked emotional depth is what I'm trying to get at. I couldn't connect well with the characters in the book as I had hoped at the begining. However, the second half improved to help me read further along. At the end, my heart ached for Kick.. This book was not for me but I'm sure it would for others. I'll give it a 3.5 stars. Since this is the writer's debut book, I'm going to give her next novel a try. I won this ARC from Penguin Random House through First to Read for exchange for my unbiased and honest review. Thank you!

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