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WHEN WE WERE THE KENNEDYS is a brilliant, award-winning memoir about the death of a father and the healing of a family, by Monica Wood, the acclaimed author of THE ONE-IN-A-MILLION BOY. Perfect for those who loved Cathy Rentzenbrink’s THE LAST ACT OF LOVE or Helen Macdonald’s H IS FOR HAWK.

‘It’s a pleasure to linger with her elegant prose, keen eye and grace of thought’ Reader’s Digest

‘Intimate but expansive … A tender memoir of a very different time’ O, the Oprah Magazine

1963. The Wood family is much like their neighbours, all dependent on the fathers’ wages from the local mill. But when Dad suddenly dies on his way to work one April morning, Mum and the four deeply connected Wood daughters are set adrift.

And then, come November – the family still overwhelmed by grief, the country shocked by the assassination of President Kennedy – Mum announces an unprecedented family road trip. Inspired by the televised grace of Jackie Kennedy, herself a new widow with young children, Mum and her girls head to Washington, DC, to do some rescuing of their own.

WHEN WE WERE THE KENNEDYS is a funny, moving and imaginative memoir about how one family and one country, each shocked by the unimaginable, find the strength to move on.

What readers are saying about WHEN WE WERE THE KENNEDYS:

‘A beautifully written, thought-provoking book’

Filled with great love – of family, friends and the ability to bounce back even with many setbacks. Wood’s words are so beautiful they literally lift off the pages

Compelling, profound, beautiful


In her intimate but expansive memoir, Monica Wood explores not only her family's grief but also the national end of innocence. Braiding her own story of mourning together with the heartbreak all around her, Wood has written a tender memoir of a very different time
O Magazine
It's a pleasure to linger with her elegant prose, keen eye, and grace of thought
Reader’s Digest
Wood's gorgeously wrought new book...is a sharp, stunning portrait of a family's grief and healing, and it also offers a refreshing lens through which to view the JFK tragedy, as his family's loss helps the Woods feel less adrift in their own sea of anguish
The Washingtonian
A tender, plaintive...genuinely compelling depiction of family grief...a bittersweet, end-of-innocence family drama
Praise for THE ONE-IN-A-MILLION BOY: 'Beautifully written, cleverly constructed, at times hilariously funny and ultimately deeply affecting - this should be a smash'
Sunday Mirror
Clever, intricate plot, beautifully sketched characters and life-affirming message of self-discovery
A lovely, quirky novel about misfits across generations
Daily Mail
A beguiling, heart-wrenching and funny book... Absolutely gorgeous
Psychologies magazine
Curl up and enjoy this bewitching novel
Woman & Home
This inspirational tale of friendship, world records and following dreams is a stunner
A stunning portrait of a family and a town, both on the brink of losing everything they have known. It's about finding joy in sorrow, strength in failure, about the resilience of women and the beautiful, painful, messy journey of life and love. The ordinary and extraordinary Wood family will capture your heart; their working-class Catholic world, scented by the smoke of the paper mill, is the world I grew up in too, and I recognised the truth of it in every line. It's by far one of my favourite books and I recommend it to everyone I know. Wonderful, and full of everyday wonders
Julie Cohen