FICTION

And They Called It Camelot: A Novel of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis

Berkley. Mar. 2020. 480p. ISBN 9780451490926. pap. $17. F
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Thornton’s second novel (after American Princess) is an intimate portrait of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis through the best and worst of her legendary life. A writer for the Times Herald at age 23, she marries war hero–turned–Congressman Jack Kennedy, devoting herself to him through surgery and serious illness, years of infidelity, and the soul-crushing loss of three of their five children in utero and at birth. A fashion icon and a favorite of Jack’s father Joe and brother Bobby, Jackie mesmerizes the nation with her strength and poise. As first lady to the 35th President, Jackie restores the White House to historical beauty. While in Dallas, Jack is assassinated, leaving her a 34-year-old widow with two small children. She then grieves with Bobby, loving him more than a brother-in-law, until the New York senator is shot and killed. Fearing for her children’s safety and attempting to escape the “Kennedy curse,” she marries Aristotle Onassis, an older Greek playboy millionaire. After his passing, she finally finds contentment in a job as a book editor for Viking, while also opening a presidential library dedicated to Jack.
VERDICT Readers will enjoy this heartbreaking story of a wife’s fierce pride and loyalty to her president and country, despite years of marital loneliness and loss.

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