And They Called It Camelot: A Novel of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis. Stephanie Marie Thornton. Penguin Publishing Group. March 2020. pb, 480 pp.; ISBN #: 9780451490926.
Welcome to the world of Jack and Jackie – a romance beyond romance! It’s a world where we see Jackie’s sense of humor and mostly grit. She knew what she was marrying into but she married Jack Kennedy anyway. She knew he was a womanizer but he swore she was his only woman and proved it. It reads like an intimate memoir. It brings the reader to share in her tears and deepest fears.
She met his family and got along with everyone of them. She had miscarriages and trials but kept her chin up until she had her children, Caroline and John. When she drives through Texas with Jack, we know how mind-numbing his assassination is and what it does to her. It takes her to levels of grief and yet it is her family and his that offer the support that keeps her going. Yes, it is Bobby who is there for her and gives her strength that she takes time to turn into her own. From then on, her stoicism guides her through the tragedy of Bobby’s assassination.
From then on, she gets to raise her children and decides to travel to Greece. There she eventually marries Aristotle much to the chagrin of the Kennedy clan and Aristotle’s children. She does this for her children’s safety and it works. But marriage to Ari isn’t what she had hoped and she is hopelessly entangled in a stay at home, European style marriage and it isn’t until his death that she feels free.
She then has the money and the dreams to become an editor, a successful one at that. Jackie has been married three times and spends the rest of her life doing what she loves. Throughout the book she shares her love of poetry and prose in small ways with each of her families, but only after life has taught her through joys, pain and trials does she celebrate her literary life with the world.
Many readers do not know Jackie’s life but now they can get to know her intimately in a way that gives her reality a way to remember the days of Camelot – and beyond. Wonderful historical fiction!