Defined in the public eye by her two high-profile marriages, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis faced a personal crossroads on the eve of 1975. Her relationship with Aristotle Onassis was crumbling while his health was rapidly declining. Her children were nearing adulthood, soon to leave her with an empty nest. Both death and scandal were about to strike yet again. But 1975 would also be a time of incredible growth and personal renaissance for Jackie, the year in which she reinvented herself and rediscovered talents and passions she had set aside for her roles as wife and mother.
In Jackie After O, acclaimed author and journalist Tina Cassidy explores this prolific yet incredibly daunting year in the life of Jacqueline Onassis, including her part in the campaign to preserve Grand Central Terminal in New York City; her pursuit of a real career, in the editorial department of Viking Press; the death of her second husband and her fraught relationship with his surviving daughter; and the London bombing that almost took her own daughter's life. Cassidy has unearthed new information from archives and original interviews, and reveals intimate stories about the projects and interests of Jackie's earlier years that would lay the foundation for her life beginning in 1975, from an internship at Vogue to her meticulous restoration of the White House when she was First Lady.
The Queen Bee got first dibs on this book and this is what she had to say...
I, like everyone else on that fateful day, remember where I was when President Kennedy got shot. I was home sick from school, my mom had gone to tea next door with our neighbor Arlene. I was sitting there watching TV, when the news bulletin came on. I went running next door to tell my mom. Camelot was no more.
I was very interested to see if this author could add anything new to what we already knew about Jackie O. As I understood the book to be about one year in the life, I was pretty confused when the first half of the book was jumping back and forth. I could not figure out what year the author, Cassidy, was writing about. When she finally started telling us about Ari Onassis, I figured it out, 1975. The year Jackie took on the City of NY over the proposed demolition of Grand Central Station. The year Jackie became a book editor for Viking. The year Aristotle Onassis died, and left her a widow once again.
I am not sure that this book gave me awhile lot more insight then I already had by reading newspaper & magazine articles. There were plenty of news stories on TV, telling us all about the fight over Onassis' millions.
Unfortunately for Cassidy, Jackie O's life played out in the press. I kept reading, wanting to read something that was new and unpublished. I didn't get what I wanted. What I did get was a reminder of how Jackie could twist people around her finger, and got what she wanted. How powerful she was in that regard ! She did have some fine victories in the fight to save historical buildings. She had great success at Viking and then again at Double Day. She did finally come into her own. But I am sad to say, that the mystery that was Jackie Kennedy Onassis, went to the grave with her.
I recommend this book if you would like to refresh your memory about the sometimes glamorous, but mostly tragic life of Jackie O.
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