Jackie: Public, Private, Secret

Macmillan Audio. Jul. 2023. 16:56 hrs. ISBN 9781250899064. $32.99. BIOG
Journalist and celebrity biographer Taraborrelli (Jackie, Janet & Lee; The Hiltons) offers a revealing yet nuanced portrait of Jacqueline Lee Bouvier Kennedy Onassis. Drawing upon interviews with friends, family, and staff, Taraborrelli provides new insights into her relationships with her children, mother, lovers, friends, and husbands (John F. Kennedy and Aristotle Onassis). With measured pacing and a note of compassion, narrator Jane Oppenheimer details the subject’s relationship with her intrusive and domineering mother, Janet Lee Bouvier Auchincloss, who greatly influenced her daughter’s life choices, including convincing her to marry Kennedy. After his assassination, she strongly advised her against marrying John Carl Warnecke because he did not meet the mother’s financial expectations. Taraborelli describes the trauma wrought by that horrific day in Dallas, an incident that led to lifelong bouts of post-traumatic stress. Oppenheimer sensitively voices several poignant chapters in Jackie’s life, including a heartbreaking description of infant Patrick’s death and the supportive condolence letters she received from dignitaries worldwide.
VERDICT Enhanced by Oppenheimer’s elegant narration, this absorbing account of an iconic woman’s tragic and lavish life is not to be missed.
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