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Jackie, Ethel, Joan: Women of Camelot

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Jacqueline Bouvier. Ethel Skakel. Joan Bennett. Three women who married into America's royal family and became forever linked in legend. Set against the panorama of explosive American history, this unique story offers a rarely-seen look at the relationship shared among the three women -- during the Camelot years and beyond. Whether dealing with their husbands' blatant infi Jacqueline Bouvier. Ethel Skakel. Joan Bennett. Three women who married into America's royal family and became forever linked in legend. Set against the panorama of explosive American history, this unique story offers a rarely-seen look at the relationship shared among the three women -- during the Camelot years and beyond. Whether dealing with their husbands' blatant infidelities, stumping for their many political campaigns, touring the world to promote their family's legacy, raising their children, or confronting death, the Kennedy wives did it all with grace, style and dignity.


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Jacqueline Bouvier. Ethel Skakel. Joan Bennett. Three women who married into America's royal family and became forever linked in legend. Set against the panorama of explosive American history, this unique story offers a rarely-seen look at the relationship shared among the three women -- during the Camelot years and beyond. Whether dealing with their husbands' blatant infi Jacqueline Bouvier. Ethel Skakel. Joan Bennett. Three women who married into America's royal family and became forever linked in legend. Set against the panorama of explosive American history, this unique story offers a rarely-seen look at the relationship shared among the three women -- during the Camelot years and beyond. Whether dealing with their husbands' blatant infidelities, stumping for their many political campaigns, touring the world to promote their family's legacy, raising their children, or confronting death, the Kennedy wives did it all with grace, style and dignity.

30 review for Jackie, Ethel, Joan: Women of Camelot

  1. 5 out of 5

    Erin

    4.5 Stars Behind every great man, there's a great woman. Over the years I've read a lot of books about the Kennedy's, some great and some awful. My favorite books tend to be about the woman behind the men. Jackie Kennedy is the most famous of the Camelot wives, we'll call her the Beyonce. Ethel has a special place in my heart(I mean she raised 11crazy kids alone), she's the Kelly of the group. And then there's poor Joan. The Michelle. Jackie, Ethel and Joan were very different women and had they 4.5 Stars Behind every great man, there's a great woman. Over the years I've read a lot of books about the Kennedy's, some great and some awful. My favorite books tend to be about the woman behind the men. Jackie Kennedy is the most famous of the Camelot wives, we'll call her the Beyonce. Ethel has a special place in my heart(I mean she raised 11crazy kids alone), she's the Kelly of the group. And then there's poor Joan. The Michelle. Jackie, Ethel and Joan were very different women and had they not married the three Kennedy brothers, its doubtful they would have ever met let alone been friends. Jackie came from a dysfunctional family and learned at a young age that marrying rich was her only purpose in life (and she did quite well both times). Ethel grow up obscenely rich and very religious. She nearly became nun before deciding to marry Robert Kennedy. Joan grow up normal, with a normal family. Unlike Jackie & Ethel, Joan actually had a career. She was a model and musician. Joan was not built for life as a Kennedy wife. It hurt Joan that her husband cheated on her nonstop and took her for granted. Money and fame weren't enough for Joan, she wanted a happy life. I feel so sorry for Joan, she has battled alcoholism for 50 years and for the first 20 years nobody tried to help her, they just ignored it and tried to keep her out of sight. John, Bobby, and Ted may have been the famous politicians but none of it would have been possible without Jackie, Ethel, and Joan. They raised the kids, dealt with the nonstop infidelity of their husband's, became style icons and persevered through overwhelming tragedy. Jackie, Ethel, and Joan is one of the great Kennedy books. If you've never read a book about this family, this is a definitely a good starting point. Highly Recommended! Around The Year In 52 Books: A book from the first 10 books added to your TBR list. Hooked on Books Read-A-Thon

