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.

A1

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.

JO3

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.

2239729_f520

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.

Advertisement

Sweet Caroline by Christopher Andersen

9780066213699_p0_v2_s260x420

Sweet Caroline – Last Child of Camelot by Christopher Andersen was a really great read.  I have always wondered about Caroline and how she dealt with the many tragic blows to her famous Kennedy family. It is amazing to think about what she has been through and that she is still around today, since the Camelot era is long over and there is only one sibling of JFK still alive today, Jean Kennedy Smith. What America witnessed as history, Caroline had to go through on a personal level, but very much in the public eye.

Caroline has been given the task to bear the Kennedy name on her shoulders after losing each member of her immediate family. She had to live through the assassination of her beloved father President John F. Kennedy just 46 years old at the young age of 6, her mother’s losing battle with non Hodgkin’s Lymphoma when she was 64 years old, and the tragic plane crash of her younger and only brother JFK Jr when he was just 38 years old. And that is only naming the tragedies of her immediate family. The Kennedys’ triumps and tribulations have been well documented in the press over the years.

This book talks about Caroline’s childhood all the way through adulthood. It talked about her years in the White House, how her father lovingly called her Buttons, the aftermath of living without JFK, becoming close to Robert then losing him to assassination as well, her school years, meeting and marrying Ed Schlossberg, her special relationship with her mother and brother, her becoming a mother, and everything else in between.

It was a very well written book and answered a lot of questions I had about her. She is an incredibly strong person and has dealt with unspeakable tragedies with dignity and courage time and time again. I highly recommend this book to Kennedy followers and anyone else who is interested.