Grab your sunscreen and sunglasses and escape to a glamorous yacht off the coast of Greece with the new historical fiction novel, Jackie and Maria: A Novel of Jacqueline Kennedy & Maria Callas.  When I first read the synopsis, I knew it was an absolute must read for me. I’m a huge historical and women’s fiction fan and I am here to share that this book delivered in every which way. Jackie & Maria should absolutely be in your beach bag for the final days of summer.

This novel follows both First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy and famous opera singer Maria Callas through much of their adult life and the two women collide in a big way — they end up loving the same man, Aristotle Onassis. It immediately drew me in from the first chapter and I wasn’t able to put it down. Before reading this book, I knew nothing about Maria Callas and very little about Jackie Kennedy after the JFK years and the author did a good job filling those gaps while still keeping the story fresh for those more familiar with these women. We read both of their points of views through major life and historic moments like the Cuban Missile Crisis, Jackie’s fertility problems, JFK and RFK assassinations and more.

While this book features a love triangle, I found that it didn’t lean into the usual tropes and I found that refreshing. I couldn’t help but root for both of these beautiful, powerful, and flawed women to leave the philandering Onassis and yelled at them like an old friend when they continued to be cast by his spell. And while the two women were often at odds with each other and fighting for Onassis’ love, they shared many of the same tragedies in life like losing children, substance abuse, cheating men, and life in the public eye complete with gossip, tabloids and paparazzi. These two women had a lot more in common than they ever realized.

RELATED: 6 Books You’ll Love If You Adore Jackie Kennedy

I fell in love with Gill Paul’s writing and she truly made the story a juicy and glamorous page turner. It is a great summer read for historical fiction enthusiasts and admirers of Jackie Kennedy.

Pick up your copy of Jackie and Maria: A Novel of Jacqueline Kennedy & Maria Callas here.

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Amanda O