by Ann Mah
Jacqueline Kennedy was one of the world’s most well-known and iconic women. Her life has been well documented for sure. However, in this title, Ms. Mah, recalls and imagines an earlier time in Jacqueline’s life, long before she was a Kennedy. Here, she is a young girl, a Vassar student, on a junior year abroad in Paris.
In the author’s imagination, Jacqueline had to fight to get to Paris. Her mother and stepfather needed to be persuaded to let her go. Jacqueline’s mother’s goal for her daughter was a good marriage. When she finally agreed, it was with caveats regarding some young men that her daughter should meet. J’s mother also makes special arrangements for J to live with an aristocratic family, not in a dorm.
The book opens as J is arriving in France and follows her experiences and growth. In an early chapter, J is brought up against the reality of the Bouviers and how the family was not so well established as she had been led to believe. This exemplifies the ways in which time away from home leads to new understandings and perspectives.
Readers follow Jackie in a post war France that is still recovering. They make their way around the city with J and, such is the author’s talent, they feel that they could be there. In addition, readers follow the stories of those with whom Jackie comes in contact, including the family with whom she lives, the aristocratic Paul and some purported Communists, to round things out.
Fans of historical fiction are pretty certain to enjoy this novel.
Many thanks to NetGalley and Mariner Books for this title. All opinions are my own.
Pub date: 27 September 2022
|PRICE||$27.99 (USD) Hardback|