The Good Son by Christopher Andersen

Two Fridays ago I blogged about the book I was currently reading, “The Good Son,” by Christopher Andersen. Andersen has written a lot of celebrity biographies and I’ve read a few of his other books. I enjoy the way he writes and how he is so thorough in his story telling.

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This book details the relationship between John F. Kennedy Jr. and his famous mother Jackie Kennedy Onassis, and how it shaped his entire life. Jackie had to delicately balance the Kennedy legacy expectations for John and his sister Caroline, as well as allowing them to live their own lives.

Andersen has spoken with many close friends and colleagues of the Kennedys that share intimate stories about the family dynamic through the years. I would say though that I didn’t feel like there was a ton of new information or stories. Three people that were close friends of JFK Jr. (Billy Noonan, Rob Littell, and RoseMarie Terenzio) who all wrote books about their friendships, were quoted throughout the book. I’ve read all of their books but haven’t blogged about them all just yet. But some of the stories I had heard about before in other books or through the media.

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I will say though that it was nice to see the relationship evolve between Jackie and the children. She raised them so well and encouraged them to travel, and do adventurous things while also giving back to society and helping others.  It shaped a lot of their personalities and their future endeavors. Jackie also made a point of keeping her children away from some of the other Kennedy cousins who were more wild. She worried they would negatively influence them.

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I also found it heartbreaking that John was constantly living in his father’s shadow his whole life. The media was relentless in bringing up his father and his legacy. It also didn’t help that John’s birthday was just 3 days after his father’s brutal assassination, so that right about his birthday every year the media would bring it up.

Everyone describes John as so charming and it’s so sad and unthinkable that he was cut down in his prime, before he was able to enter politics or have children of his own.

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