Cover Image: White House by the Sea

White House by the Sea

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Member Reviews

This is an okay book if you don’t know much about the Kennedy but so much has been written it’s hard to not be familiar with the content. I dread this book a little bit at a time because I didn’t find it compelling enough to finish in one sitting. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants a quick review of the families.
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Wonderful books of every genre have been written about the Kennedy’s. The ‘Royal family’ of America has been researched, reported, filmed and portrayed in many ways. Kate Storey gives an insider/behind the scenes look at their Hyannis compound.
From the 1920’s rental days to the purchase of Malcolm Cottage by Joseph P. and Rose Kennedy, the ‘White House by the Sea’ has been playground, think tank and a gathering place for family and friends.
As much a scrapbook of this ‘historical Cape Cod setting’, there are stories of the most magical and illuminating moments; weddings, outings and dinners as well as a place of private refuge and release during the most painful moments in time. The stepping stones, stumbling blocks and stairways climbed to reach the highest of heights are captivatingly shared.
Kate draws from conversations with friends, family, staff and neighbors that have lived their lives beside or amongst the people and homes that make up the sprawling Kennedy compound. 
This book is factual, fascinating and a rewarding experience for the reader. 
Well done.
Thanks to NetGalley, the author and Scribner Publishing for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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I really enjoyed reading about the Kennedys house in Hyannis Port.  It is  a really interesting read.  Highly recommend.
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I really was captivated by the way this story was told from this authors perspective. If you want a summer beach read but nonfiction and following the timeline of the Kennedy Family pick this one up. I loved the details that went into the story and telling how the Kennedy Compound at Hyannis Point came to be. The story follows in time from the first house at HyannisPoint to the houses that were later purchased by various Kennedy family members. There are obviously hard subject story lines in their family story. It talks a lot about life at the beach in summer and life during these hard times. It was a enlightening read for me. Many thanks to Scribner and NetGalley for the digital review copy of this novel. All opinions expressed in this review are my own.
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History that reads like fiction is always a good read in my opinion. Learning about the behind the scenes life of historic families is fascinating.  Recommend.
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I've read so many Kennedy family biographies over the years, I almost did not request this book. How much information about this family has not been published already? But I did request and was greatly surprised by the amount of new information included about the family and the many years spent at their Hyannis Port, Massachusetts home. The author, Kate Storey, wrote a well-researched and wonderfully detailed book. I highly recommend to anyone interested in the saga of the Kennedy family.

Thank you NetGalley and the publisher for the free preview in exchange for an honest review.
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I thoroughly enjoyed this book about The Kennedys and their Hyannis compound. This book is a good start for anyone who wants to learn more about The Kennedys. It mostly focuses on their connection with Cape Cod but covers some biographical events that occurred throughout their lifetime. I didn't find this nonfiction to be dry, as I do with some other nonfiction reads - it kept me engaged throughout the book. Thank you to NetGalley and Scribner for the ARC, all opinions are my own.
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The Kennedys were always there in the 1960s and '70s. . . in books, magazines, newspapers, on television. If it wasn't for his wacko vaccination and Covid beliefs, I would definitely consider voting for RFK Jr. in 2024. Why? Because I would have no doubt he knew what was expected of a public servant and would never forget he was one. Why? Because he is so familiar, due to all the publicity the Kennedys have gotten for decades and decades, that he seems like someone I know, even though I don't know him.

Finding a new angle for a new Kennedy family book could not have been an easy task, but author Kate Storey did so. She concentrates on the lives of the Kennedys when they lived and visited Hyannis Port. She concentrates on everyday family life for the second generation and onward. While Ms. Storey doesn't totally omit some of the scandalous behavior of the Kennedy men, starting with Joe Kennedy, she doesn't dwell on it, either. This is not a book providing shocking new stories, but one showing how rich people can live at the beach and have basically normal type beach lives.

Of course, it's not normal to have the press and the public hanging around a neighborhood, trying to get a glimpse of you. Plus, the average American family doesn't have so much money that future generations can easily buy houses and renovate them in such an expensive location. But day-to-day life on vacation or during holidays is not that much different for those in the same economic bracket . . . sailing, tennis, cookouts, singing. Tragedy does seem to have struck often in the Kennedy family, but then there have always been a whole bunch of Kennedys.