  2. 5 out of 5

    Moonkiszt

    Jackie, Ethel, Joan This book was written 19 years ago, and I still feel every word of it as the Southern California kid I was during the days that comprise the telling. I remember the news, I remember my parents' reactions – especially my mother’s. I can see it now: she is leaning forward, perched on our 2nd-hand-3rd-hand-4th-handed couch in pedal pushers and bobby-pinned snail curls covered by a head scarf, her hand over her mouth, tears plopping one after another into the pile of laundry she a Jackie, Ethel, Joan This book was written 19 years ago, and I still feel every word of it as the Southern California kid I was during the days that comprise the telling. I remember the news, I remember my parents' reactions – especially my mother’s. I can see it now: she is leaning forward, perched on our 2nd-hand-3rd-hand-4th-handed couch in pedal pushers and bobby-pinned snail curls covered by a head scarf, her hand over her mouth, tears plopping one after another into the pile of laundry she and I were folding together. Eyes riveted on the TV. . . shows she would watch as long as the stories ran. . .greeting my homecoming Dad at the door with “Robbie. . . .you won’t believe it. . .” and his having to calm her down, “I know, I know, yes, it’s terrible. . . .I just heard on the radio. . . .” The format of rotating the 3 Kennedy wives' stories within the time periods discussed was a great way to keep the telling on track and moving forward without all the many digressions that could have happened in the writing. So many possibilities with this wide-ranging family! I learned a lot, listening as the adult I now am, but mindful that my backstory was being informed by having lived during that era and getting to place my markers alongside the events in the author’s timeline. It was newsy, and respectful – not taking away any honor or respect these great women are due because of their many, many sacrifices for their families, husbands and our country. As for the Kennedy men they married, well. It is clear a swift kick was held back waaaaay to many times. I enjoyed it and will look for other books by this author.

  3. 5 out of 5

    KOMET

    Of all the books about the Kennedys I've read over the years, this is one of the most revelatory and personal that I've yet read. Jackie and Ethel Kennedy I had known about largely through the supportive roles both played for their husbands in the prime of their political careers. Then there was the "Jackie O" phase and Jackie Kennedy's later career as an associate editor for Doubleday in New York. Ethel Kennedy, for her part, became the keeper of her husband's legacy following his murder in 196 Of all the books about the Kennedys I've read over the years, this is one of the most revelatory and personal that I've yet read. Jackie and Ethel Kennedy I had known about largely through the supportive roles both played for their husbands in the prime of their political careers. Then there was the "Jackie O" phase and Jackie Kennedy's later career as an associate editor for Doubleday in New York. Ethel Kennedy, for her part, became the keeper of her husband's legacy following his murder in 1968. And as for Joan, the wife of Senator Ted Kennedy, prior to reading this book, I knew very little about her. Of the 3 women, she was, by far, the most modest, shy, and self-effacing. The book is well-researched and contains 68 pages of 'Acknowledgements and Source Notes.' I highly recommend it for any reader with an interest in the life and times of a family who had such a profound and lasting impact on the U.S. cultural and political landscape in the latter half of the 20th century.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jen

    Camelot: where the women are whiny witches and the men are slimy cads. I feel like I needed to take a shower after I listened to this book. Not much more than a gossip rag, it was peppered with too many "perhaps'" and "maybes" and "probablys" to take it seriously. I need to read some other stuff about the Kennedys because this was far from scholarly and unbiased. It also assumed that you know all about the Kennedy history...like the Chappaquitic accident, etc. Unless you want a dose of gossip, I' Camelot: where the women are whiny witches and the men are slimy cads. I feel like I needed to take a shower after I listened to this book. Not much more than a gossip rag, it was peppered with too many "perhaps'" and "maybes" and "probablys" to take it seriously. I need to read some other stuff about the Kennedys because this was far from scholarly and unbiased. It also assumed that you know all about the Kennedy history...like the Chappaquitic accident, etc. Unless you want a dose of gossip, I'd skip this one.

