• The Bossy Bookworm

Review of When We Were the Kennedys: A Memoir from Mexico, Maine by Monica Wood

A book I loved, in case you missed it: Wood's memoir is captivating and lovely, poignant, sweet without being overly sentimental, and just all-around wonderful.

In 1963 the Woods were a typical Catholic immigrant family in Mexico, Maine. Dad worked for the local paper mill alongside countless other immigrants, and the family had a steady life. But when Monica's father died suddenly, Monica and her three sisters began to drift. Father Bob, their mother's brother, tried to be the ballast the family needed. Then Monica's mother became inspired after the tragic death of John F. Kennedy, and she insisted on a family road trip to Washington, D.C. The trip was an initial, unexpected step toward the healing Monica and her family desperately needed.


When We Were the Kennedys is about grieving deeply, leaning on family and community in a crisis and in common suffering, and figuring out the impossible: how to move on after devastating tragedy.


Wood gorgeously evokes the many characters and unfathomable events that changed her family's existence--as well as that of her community and the entire country--in 1963.


Oh, how I loved this book! Wood's memoir is heartwarming and funny and tragic and vivid. This memoir is fantastic. I ate it up in a single day.

ICYMI: A Book I Loved

I had to post about this book in case you missed it when it was first published.


I'm also going to admit here that in the notes I made with my five-star rating just after reading this in 2012, I said "This memoir is the bomb."