After finishing the book, I am left with memories of the weather and water in Hyannis Port. Of children growing up and being much freer than children today. Of the generation that reached adulthood during World War II, many of those in that generation never returning home again. Of fatherless children during the 1960s and 1970s, who were expected to do great things simply because of their family name. Of shootings in Dallas and Los Angeles, of plane crashes, of infidelity, of drug problems and deaths . . . of souls walking on the beach or sailing away on the sea . . . trying to forget all the bad things, while trying to appreciate all the good things.

(Note: I received a free e-ARC of this book from NetGalley and the publisher or author.)
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Don’t let it be forgot 
That once there was a spot 
For one brief, shining moment that 
was known as Camelot. 
--President Kennedy's favorite lyrics from the Broadway show

This book includes the history of the Kennedy's from Joe Kennedy Sr to the death of Edward Kennedy Sr (2009).  The book is full of history but reads more like historical fiction.   It was fun learning about the compound on Cape Cod.  I have seen it on TV but did not know much about it.  

Rose Kennedy was an amazing women.  She swam, golfed and walked almost every day.  She watched her family make all kinds of choices and still supported them.  Learning more about the amazing women of this family was one of the best benefits of this book.  

This is a wealthy family, but their wealth did not protect them from heartbreak and hardship.  After reading this book I see them more as individuals that made choices that had consequences.
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3.5 stars. The locale of Hyannis Port has been synonymous with the Kennedy’s for decades.  They don’t even have “homes” there but a “compound.”  This book explores the connection between the place and the family and how the Kennedy family affected the small town and it’s inhabitants over the years.  The book does lightly go over Kennedy history but always manages to bring it back to Hyannis Port and how it becomes a part of the Kennedy family lore.  This is well written and interesting but if you are looking for a substantial Kennedy book, this is probably not it.  The descriptions are good enough that I feel like I have a visual of this place that I have never set foot in. 
I received a digital Advanced Review Copy from the Publisher via NetGalley.
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The book covers the history of Kennedy family compound in Hyannis Port on Cape Cod. The story begins in the 1920s at the time when Joe Kennedy was known not as a film mogul or ambassador but as a newly rich son of an Irish Catholic barkeeper. He could buy a house there but he could not join the local club. Yet, Kennedy family made Hyannis Port house their retreat, a place to strategize, to recover, to celebrate and to have fun. Descriptions of the times spent by the family there, the sails, the parties, the games, make this book a wonderful addition to your beach bag. Reading it you can almost smell the salt in the air.  The most interesting feature of the book is learning about Kennedy family dynamics and their relations with the locals. The book also talks about trials and tribulations of their political ambitions, the tragedies and heartbreaks that befell the family, and shows the huge influence the Kennedy parents had on their kids’ lives. Jackie Kennedy transformation from the Camera Girl to the Campaign Wife is another interesting part of the story. Many books are written about the Kennedys, so, why read this one? Kate Storey wrote the book based on the hundreds of interviews with the family members and locals bringing many new details and a fresh perspective.  She was the first researcher to have access to the oral history of Kennedy compound that Teddy Kennedy worked on before his death. All that along  with her light breezy writing style makes this book worthwhile addition to the Kennedy family history.
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This book is a lovely letter to a bygone era. Nostalgic and reminiscent in a way that paints a picture.

Of course, it's not all soft. The hard edges are here, too. Because much as people try to gloss over it, Kennedys are people too.

One incident in particular jumped out - an altercation with photographer paparazzi John Paparo. Reading this book feels like watching a familiar movie unfold.

There's no surprise ending. We all know the ending. (And if you somehow weren't familiar, the prologue sets it up neatly.) 

"Today, there are hundreds of Kennedy cousins who haven't run for office that you've never heard of. But still, there's Hyannis Port. It's what's left of Camelot."

The author's care and detail is evident in every page, and the book is expertly crafted. Well done.
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This once over lightly review of the Kennedys and their compound at Hyannis Port is a good read for anyone who has not read much about the family. For those who have it does not contain anything new. It could be also subtitled “Dead Kennedys” as that appears to be the main recurring theme in the book as we detail the deaths of all of the Kennedys and some of their spouses and children. Overall, it’s an okay book for those who have not delved very deeply into the family history.

