June 7, 2018

The Summer I Met Jack. Michelle Gable

Published: St Martin's Press
Date:  May 29th 2018
Format: e-ARC
Pages:  448
Genre: Historical Fiction
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
3.5 stars                       Add to Goodreads
Based on a real story - in 1950, a young, beautiful Polish refugee arrives in Hyannisport, Massachusetts to work as a maid for one of the wealthiest families in America. Alicia is at once dazzled by the large and charismatic family, in particular the oldest son, a rising politician named Jack.

Alicia and Jack are soon engaged, but his domineering father forbids the marriage. And so, Alicia trades Hyannisport for Hollywood, and eventually Rome. She dates famous actors and athletes and royalty, including Gary Cooper, Kirk Douglas, and Katharine Hepburn, all the while staying close with Jack. A decade after they meet, on the eve of Jack’s inauguration as the thirty-fifth President of the United States, the two must confront what they mean to each other.

My thoughts banner
The Summer I Met Jack  by Michelle Gable is historical fiction but based on actual real life people. So that is a little challenging and difficult to do, perhaps.  I think of the TV series The Crown - which I love.  I know its not what these characters actually said or even did, but it resembles them all enough and the events of those times to keep me watching fascinated.   Was I as fascinated by The Summer I Met Jack?  To be honest - not really.

This is the story of a polish refugee after the war who comes to America, and meets Jack Kennedy before he is married or becomes the President. Alicia carries secrets and guilt and is determined though to make a good life for herself in the new country. When she meets Jack at the picture theatre where she works, an immediate liaison begins.  It is eventually of course frowned on by his father and things proceed downhill for both the romance and Alicia from there.

Downhill?  Well she strikes me as someone wanting to go somewhere, be someone and always searching, for happiness perhaps.  Did I like her? Not really as she is presented here, although there were times I felt sympathy for her.

Michelle Gable has researched the Kennedy clan painstakingly from the list of books given at the end of the book. She presents them in quite a harsh light. I felt that harsh light was somewhat one sided and it turned me off a little. 

For me the little excerpts that included a mystery lawyer and a young woman Serena, who was refreshing and beautiful, were the best. A fictional character who for me was the the saving grace, in the whole story.

Now it could just be this book wasn't for me! However Kristin over at Always With a Book, gives another viewpoint quite different to mine so go on over and read her review of The Summer I Met Jack.


  1. Wow that actually sounds really interesting. Sorry it wasn't what you wanted.

  2. Sorry this book didn't work out for you...but thanks for mentioning my review!

  3. I am curious about this book, but I’m also not sure I would buy into the Jack Kennedy connection. Thanks for sharing

  4. I can see why this didn't work for you and I'm thinking it might not be my cup of tea either. I like historical fiction but maybe not quite this recent. There's an earlier book by Michelle Gable that's on my TBR. I may start with that one.

  5. Oh I hadn't seen this one and I'm a M. Gable fan. Thanks Kathryn

  6. Too bad that you couldn't get that connection going, but I don't know that a character that just waits for life to happen for happiness would grab me, either.


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