True Compass is a long audiobook (17 CDs), but I found myself deeply interested and engrossed as if it were a non-fiction novel. John Bedford Lloyd read the novel. While he lacks Kennedy’s distinctive Boston accent, his voice for me became Ted Kennedy’s. He did an excellent job.
My husband is not a fan of the Kennedys, but while I was listening to this novel, he would often stop and listen to the sections too as he found them interesting. I must admit thought, that some of the interest was because Kennedy’s life is so very different from our own. Descriptions of sailing yachts, taking first communion from the Pope, etc. shows as Fitzgerald once said, “Let me tell you about the very rich. They are different from you and me.”
That aside, I found the description of the historical events of Kennedy’s life, especially the turbulent 1960’s, to be riveting. This novel is the modern history of the United States, as seen through one very prominent man’s eyes. In interest of full disclosure, I was a tad bit bored of the 1970’s and 1980’s political discussion.
My favorite parts of the book were when Kennedy not only described a historical event or piece of legislation, but talked about his feelings on it personally. The highlights of the book were these personal touches and moments of great prose and deep thought.
I admire that although Kennedy did live a life of privilege; he was deeply thoughtful and concerned about the common man and took this concern to the Senate. I also greatly admire how he took care of the fatherless nieces and nephews and really made family a priority.
He does talk about Chappaquiddick in this novel, but only briefly. He has brutally honest thoughts about it and one great line that was something along the line of “Atonement is an act that never ends.”
Kennedy a very spiritual man and as a Catholic myself, I enjoyed his thoughts on faith. I also liked the love story between his second wife Victoria and himself. She sounds like a great woman, and the perfect one for him. I also liked how he talked about his first wife Joan, but never in a negative light.
Overall, this book is a fascinating look at Ted Kennedy’s life and the modern history of the United States. I thoroughly enjoyed it and highly recommend it.
Audiobook Source: Review Copy from Hachette Book Group. Thank-you!
Now for the details you are really looking for . . .Anna of the Hachette Book Group has been kind enough to offer three audiobook copies of True Compass for this giveaway.
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The deadline for entry is midnight, Monday January 4th. Good luck!