Saturday, March 13, 2010

One can't help but wonder...what if?

I finished two books this week. I read Jackie, Ethel, Joan: The Women of Camelot, and I listened to Forever Young: My Friendship with John F. Kennedy Jr.. Both books were excellent, and thought provoking.

For example, after all I've read about Jacqueline Kennedy Onasis, I knew very little about Ethel Skakel Kennedy and even less about Joan Bennett Kennedy. This is book was a great read, and an interesting look at three women who might never have touched each others lives had they not married brothers.

Forever Young is written by a close friend of JFK Jr. Its really a collection of memories, and like every book written about both JFK and his son, the reader wishes for a a different ending.

Reading about JFK Jr. got me thinking about what would be had he not died. The author of Forever Young indicates that he planned to run for the U.S. Senate seat that was ultimately won by Hillary Clinton. He also said the John and Carolyn were hoping to start a family. Oh, how fascinating it would have been to see the story of John and Carolyn unfold! To have watched their family grow and John define himself as a man apart from the Kennedy mystique. Reading about them is torture really. Just as I feel like I can't get enough of Jackie, Jack, John Jr. and Carloyn, the tragic end always make me so sad. On their wedding day, September 21, 1996. Carolyn wore a dress made by her dear friend Narcisco Rodriguez.
Obviously Carolyn's style was impeccable and classic. She surely would have remained a style icon of our times. One comment that is often made about her style is that her clothes in the mid-nineties would still be stylish in 2010. Another example that classic is never "out".


Preppy 101 said...

So, does the book mention how Jackie felt about Carolyn? Have heard several stories on that. Thinking about the family as a whole can be quite sad. xoxo

Suburban Princess said...

I always think of Carolyn as Portia de Rossi - since she played her in the movie! And yes, her style is timeless!

I am sure you have read WWJD - if not, you must! I love that book!

mFw said...

What a great post! Love all things Kennedy!

Logan said...

Oooh, these books look like good reads. I enjoy reading non-fiction myself, and learning about the Kennedy's is always interesting and fabulous. Met JFK jr. and his wife (I think they weren't married atm) many many years ago in NYC and she was just such a stunning woman. Beautiful style and they made a beautiful couple. Thanks for sharing your book choices..a trip to Barnes and Noble's is in my future! xoxo

Molly said...

All, I do is wonder what if? It's so bad! Jackie, Ethel, Joan is a great read I read that at some point in high school. I'd love to be a Kennedy and then I remember all the sadness that comes with it.

Ari said...

If you haven't seen it the tv movie of Jackie, Ethel and Joan is awesome! One of my favorite television movies. Second to the long mini-series about the Kennedys it was just on tv but i can't remember what the official name of it is but that's also really cool although it's more about Joe then John

Jennnifer said...

It is sad to think of all the potential they had. I remember reading that Jackie did not like Daryl Hannah and tried to break it off. I read the book on Jackie and her sister traveling in Europe as teenagers. so cute, in their own handwriting and drawings.

Adriana said...

Have you read "What Remains: A Memoir of Fate, Frienship and Love" by Carole Radziwill? She was married to JFK JR's cousin and was best friends with Carolyn. It's a really great book! Here is the synopsis from Amazon:

Here's a very sad story: a middle-class girl is working as a reporter at ABC, where she meets a handsome man from a famous family. They court, marry and become best friends with the husband's first cousin and his new wife. Abruptly, the reporter's husband is diagnosed with cancer. He dies, but not before the cousin and his wife (and her sister) die, too, in a senseless plane crash. This would be a heartbreaking story even if it weren't about Anthony Radziwill, nephew of Jackie Kennedy Onassis, and about his and Carole's friendship with John and Carolyn Bessette Kennedy. But because its publisher (and, presumably, the author) have decided not to market it as a "Kennedy book" but "a memoir of fate, friendship and love," it begs consideration on its literary merits. So here goes: Radziwill is a serviceable, if sentimental, writer. She is brave, especially when she describes how cancer became the third party in her marriage, and how she briefly flirted with infidelity. She also knows how to convey the essence of a person with small scenes and quotes (JFK Jr. holding his dying friend's hand and softly singing a song from their childhood; director Mike Nichols not calling but just coming to the hospital and handing out sandwiches to the nurses). Still, perhaps in Radziwill's effort to further the myth of its non-Kennedyness, much of this already short book feels padded—with scenes from the author's childhood and medical details about Anthony's treatment. Otherwise, much of Radziwill's writing approaches melodrama, particularly when she recounts that July 1999 night when the plane crashed. At one point, Radziwill scoffs at the "tragedy whores" who luxuriate in Kennedy trauma, and yet she seems to have been unable to resist contributing some crumbs to their feeding frenzy.

Princess Freckles said...

Yes, I've read What Remains, and I enjoyed it. Such a sad story, yet I think Carole Radziwill writes it so beautifully. Righ tnow I'm reading The Day John Died.

Have a great day!