  5. 4 out of 5

    HR-ML

    Non-fiction. This author noted appearances were more important than reality to a potential or established politico and his wife. These 3 ladies married 3 sons (all became U.S. Congress members) of Joseph & Rose Kennedy. Jackie loved Jack, Ethel loved Bobby & Joan loved Ted. The men all had girlfriends once wed, & considered their unions like marriages of convenience, per the author. The sire of these 3 men, Joseph, told them what school to attend, who to date, who'd make a better political wife, Non-fiction. This author noted appearances were more important than reality to a potential or established politico and his wife. These 3 ladies married 3 sons (all became U.S. Congress members) of Joseph & Rose Kennedy. Jackie loved Jack, Ethel loved Bobby & Joan loved Ted. The men all had girlfriends once wed, & considered their unions like marriages of convenience, per the author. The sire of these 3 men, Joseph, told them what school to attend, who to date, who'd make a better political wife, sire even chose engagements rings. The exception-Bobby sent rings to Ethel's home and let her choose one. How did Joseph manipulate his offspring? He gave each offspring a $10M trust fund, which had strings attached. The sons had not been taught : to 'own' their mistakes, the need for an apology or when/ how to make things right. Ted wanted to live out West & never wanted to be a Senator. He became a long-time U.S. Senator, represent- ing Mass. Jackie, Ethel, & Joan all had the disease of alcoholism in their birth families. Joan struggled with this disease herself, as did Ted. The Kennedys exerted pressure on Joan, to act right, but did not expect the same from Ted. Jackie learned after-the-fact that Jack had a chronic VD, chlamydia. Jackie had had 2 miscarriages & 1 stillbirth. His VD impacted on her losing her babies? After JFK was murdered, Jackie & Bobby spent time together to find her lodgings & an investment counselor. He was fatherly toward her 2 kids. The author disputed the idea that these 2 had a romance. Ethel came across as mostly too blunt and she alienated folks inside/ outside the Kennedy family. Ethel & Jackie were like oil & water when they interacted. Joan & Ted had been separated nearly 3 yrs when he decided to run for POTUS in 1980. It was a travesty when Ted asked that they pretend to be a couple again for this purpose. His heart was not in the campaign & he dropped out. Joan hoped they'd reconcile & Ted would be more responsible and loving- but Ted always seemed to have a woman in the wings. Some readers may claim these 3 ladies had it easy; lux clothing & travel and multiple homes. But these 3 Kennedy men held in their feelings, came across as stoic, kept secrets, had some dicey connections (?), & felt the need to 'conquer' many beautiful women they met. These men did not accept and 'own' their mistakes.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Janice

    I liked this book. That being said, I questioned from the beginning the writer's purpose and his documentation. Granted there are facts that can be substantiated: birth, marriage, and death dates, etc., as well as audio and video recordings of the various Kennedys. Still, I have never come across a bibliography such as J. Randy Taraborrelli provides. The oral histories and seeping vagueness or biases of persons interviewed is merely, he said/she said; amounting to rumor, gossip, innuendo and spe I liked this book. That being said, I questioned from the beginning the writer's purpose and his documentation. Granted there are facts that can be substantiated: birth, marriage, and death dates, etc., as well as audio and video recordings of the various Kennedys. Still, I have never come across a bibliography such as J. Randy Taraborrelli provides. The oral histories and seeping vagueness or biases of persons interviewed is merely, he said/she said; amounting to rumor, gossip, innuendo and speculation. While the book is interesting, for me it is historical fiction rather than factual biographies.

  7. 4 out of 5

    LemonLinda

    This was quite an interesting study on the connecting lives of the three Kennedy wives. I think these wives are even more intriguing than their husbands. I have read more about Jackie so that part was not really new for me but the insight on Joan and Ethel was just as intriguing. Each of them had to find their own coping mechanisms as life as a Kennedy wife of that generation was certainly not easy because of the roving eyes of their husbands and because each had to endure so many other tragedie This was quite an interesting study on the connecting lives of the three Kennedy wives. I think these wives are even more intriguing than their husbands. I have read more about Jackie so that part was not really new for me but the insight on Joan and Ethel was just as intriguing. Each of them had to find their own coping mechanisms as life as a Kennedy wife of that generation was certainly not easy because of the roving eyes of their husbands and because each had to endure so many other tragedies. Jackie was such a fierce and protective mother and found a way to raise her children with as much privacy and protection as possible. Ethel was such a devout Catholic so her religion served as a source of comfort and support. The story of Joan, however, was somehow the saddest of the three. She seemed to be so sweet and good and maybe life within the Kennedy compound was too much to handle finally driving her to the alcoholism that plagued her for years. But then she seemed to get it together. She was the one who had been convinced that there was a curse on the Kennedy family and with all that happened to multiple generations at the very least they were certainly unlucky as they had more than their share of tragedy and heartache from the assassinations, early demises, airplane crashes, so many miscarriages and stillbirths, etc. Even though it has now been 50 years since the days of Camelot when these women lived in and frequented the White House, the interest in their lives then and after yet remains for me and for many others.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    This book read a bit like a gossip column...not that that's necessarily a bad thing, but when I finished, I didn't feel I'd really read a history book. It was fascinating, however, to read some of the intimate, lurid details of the family history, and to learn of the relationship among the sisters-in-law. Four-stars seems a bit too much for this book, but I did really enjoy it. It was a relatively light, entertaining read about the Kennedy women. This book read a bit like a gossip column...not that that's necessarily a bad thing, but when I finished, I didn't feel I'd really read a history book. It was fascinating, however, to read some of the intimate, lurid details of the family history, and to learn of the relationship among the sisters-in-law. Four-stars seems a bit too much for this book, but I did really enjoy it. It was a relatively light, entertaining read about the Kennedy women.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Joanna

