Many thanks to Random House Publishing Group – Bantam Dell, via NetGalley, for an opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review!
I really enjoyed this book. I didn’t live through the Cuban Missile Crisis — obviously — but it’s also not a period of history that is really talked much about. That’s one of the reasons I really enjoyed A Place We Knew Well — because the family crises in this book combined with the actual Missile Crisis was very realistic and very sad, in some ways.
I feel that McCarthy brought the era back to life, in some ways, yet made the characters relatable to people who were born long after that era. For example — Wes Avery, the father, is a WWII vet. But the issues he faces as a vet and the issues that vets face now aren’t terribly different. And Charlotte (aka Kitty), his daughter, is 16 years old and is dealing with all of the “typical” 16-year-old stuff (prom, homecoming, etc.), that 16- and 17-year-olds still deal with today. The only person I didn’t really relate to in the family was Wes’ wife, Sarah, but although I couldn’t really relate, her situation was also something that occurs now.
I definitely want to read more books by McCarthy, and I’d recommend this book to anyone who either has an avid interest in the period of time in which the Missile Crisis occurred, or who wants to learn more about it