An intimate portrait of the life of Jackie O…
Few of us can claim to be the authors of our fate. Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy knows no other choice. With the eyes of the world watching, Jackie uses her effortless charm and keen intelligence to carve a place for herself among the men of history and weave a fairy tale for the American people, embodying a senator’s wife, a devoted mother, a First Lady—a queen in her own right.
But all reigns must come to an end. Once JFK travels to Dallas and the clock ticks down those thousand days of magic in Camelot, Jackie is forced to pick up the ruined fragments of her life and forge herself into a new identity that is all her own, that of an American legend.
Thornton follows up American Princess, a novel of Alice Roosevelt, with this engaging and meticulously researched take on Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy. Thornton opens moments before President Kennedy's assassination, exploring the complexity of the first couple's relationship, along with Jackie's own pretensions ("This simple pink pillbox hat put to shame those jowly Texas matrons with their overwrought concoctions of flowers and feathers"). Thornton then jumps back to 1952 and Jacqueline's doomed relationship with stockbroker John Husted and her job as a photo girl for the Washington Times-Herald, which leads to her meeting then Congressman John F. Kennedy, whom she quickly falls for despite knowing he's a womanizer. The novel expertly conveys the many painful episodes in Jackie's life Kennedy's infidelity, the loss of two children, the violent death of her first husband, and the casual cruelty of her second with grace and empathy. Students of history will appreciate Thornton's exacting research and convincing portrayal of the first lady and style icon, and Kennedy aficionados will feel as if they have an unparalleled access to Camelot. Thornton's magnificent portrayal of Onassis will delight fans of Kennedy-related fiction.
I enjoyed this very much, informative with laughter and tears. Very worth the read.