Admiration of Jackie Kennedy transcends party lines. Women both past and present have cherished her as a beacon of style, poise, elegance, and class, but there is so much more to her behind the big sunglasses, pearls, and designer dresses. Check out these 5 books, both fiction and non-fiction, about the former journalist, First Lady, book editor, and style icon — Jackie Kennedy.
And They Called It Camelot: A Novel of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis by Stephanie Marie Thornton
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.
Mrs. Kennedy and Me: An Intimate Memoir by Clint Hill
In those four years, Hill was by Mrs. Kennedy’s side for some of the happiest moments as well as the darkest. He was there for the birth of John, Jr. on November 25, 1960, as well as for the birth and sudden death of Patrick Bouvier Kennedy on August 8, 1963. Three and a half months later, the unthinkable happened. Forty-seven years after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the one vivid image that never leaves Clint Hill’s mind is that of President Kennedy’s head lying on Mrs. Kennedy’s lap in the back seat of the limousine, his eyes fixed, blood splattered all over the back of the car, Mrs. Kennedy, and Hill as well. Sprawled on the trunk of the car as it sped away from Dealey Plaza, Hill clung to the sides of the car, his feet wedged in so his body was as high as possible. Clint Hill jumped on the car too late to save the president, but all he knew after that first shot was that if more shots were coming, the bullets had to hit him instead of the First Lady. Mrs. Kennedy’s strength, class, and dignity over those tragic four days in November 1963 held the country together. This is the story, told for the first time, of the man who perhaps held her together.
A story of love, passion, and tragedy as the lives of Jackie Kennedy and Maria Callas are intertwined—and they become the ultimate rivals, in love with the same man. The President’s Wife; a Glamorous Superstar; the rivalry that shook the world…Jackie Kennedy was beautiful, sophisticated, and contemplating leaving her ambitious young senator husband. Life in the public eye with an overly ambitious–and unfaithful—man who could hardly be coaxed to return from a vacation after the birth of a stillborn child was breaking her spirit. So when she’s offered a holiday on the luxurious yacht owned by billionaire Ari Onassis, she says yes…to a meeting that will ultimately change her life. Maria Callas is at the height of her operatic career and widely considered to be the finest soprano in the world. And then she’s introduced to Aristotle Onassis, the world’s richest man and her fellow Greek. Stuck in a childless, sexless marriage, and with pressures on all sides from opera house managers and a hostile press, she finds her life being turned upside down by this hyper-intelligent and impeccably charming man…Little by little, Maria’s and Jackie’s lives begin to overlap, and they come closer and closer until everything they know about the world changes on a dime.
The Fabulous Bouvier Sisters: The Tragic and Glamorous Lives of Jackie and Lee by Sam Kashner and Nancy Schoenberger
When sixty-four-year-old Jackie Kennedy Onassis died in her Fifth Avenue apartment, her younger sister Lee wept inconsolably. Then Jackie’s thirty-eight-page will was read. Lee discovered that substantial cash bequests were left to family members, friends, and employees—but nothing to her. “I have made no provision in this my Will for my sister, Lee B. Radziwill, for whom I have great affection, because I have already done so during my lifetime,” read Jackie’s final testament. Drawing on the authors’ candid interviews with Lee Radziwill, The Fabulous Bouvier Sisters explores their complicated relationship, placing them at the center of twentieth-century fashion, design, and style. In life, Jackie and Lee were alike in so many ways. Both women had a keen eye for beauty—in fashion, design, painting, music, dance, sculpture, poetry—and both were talented artists. They are both loved pre-revolutionary Russian culture, and the blinding sunlight, calm seas, and ancient olive groves of Greece. Both loved the siren call of the Atlantic, sharing sweet, early memories of swimming with the rakish father they adored, Jack Vernou Bouvier, at his East Hampton retreat. But Jackie was her father’s favorite, and Lee, her mother’s. One would grow to become the most iconic woman of her time, while the other lived in her shadow. As they grew up, the two sisters developed an extremely close relationship threaded with rivalry, jealousy, and competition. Yet it was probably the most important relationship of their lives. For the first time, Vanity Fair contributing editor Sam Kashner and acclaimed biographer Nancy Schoenberger tell the complete story of these larger-than-life sisters. Drawing on new information and extensive interviews with Lee, now eighty-four, this dual biography sheds light on the public and private lives of two extraordinary women who lived through immense tragedy in enormous glamour.
The Secret Memoirs of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis: A Novel by Ruth Francisco
Who was Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis? She was a wife, mother, artist, editor, and world traveler. A bright young woman who rose to unparalleled celebrity. One of the world’s most inspiring and influential women of her day, she has become arguably the most important female icon of all time. Yet she also was a woman of passion and deep emotions, who wanted to experience all that life had to give. How did she feel about it all? She never told. Jackie said quite famously, “I want to live my life, not record it.” Jackie remains elusive, her interior life hidden, her soul masked behind sunglasses and an enigmatic smile. For the first time, these fictional memoirs tell Jackie’s story in Jackie’s voice—with all her joy and wit, grief and bitterness, gentleness and fortitude. Ruth Francisco boldly plunges into the subtext of Jackie’s public life, psychology, and sexuality, beyond her dazzling mythic exterior, reimagining Jackie’s feelings and thoughts between the lines of recorded history. In this riveting epic tale, we follow Jackie’s journey from her privileged yet wrenching youth, through the exaltation and suffering of her marriage to John F. Kennedy, to the shattering despair of her losses, exile, and loneliness. As she learns to forgive her jealous rival, Maria Callas, and her abusive second husband, Aristotle Onassis, Jackie begins to find redemption, ultimately discovering peace through her children and her work. Powerful, poignant, and inspiring, The Secret Memoirs of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis is a sweeping novel, a mythic fable of the trials and tribulations of the female soul.
First Women: The Grace and Power of America’s Modern First Ladies by Kate Andersen Brower
One of the most underestimated—and challenging—positions in the world, the First Lady of the United States must be many things: an inspiring leader with a forward-thinking agenda of her own; a savvy politician, skilled at navigating the treacherous rapids of Washington; a wife and mother operating under constant scrutiny; and an able CEO responsible for the smooth operation of countless services and special events at the White House. Now, as she did in her smash #1 bestseller The Residence, former White House correspondent Kate Andersen Brower draws on a wide array of untapped, candid sources—from residence staff and social secretaries to friends and political advisers—to tell the stories of the ten remarkable women who have defined that role since 1960. Brower offers new insights into this privileged group of remarkable women, including Jacqueline Kennedy, Lady Bird Johnson, Patricia Nixon, Betty Ford, Rosalynn Carter, Nancy Reagan, Barbara Bush, Hillary Clinton, Laura Bush, and Michelle Obama. The stories she shares range from the heartwarming to the shocking and tragic, exploring everything from the first ladies’ political crusades to their rivalries with Washington figures; from their friendships with other first ladies to their public and private relationships with their husbands. She also offers insight as to what Melania Trump might hope to accomplish as First Lady.Candid and illuminating, this first group biography of the modern first ladies provides a revealing look at life upstairs and downstairs at the world’s most powerful address.
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