"[The Summer I Met Jack] offers an alternate Kennedy family history that will leave readers wondering whether America knew the real JFK at all." --Kirkus Reviews
New York Times bestselling author imagines the affair between John F. Kennedy and Alicia Corning Clark - and the child they may have had.
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.
The Summer I Met Jack by Michelle Gable is based on the fascinating real life of Alicia Corning Clark, a woman who J. Edgar Hoover insisted was paid by the Kennedys to keep quiet, not only about her romance with Jack Kennedy, but also a baby they may have had together.
Gable (The Book of Summer) brings Polish migr and artist Alicia Darr to vivid life in this sparkling novel, most famously her intense romance with then-congressman John F. "Jack" Kennedy in the early '50s. After time in a German Displaced Persons camp, Alicia takes a job as a housekeeper for the bustling, chaotic Kennedy family at their Hyannis Port, Mass., compound in 1950. Sparks fly instantly when she meets Jack. They plan to marry until Jack's father discovers that Alicia is Jewish. Brokenhearted, Alicia moves to Hollywood and soon befriends celebrities like Katherine Hepburn and Gary Cooper, eventually marrying actor Edmund Purdom and later the heir to the Singer Sewing Machine fortune, Alfred Corning Clark, only 13 days before his death. Gable also explores Alicia's time \nin Rome with eccentric artist Novella Palmisano, which leads to a few surprises in the third act. Brief interludes throughout detail the search for an heir to Alicia's fortune after her death in 2016. Gale elegantly captures the glitter, glamour, and gossip of 1950s Hollywood without resorting to melodrama, and, while JFK is a perennially fascinating figure, this is Alicia's story: a splendid portrait of a spirited survivor thriving in a man's world, even as memories of Jack, her only true love, linger. This bittersweet tale will enthrall readers. 100,000-copy announced first printing.