When we were the Kennedys : a memoir from Mexico, Maine by Monica Wood

  Regina  Review by: Regina

Title: When we were the Kennedys : a memoir from Mexico, Maine

Author:  Monica Wood

Collection:  Adult Biography

I can’t describe what a wonderful feeling this book gave me – whether it’s because I too live in a small town that is kept afloat by a nearby paper-mill (NewPage to boot) or the sweet childhood camaraderie of the Wood sisters or that many of my childhood friends were Catholic and we grew up in the 60s… A sweet, exceptional memoir written by Monica Wood, “When We Were the Kennedys” is definitely a worthy read.

From the prologue, you will find the pivoting event that all chapters refer to: Monica’s beloved father, only 57, who worked as a foreman at the huge paper-mill and biggest employer in town, the Oxford Paper Company, dies from a massive heart attack as he prepares to enter his car and go to his morning shift at the mill. At home still is Monica, nine, with two young sisters, an older sister who teaches in nearby school, and Mom, who had the three younger girls late in life, and is so distraught over her husband’s sudden death that she takes to her bed. Fortunately, Monica has an uncle, Father Bob, who suffers his brother-in-laws death severely as well, but steps in until he too succumbs to despair. At the same time, on the national scene, the handsome, young Catholic leader, President Kennedy, is shot and killed and the Wood family is rallied by his brave widow Jackie O. and small children who are living through similar shock and pain. The book ends on a sweet note with an update of Monica’s family and friends.


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