When We Were the Kennedys: A Memoir from Mexico, Maine

When We Were the Kennedys: A Memoir from Mexico, Maine

Monica Wood / Oct 16, 2019

When We Were the Kennedys A Memoir from Mexico Maine Mexico Maine The Wood family is much like its close Catholic immigrant neighbors all dependent on the fathers wages from the Oxford Paper Company Until the sudden death of Dad when this fami

  • Title: When We Were the Kennedys: A Memoir from Mexico, Maine
  • Author: Monica Wood
  • ISBN: null
  • Page: 412
  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • 1963 Mexico, Maine The Wood family is much like its close, Catholic, immigrant neighbors, all dependent on the fathers wages from the Oxford Paper Company Until the sudden death of Dad, when this family of now only women Monica is one of four daughters is set adrift Incandescent, funny, and to the bone moving, When We Were the Kennedys is the story of how a family1963 Mexico, Maine The Wood family is much like its close, Catholic, immigrant neighbors, all dependent on the fathers wages from the Oxford Paper Company Until the sudden death of Dad, when this family of now only women Monica is one of four daughters is set adrift Incandescent, funny, and to the bone moving, When We Were the Kennedys is the story of how a family saves itself first by depending on Father Bob, youngest brother of Monica s mother, a Catholic priest who feels his new family responsibilities deeply And then, as the nation is shocked by the loss of its handsome Catholic president, Jackie Kennedy s televised grace restores the Woods who are now strong enough themselves to stage an unprecedented family roadtrip to Washington, DC, to save Father Bob from his own griefs.

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    • [PDF] Download í When We Were the Kennedys: A Memoir from Mexico, Maine | by ☆ Monica Wood
      412 Monica Wood
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      Posted by:Monica Wood
      Published :2019-07-02T07:44:03+00:00

    About "Monica Wood"

      • Monica Wood

        Monica Wood is the author of four works of fiction, most recently The One in a Million Boy, which won a 2017 Nautilus Award Gold and the 2017 fiction prize from the New England Society in the City of New York She also is the author of Any Bitter Thing which spent 21 weeks on the American Booksellers Association extended bestseller list and was named a Book Sense Top Ten pick Her other fiction includes Ernie s Ark and My Only Story, a finalist for the Kate Chopin Award Monica is also the author of When We Were the Kennedys, a memoir of her growing up in Mexico, Maine The book won the Maine Literary Award for Memoir in 2013, and the Sarton Women s Literary Awards for Memoir in 2012.


    551 Comments

    1. Confession— I never even heard of *MEXICO*, Maine until I started reading this book. which is a ‘small’ town with an Oxford Paper factory. I learned details about the paper mills and how they got started and details on paper making which I found fascinating.Monica’s family and the entire small town was dependent on the paper mill in some way. The town people knew each other well -- yet in many ways - they didn’t know each other at all. Besides personal family autobiographical and biog [...]


    2. I'd recommend this beautifully written memoir to anyone but if you grew up in the 60's and remember exactly where you were when you heard that President Kennedy was killed , I would tell you that you just absolutely have to read this book .Mine was not a Irish Catholic upbringing like Monica's but I was raised in an Italian Catholic family of five children and I was 13 not 10 like Monica was when President Kennedy was killed . I lived during those times of " yes sister " "no sister " in my navy [...]


    3. 4.5 StarsCan it be that it was all so simple thenOr has time rewritten every lineIf we had the chance to do it all again, tell me, would we, could we? The Way We Were – Songwriters: Alan Bergman / Marilyn Bergman / Marvin HamlischMexico, Maine—“Gateway to the Western Mountains”—is the town where Monica Wood grew up, and “When We Were the Kennedys” is her memoir of those years when they were a family living in Mexico, a town across the Androscoggin River from Rumford, Maine, which [...]


    4. A lovely and moving memoir of a talented author’s life growing up in the tiny town of Mexico in western Maine, population 2,000, during the early 60s. Working class people like her father moved there in the 20s to work in the paper plant across the river in a somewhat larger town of Oxford. The pay was good, and for the multicultural folks stably employed there a bond among them developed over the sense of living the American dream and the rich family life allowed to flourish there:Through our [...]


    5. I totally get this gorgeous little book. It reminds me of my own childhood; Catholic, growing up with only sisters, being educated by nuns. And this novel gave me back a saying from those days, “offer it up”: used when things test you beyond all reasonable limits. What a gift! Told in the guileless voice of young Monica, it's the wonderful recollection of a childhood marred by a loss but no less strong in a family of love, laughter and hope. And this is a loss about to be mirrored in the nat [...]