I received a free Kindle copy of this book courtesy of Net Galley and the publisher with the understanding that I would post a review on Net Galley, Goodreads, Amazon and my nonfiction book review blog. I also posted it to my Facebook page.
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Review: This is a full 100-year history of the Kennedy family. I enjoyed that it had many short snippets of so many people and events but it also could feel like a school history book.
Recommended For:  Fans of history, Hyannis Port, or the Kennedy family.
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If you’re like me and love a deep dive into the Kennedys and want to learn more about their days spent in Hyannis Port, this book is all that and more. A spectacular look at not only the Compound, as it came to be known, summers spent there enjoying day after day of sailing on the blue waters of Nantucket Sound, plenty of children and adults playing football on the field in front of the Big House, lobster dinners and cocktails on the wraparound porch, as well as some you might be less familiar with including where the family came for respite after one casualty after the next, where Rose sought solitude by attending daily Mass, where Kennedys gathered when RFK was shot and Teddy drew his last breath, where John Jr and Carolyn were headed to meet friends and family before their fatal plane crash, and stories about the town itself. 

Storey’s well-researched book, which includes interviews with family, friends, locals, and numerous authors, sheds light dating back to the 1920s of our country’s once most powerful political family and what drew them to Hyannis, or the Port, as they called it. It began when Joe Sr. rented and then bought a cottage where he raised his growing young family. Here they spent not just summers, but lingered into months following, hosting gatherings such as their annual Thanksgiving party, teas for Jack’s presidential campaign, his acceptance speech, weddings, funerals for their beloved children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren, many lost too soon. What grabbed me most was Rose’s tenaciousness, whose staunch ideals were powerful enough to welcome everyone from dignitaries to repairmen into their home, doing their best to blend in with the community. However, not everyone saw it this way, much to the chagrin of some neighbors and year-rounders who enjoyed the quiet, small-town life, didn’t like the ever-increasing number of tourists who encroached on their grounds. For the most part, the second generation of Kennedys loved the waterfront property they grew up knowing so well, thanks to their father Joe, who instilled tradition, each eventually buying their own home nearby so they could perpetuate the fun, competition, and importance of being together with family, unaware of the sadness that lurked ahead. 

As more tragedies beset the third generation and they became fodder for the news, there were times the Kennedys stayed away from the Port and houses sat empty, their shingles weathering from time, just as their occupants were doing, waiting to pass the baton to another generation. Yet the Kennedy mystique would always remain and to this day, it is synonymous with Hyannis. The history, charm, and intimate details of Cape Cod come shining through in this book. There is something for history buffs, JFK devotees, and more.

Thank you to NetGalley and Scribner for an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review. I absolutely loved reading this book!
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Over my lifetime, I had heard about the Kennedy's through the news. White House by the Sea, lets us go into the Hyannis Port compound, and see the family through the eyes of people who loved them, cared about them, saw the strength they had to find, and see the bond that was created.
The Kennedy's were a big part of history. Kate Storey shares their journeys, as a family, and reading this book, it brings in feelings, emotions, and I saw things differently than I did when all I knew was what was reported in the news.
I received an ARC from Scribner through NetGalley.
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Enjoyed reading this book about New England and all its character. Also another added bonus was the Kennedy family who I love reading about.
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White House by the Sea 
By Kate Storey 
Pub Date: June 27, 2023 
Thanks to the author, publisher and NetGalley for the ARC of this book in exchange for my opinion. 
Absolutely delightful , fascinating and illuminating history of an American dynasty that left its mark on politics and culture. 
5 stars
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From the first paragraph I was hooked and proceeded to spend a delightful, rainy Sunday with White House by the Sea by Kate Storey.  The author's choice of making the Kennedys' homes in Hyannis Port the central focus gave the book a grounding point from which all the intertwined stories of the family radiated.  Having read individual biographies of many members of the Kennedys, I found this approach gave the reader a chance to appreciate the sustained influence over generations of those with extraordinary longevity, and also better understand the wide reach of unimaginable pain felt as so many were lost in tragic circumstances.

The extensive research the author performed by interviewing friends, neighbors and staff paid off with an absolutely riveting book full of fascinating stories and antidotes about the entire Kennedy family and the idyllic location that became synonymous with their name.

Thank you to NetGalley and Scribner for allowing me to read this very special book and provide an honest review.
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Really enjoyed reading about Hyannis Port,I enjoyed learning about the beloved home of the Kennedy’s their lives the the traditions.As a fan of the Kennedy’s this was a wonderful visit with them.#netgalley #scribner
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