Who has better captured the imagination and respect of the America people better than Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis? There are two new novels that tell her story in unexpected ways. Jackie & Me by Louis Bayard offers a charming, warm view into the early years of her courtship with and marriage to John F. Kennedy. The story is told through the friendship of Jackie and Lem Billings, one of the best friends of President Kennedy. Billings and Jackie become close friends as well. Bayard portrays the former First Lady’s shyness as President Kennedy’s political career was rising and her loneliness and sadness through her miscarriage and subsequent stillborn birth of a daughter through Billings’ sympathetic, adoring point of view. The story telling in this novel is pleasantly written and flows well. It is a sweet, charming, and wonderfully written story. This book is in the library to check out now.
The world admired Jackie for her fashion and style sense, then a book about the design and construction of her wedding dress will surely delight. By Her Own Design by Piper Huguley is the story of Ann Love, a “designer to the social register,” including Jacquelyn Bouvier Kennedy. This is the story of intrepidness, ingenuity and one woman’s struggle to rise above her childhood in Jim Crow Alabama and make a name for herself in the fashion industry. The title is especially fitting; “By Her Own Design” refers not only to the dresses Ms. Love designed, but also to how she made her way in the fashion business. The story is triumphant, as Ann Love did become one of the most famous dress designers of the first half of the 20th Century. Circling back to Jackie, this book also tells a fascinating story of her wedding dress with a surprise. There is a back story to that iconic dress that most people don’t know. We have this title on order, but it will be in the library soon. Place your hold on it now!
We have a few other novels that center around Jackie Kennedy’s life: Jackie by Josie by Caroline Preston; The Editor by Steven Rowley; and The Pink Suit by Nicole Mary Kelby. The Pink Suit is about, of course, the suit that First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy was wearing when her husband was assassinated. The suit was President Kennedy’s favorite, and he had asked his wife to wear it that fateful day. The dress became a symbol of the horror of the untimely death of a sitting President, but it also impacted Kate, the young Irish immigrant who had made the dress. She worked at the very exclusive New York City boutique Chez Ninon and was forever changed by the events of November 1963. This story resonates with hope and sadness, especially in the realm of a broken American Dream.
Jackie by Josie and The Editor are charming, heart-warming stories that center around the last part of Jackie Kennedy Onassis’ life, when she became an editor for a major publishing house. Jackie by Josie is fresh and adventurous. This is the story of a young writer who is called upon to finish researching and editing the last projects that Mrs. Onassis was working on when she died. It covers all types or relationships: children, marriage, and friendships. The young writer sees that there are some distinct similarities between her life and that of Mrs. Onassis. Steven Rowley, the author of Lily and the Octopus, delivers the same amount of charm in The Editor. A writer trying to make his name, sells his autobiographical novel to none other than Mrs. Onassis. He is reluctant to publish the book as he doesn’t want to expose hurtful family secrets. He and Mrs. Onassis develop a deep friendship while she tries to coax him into finishing and publishing the manuscript.
As these are all fiction, if you want more factual knowledge about Jackie Kennedy Onassis, we have several biographies for you to check out. Just ask one of our staff to help you choose.