    6. THE TOP TEN REASONS TO READ MONICA WOOD’S MEMOIRWHEN WE WERE THE KENNEDYS#10 It’s the best book I’ve read in YEARS. My husband says the same thing. Agreement like that doesn’t happen very often.#9 Monica Wood’s initials are M. W. —which surely stand for Master Wordsmith.#8 The book opens with the sudden death of nine-year-old Monica Wood’s father, and that’s just the start of the trials and tragedies in this memoir. Yet OPTIMISM sings through its pages.#7 Monica Wood is a fiction [...]


    7. Each summer for at least the last decade, I've been lucky to have found a way to read a book that takes place, or was written, in Maine. From the beloved "Country of the Pointed Firs" to Justin Cronin's magnificent "The Summer Guest", through Paul Doiron's excellent mysteries, Elizabeth Gilbert's wonderful "Stern Men" ( written before she was THAT Elizabeth Gilbert), the stately, proud "Olive Kitteridge" by Elizabeth Strout, Colby College professor Jennifer Finney Boylan's funny, poignant memoir [...]


    8. WHEN I first started reading this book I did not realize how closely I would come to identify with this wonderful family. Irish Catholic, oh yes, salmon loaf on Fridays, we had salmon coquettes in cream sauce which I hate to this day. Much younger siblings, priests, the sisters, Catholic school and a family grieving a Father's early death. Yes, to all of those. How the family handled his death and how they changed in the face of it is the main thrust of the story told with honesty and a great de [...]


    9. I definitely liked this book and it is definitely worth reading.Its topic is the death of a loved one, seen particularly through the eyes of a young child. Monica, the author, speaks of her father's death when she was nine years old in 1963, the same year Kennedy was assassinated. How did that death impact her own life, her siblings', her mother's and her uncle’s? You follow first the days, then the seven months and finally the two years without Dad – the "Dad-less days". This is touching, b [...]


    10. Loved it. I grew up on a farm near three small towns in Maine in the same time period -- I was in the 7th grade when JFK was shot. We did not have a paper mill, but the riverside in one town had a tannery and all its associated odors, while in another town was the shoe factory, which had closed by the time I graduated from college. My uncle was a sewer at the shoe factory and he would sometimes be able to get us low cost seconds (what made them seconds was never clear) in time for school to star [...]


    11. Touching and heartfelt, one of the most poetic memoirs I've had privilege to read. After all, it is an intimate invitation to be welcomed into the life and memories of another. THREE *** Beautifully Poetic, Softly Somber, Culture/Atmosphere Memoir *** STARS


    12. There is no place more personal to me than Mexico, Maine. It's where I grew up and where Monica Wood, author of When We Were the Kennedys: A Memoir from Mexico, Maine, grew up too. Mexico, improbably, is also the focus of the book I am writing, the one I have been working on for seven years. Naturally, I was curious. So I heeded the advice I often give to other authors: one writer's success is every writer's success. Be generous, not jealous. I tore through her book in an afternoon.Although we a [...]


    13. Nostalgia for Nancy Drew books, First Friday service, rules for the stairs- so much here that this memoir brought back in full measure. Because it is written in the reality of a 9 year old or near the ending, for the cognition of 18- it also holds a frenetic quality. Which so translates into this condition of mid-century working class family and era. That's just how it was. Bad things happened and no one blamed anybody else for the happening. Solace and prayer shared. Humor and food. Go back to [...]


    14. Poignant memoir about the author’s Irish Catholic family, living in the small town of Mexico, Maine in the early 1960s. Albert Wood, the author’s father, worked as a foreman for the Oxford Paper Company, the major employer in town. One morning on his way to work he suffered a heart attack and died, leaving his wife with two grown children and three younger daughters. Monica was in the fourth grade.While her mother gives in to grief, Monica seeks ways to cope, from immersion in Nancy Drew boo [...]


    15. I will read anything Monica Wood writes. Her prose is nothing short of astounding. This is a memoir of the sudden death of her father in 1963 when Monica is in 4th grade. I liked this and the beat of her family with and without the man is well-told. That said, I wasn't completely riveted. I'm not sure I'm meant to be. It's a quiet kind of memoir. I thought the connection between the Kennedy assassination and her loss (especially as witnessed via her mother) is quite poignant. The mom felt a cert [...]


    16. Mexico, Maine is my hometown. I am three years younger than this author. Monica Wood was in my brother's class all through school. Reading this memoir was an amazing journey back to childhood for me. The names and places are still alive in my memory. But Monica Wood was able to create a masterpiece out of the childhood I walked through without seeing. Her descriptions of our town were exquisite her recollections of her family events profound. Readers who do not have the experiences of living in [...]


    17. This is the best book I've read in a long, long time.It's wonderful on many levels: the conversational, family-centric tone; the mix of pathos, humor and everyday living; the remembered details (and those that the author only thinks she remembers, as the afterword suggests); the moral underpinnings of life and work, 50 years ago, in a small town in Maine utterly dependent on the paper mill that caused its existence. The author even gives us a wonderful, what-happened-to-everyone epilogue. Becaus [...]


