Looking for a good summer read? Check out Jack and Jackie, Portrait of An American Marriage by New York Times best-selling author Christopher Andersen. One of the most iconic love stories of our time, the lives of John Fitzgerald Kennedy and Jacqueline Lee Bouvier are full of scandal and drama. I loved it and couldn't put it down. It reads like fiction but it's reality!
The book starts on the morning of their wedding, which by all media accounts looked like a happy and celebrated occasion. You will learn very quickly- nothing is what it seems. An introduction to each of their family background pulls you into their world of power, money, and the heavy importance of a proper marriage. Knowing the complex family dynamics ruling Jack and Jackie's lives from early childhood helps you to understand the challenges they faced in their marriage.
I learned so much about this President and First lady, a lot of it was very shocking! From President Kennedy's military like upbringing, debilitating health issues, and adulterous ways to Jackie's struggles in the spotlight, being an outsider in the Kennedy clan, and her issues with fertility and high risk pregnancies- it's all in there. Many close friends, family members, and former colleagues were interviewed and their intimate details are woven in, giving you a multi dimensional look at this admired couple. And there are 16 pages of pictures!
It's really amazing how much of their lives were hidden from the media and public! With the technology and connectivity we have today, would JFK be able to get to the Presidency and hide all these secrets? I think we've learned with recent political scandals surrounding John Edwards, Elliot Spitzer, Arnold Swarchenegger, Anthony Weiner...nothing can be hidden!
Want to know more about other Presidential Marriages? Christopher Andersen's other works: Bill and Hillary: The Marriage, George and Laura, Portrait of an American Marriage, Barack and Michelle: Portrait of an American Marriage.
The next Kennedy book on the shelf is "American Legacy: The Story of John and Caroline Kennedy" by C. David Heymann. Do you have a favorite Kennedy book? Please share!