The Secret Memoirs of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis: A Novel

Ruth Francisco, Author . St. Martin's $24.95 (351p) ISBN 978-0-312-33799-5

Affairs of state form a vague backdrop to Francisco's sordid imaginings of Jackie O's masochistic relationships with the men in her life. As a child, she idolized her philandering father, "Black Jack" Bouvier, "a tidal wave of sexuality," as much as she disliked her mother, Janet, whose highest ambition for herself and her daughters was marriage to a wealthy man. Though named "Debutante of the Year 1947," Jackie yearned to become her own person, independent of any man—that is, until she met Sen. John Fitzgerald Kennedy. From the start, her love for him is tempered with misgiving, and a sexually bleak wedding night ("disappointment settles over me like a hunter's net") launches a marriage marked by "constant humiliation" and depression. Francisco dishes up lots of graphic sex—both marital and extramarital (on JFK's part). As his occasional lover and main "political asset," Jacqueline ricochets from one heartbreak to another: infidelity, miscarriage, two stillbirths and, finally, widowhood. Upon JFK's death, she fends off sexual overtures from Bobby before she marries Aristotle Onassis, an "ugly old toad" who makes her feel safe until he turns abusive. Concluding just before Jackie's death, the novel's fictionalized peek behind Camelot will satisfy only prurient interests. (Feb.)

Reviewed on: 11/14/2005
Release date: 02/01/2006
Genre: Fiction
Open Ebook - 368 pages - 978-1-4299-0442-1
Paperback - 351 pages - 978-0-312-36356-7
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