Monday, April 1, 2024

Book Review - The Kennedy Debutante by Kerri Maher





The Kennedy Debutante by Kerri Maher is about Kathleen “Kick” Kennedy’s time in London. In 1938, Kick and her family moved to London when her father was named ambassador. She enjoys spending time in high society social circles and attending balls and parties with highly influential people. Kick loves being on her own and free from her family’s expectations of her.

Kick’s mother, Rose, is strict and overbearing. She expects Kick to follow all of her rules and to always be mindful of her image. Her older brothers, Jack and Joe, are always up to something and are still their father’s confidantes. Kick has always felt left out that her older brothers could do whatever they wanted and yet still be in their father’s good graces. Her older sister, Rosemary, displayed erratic behavior that many people in polite society frowned upon. As her behaviors are considered strange, Rosemary tends to be excluded from events by her family to avoid people passing judgment on her.  As Kick begins exploring all that London has to offer, she finally feels free to pursue things that matter to her, including a certain future Duke.

Kick and Billy Hartington, the future Duke of Devonshire run in the same social circles and spend a lot of time together. The pair find themselves drawn to each other and they fall for each other. However, their love is prohibited as Kick’s family is Catholic and Billy’s family is Protestant. As they navigate their budding relationship, war breaks out and the entire world is thrown into chaos. The Kennedys are forced to return to the States, causing Kick to try and find her way back into Billy’s arms. When she finds work that allows her to return to London, she must decide if she will choose Billy or her family.

I thought the book was an okay read. I started losing interest though towards the halfway point. It felt very boring to me because the book only talked about parties that Kick or someone else from her social circle was attending. I was struggling to find a plot during portions of the book. 

The novel included a lot of famous people and characters that weren’t fleshed out much. A few of them I had to look up to learn their backstory but after a while that became tedious. It would have been nice to have a glossary that gave a snippet or footnote of each person’s background, or some story building by the author.  The ending was a bit abrupt and the author did include more details about Kick’s life that happened a few years after the book concluded. I felt like that part of Kick’s life was more exciting than the parts we got to read about in the novel.


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