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“A riveting reimagining of a true tale of forbidden love.”—People
The 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 rarefied circles, rubbing satin-covered elbows with some of the twentieth 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. And 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 finds 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....
About the Author
Kerri Maher is also the author of This Is Not a Writing Manual: Notes for the Young Writer in the Real World under the name Kerri Majors. She holds an MFA from Columbia University and founded YARN, an award-winning literary journal of short-form YA writing. A writing professor for many years, she now writes full-time and lives with her daughter in Massachusetts, where apple picking and long walks in the woods are especially fine.
Praise for The Kennedy Debutante
“Maher’s debut stars a debutante to root for in this moving coming-of-age tale.”—Kate Quinn, New York Times bestselling author of The Alice Network and The Huntress
“Maher beautifully mixes the red-blooded American iconography of the Kennedys with the delicious and Downton Abbey-esque grandeur of Britain's upper crusts…[Kick] proves a poignant and captivating subject, and her story will make your heart lurch in the best possible ways.”—Allison Pataki, New York Times bestselling author of The Accidental Empress
“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!”—Chanel Cleeton, Author of Next Year in Havana, a Reese Witherspoon Book Club Pick
“Kerri Maher has crafted a compelling, insightful look into the complexities of the Kennedy era and one of its most fascinating daughters. Expertly researched, this is a remarkable debut.”—Susan Meissner, Bestselling author of As Bright as Heaven
“You will be swept up, first and foremost, by its vivid, captivating heroine. Kick Kennedy was naive and privileged, to be sure, but in Maher's masterful portrait, she is also a bold young woman living at a precarious moment in history, eager to make her mark on the world as fearlessly as she will follow her heart.”—Julia Glass, Author of A House Among the Trees and the National Book Award–winning Three Junes
“An outstanding deep dive into a fascinating person and time. For fans of The Crown, the riveting story of a headstrong American girl captivated by a dashing British aristocrat. I’m blown away.”—Fiona Davis, Author of The Masterpiece
“Bursting with vivid details of America and London during wartime, this is an enthralling tale of a bold woman eager to make her mark on the world.”—Woman’s World
“A well-paced and engaging novel [that will] appeal to fans of TV’s Downton Abbey.”—USA Today
“At once bittersweet and triumphant, The Kennedy Debutante melds history and fiction to stunning effect.”—Sarah-Jane Stratford, International bestselling author of Radio Girls
"Maher’s assured debut, set against the backdrop of World War II, explores the life of JFK’s younger sister Kathleen “Kick” Kennedy...This immersive, rich portrait of a complex young woman from one of the world’s most famous families will hold readers in thrall."—Publishers Weekly
“An engrossing tale of the importance of family, faith, and love in the life of one remarkable woman.”—Booklist