Sunday, August 14, 2011

Jackie O: On the Couch by Alma H. Bond

Famous people have faces that are known by the public. We're there for their public moments and hear about their private ones. The Kennedy family had many moments of public triumphs and public heartaches, and Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis was at the heart of many of these moments: the election and inauguration of John F. Kennedy, the pictures of Caroline and John Jr. playing around the Oval Office, the Valentine's Day tour of the White House, the assassination of JFK in Dallas, the swearing-in ceremony of Lyndon Johnson on the plane in Dallas, the funeral of JFK in Washington, the assassination of Robert Kennedy, marriage to Aristotle Onassis. The public watched Jackie through all of these moment, and since then many biographers and historians have examined her life in both a personal and historical context. But what did Jackie really think about everything? What did she think about John's affairs or Bobby's wife Ethel? What did she feel for her children? How did she keep going despite experiencing such terrible loss? Jackie O: On the Couch gives the narrative back to Jackie and puts her innermost thoughts and feelings on display.

Since my early teens, I have had a strong interest in learning about the Kennedy family. I've read a lot of books that detailed their lives, including a number of books that 'exposed' Jackie Kennedy. I was interested to see this book and how it handled her life. My favourite parts were the ones that dealt with the Bouviers, I think because this hasn't been as thoroughly detailed as her life with John, Robert, Ethel, etc. Everything unfolded pretty much as I assumed it would and I didn't always think that I was getting a lot of extra insight. I might have enjoyed the book a bit more if I didn't know so much about Jackie already, but then if I didn't, would I be as likely to pick it up? I'd be interested to see what it's like to read a book like this on another public figure, one that I don't 'know' so well.

I received an advance review copy from NetGalley courtesy of Bancroft Press.

Find it at Amazon.

Read it with:
Tales of Psychology by Alma H. Bond
The Secret Memoirs of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis by Ruth Francisco
The Last Will and Testament of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis
Jackie After Jack by Christopher P. Andersen
One Special Summer by Jacqueline and Lee Bouvier

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