    18. Easily my favorite book of 2012, this exquisite memoir set in a Maine mill town starts out seeming like a deceptively small story — the sad tale of a tragic year (1963-64) in one family's life — but expands chapter by chapter into a profound meditation on time, identity, and faith.


    19. In April of 1963, as novelist Monica Wood was getting ready for another day in fourth grade, the terrible news that her father died suddenly on his way to work forever changes her family. Later in 1963 the Woods family will be joined in mourning s the entire nation is stunned by the assassination of President Kennedy. Forty-nine years later these events will become the heartfelt When We Were the Kennedys: A Memoir from Mexico Maine. Albert Wood, father of two adult children and the surprising th [...]


    20. First of all the cover of this book is very misleading, however the book is a great read.The book has NOTHING to do with the beach or the beaches of Maine.Anyone familiar with Maine knows that most of the State is not "Vacationland" what so ever, and that is the Maine that this book addresses.The book is set in the early 60s, in a Maine milltown, when men could support their entire large families on wages from working class jobs.The story is a true memoir of Monica Wood's experiences.Growing up [...]


    21. The author really is a beautiful writer. One can perfectly conjure an image of the town of Mexico, the time, the architecture, and especially the mill. I do wish the author had really described her characters a little sooner, though, and in some cases more completely. I can imagine it must be very difficult to accurately describe the people to whom one is so close. You can describe their tone of voice or they way they walk, the things that make them *them* to you; but the details that make a "ch [...]


    22. Like "A Tree Grows In Brooklyn," except the tree grew in Maine and was made into paper.Disclaimer: I grew up in Maine, my uncle and several of my very good friends work in paper mills, and I have recently discovered the beauty which is Monica Wood's writing. (I just finished One-In-A-Million Boy.) Odds were good I would enjoy this memoir. And I did.It was touching, poignant, and so well written. I felt very similar to A Tree Grows In Brooklyn, mostly because of the timeframe, excellent writing a [...]


    23. I love this memoir. I was maybe a little inclined to love it anyway, because I came to the book already liking Monica Wood's writing (and her sense of humor), and it didn't hurt that I live in Maine, and was brought up small-town Catholic. I like what another reviewer, who knew Wood in school - says "but Monica Wood was able to create a masterpiece out of the childhood I walked through without seeing." It reminded me of one thing Wood says about her father: "Dad talked about (Prince Edward Islan [...]


    24. A candid look at growing up in a time when truths were either sugar coated or ignored, and surviving them. The Catholic angle is not preachy, but an accurate reflection on how life was addressed. The author used a substantial amount of vocabulary that made me grateful for e-reader dictionary (even as a Cradle Catholic with 13+ years of Catholic education and several cousins & friends in the Priesthood, I never heard the term "rabat" for the vest-like article of clerical clothing). However, n [...]


    25. This is the story of Monica Woods. She grew up in a mill town in Mexico, Maine. Her father died the same year that John F. Kennedy died, so she felt like they "shared a burden" in her 10 year old mind. Her writing is so vivid you can palpably feel the loss she's endured. You can almost hear the mill breathing, and smell the mill air (which smells like nothing else, I know, I'm a Mainah). An amazing book. A book that speaks to loss, to work, to finding yourself and your place, even when the piece [...]


    26. I have to admit I didn't read the description well and initially thought this was about the Kennedy's. It's not. It's about a family in Maine. Still good- just not at all what I thought. They sure didn't seem much like the Kennedy's and the title is a stretch, but I appreciated the descriptions of a Catholic family in the 1960's.


    27. Oh, how I loved this book! Heartwarming and funny and tragic and vivid. I ate it up in a day. Wood gorgeously evokes the many characters and unfathomable events that changed her family's existence--as well as that of her Mexico, Maine community and the entire country--in 1963. This memoir is the bomb.


    28. A heart-warming memoir. I loved this book and at the last page I hugged it to me and didn't want to let it go. Beautiful writing and a memorable story!


    29. I found myself thinking throughout this book that it was a pleasant read. It wasn't exciting, action-packed, surprising or unique. It was simply an easy, mild read about a short time period in a child's life. I didn't relate to it in the sense that other readers obviously have, as an Irish-Catholic (I'm not), or as growing up in a tiny paper-mill town in Maine (I didn't). I did relate to the time period. The author and I were both at school in fifth grade that day when we heard the news of Kenne [...]


    30. I loved this book.(I hate those reviews where you have to read between the lines to decide whether the reviewer was a fan or not. I like to start with the important stuff)When We Were the Kennedys includes some backstory about the history of Monica Wood's parents, how they came to Mexico, Maine and also some glimpses into the future of each of Monica's siblings and other important members of their family and community. For the most part, though, this is a story of the first year after Monica's f [...]


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