    This book was just ok, a good one to read at the beach. There was nothing that I haven't read before, but the chapter on the Cuban Missile Crisis absolutely gave me chills. I was 9 years old at the time and can recall vividly air raid drills - never realized just how close the US came to WWIII. The fictionalized dialogue was out of line - I simply could NOT see these women speaking this stuff - the only saving grace was the relief from gratuitous profanity. This book was just ok, a good one to read at the beach. There was nothing that I haven't read before, but the chapter on the Cuban Missile Crisis absolutely gave me chills. I was 9 years old at the time and can recall vividly air raid drills - never realized just how close the US came to WWIII. The fictionalized dialogue was out of line - I simply could NOT see these women speaking this stuff - the only saving grace was the relief from gratuitous profanity.

  10. 5 out of 5

    EA Solinas

    Dozens of books have been written about Jacqueline Kennedy, the stylish wife of the late president. At least this one has some new information -- J. Randy Taraborrelli also explores the other Kennedy wives in "Jackie, Ethel, Joan: Women of Camelot." The problem is Taraborrelli's talent for making stuff up. Jackie was a confident debutante who impressed (or irritated) people with her charm and refined sensibiltiies. Ethel a religious, exuberant gal who fit in with the rough'n'tumble Kennedy family Dozens of books have been written about Jacqueline Kennedy, the stylish wife of the late president. At least this one has some new information -- J. Randy Taraborrelli also explores the other Kennedy wives in "Jackie, Ethel, Joan: Women of Camelot." The problem is Taraborrelli's talent for making stuff up. Jackie was a confident debutante who impressed (or irritated) people with her charm and refined sensibiltiies. Ethel a religious, exuberant gal who fit in with the rough'n'tumble Kennedy family. And Joan was a fragile, confidence-free waif who was troubled by alcoholism and her perpetually philandering husband Ted. Taraborrelli explores their childhoods, early relationships, marriages and lives with their husbands, which peaked in the glory years of the so-called "Camelot." Then everything went downhill: Jackie and Ethel's husbands were assassinated, Joan's was permanently disgraced, and the three women went through nightmares of publicity, family deaths, miscarriages, remarriages and alcoholism. The Jackie stuff in here is nothing new, nor does Taraborrelli have any new spins on it. In fact, she seems a bit dull beside the vibrant Ethel and tragic Joan, both of whom are revealed in all their tarnished glory. In fact, it's the information about those two ladies that keep this book from being a total loss. Unlike prior biographers have done, Taraborrelli seems interested in the many facets of Ethel and Joan's personalities: Ethel was both ruthless and compassionate, utterly loving and very rough. Rather than portraying the forceful woman as a harpy, as others have done, Taraborrelli focuses on her complexity. And Joan is shown as a sweet, almost ideal girl who succumbed to a family disease as she was humilated in front of the entire world. So long as he sticks to the facts, Taraborrelli is a capable biographer. Unfortunately, he launches into obviously fictional anecdotes and conversations, scuppering much of his credibility, and often fiddles with the facts to make the Kennedys seem like one big happy family, despite all the cheating and infighting. Since when was everyone so fond of the prudish, cold Rose? The information about Ethel and Joan Kennedy is outstanding, and actually makes these underrated ladies seem more interesting than their legendary sister-in-law. But Taraborrelli's little "conversations" should have been saved for a novel.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Candace

    This is a look into the lives of three very famous, wealthy women who were really not that different from the rest of us with the ups and downs in everyday life. Honestly, I enjoyed reading this book more than I thought I would.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Megan

    Expertly researched and terrifically written. I have long been an emphatic fan of Kennedy history, and am so happy to have pored through and digested this book. So many incredible stories from people who lived right alongside them (sometimes linear, sometimes not so much). I'd go so far as to label this the Quintessential Kennedy Primer. Highly recommend to any history buff or Kennedy fan like myself. Expertly researched and terrifically written. I have long been an emphatic fan of Kennedy history, and am so happy to have pored through and digested this book. So many incredible stories from people who lived right alongside them (sometimes linear, sometimes not so much). I'd go so far as to label this the Quintessential Kennedy Primer. Highly recommend to any history buff or Kennedy fan like myself.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Carmen Quest

    Jackie, Ethel, Joan takes a different perspective on a worn narrative, focusing on the lives and relationships of the wives of Jack, Bobby, and Ted Kennedy. I have learned new things, which is no small feat considering the number of books about the Kennedys. But Taraborrelli also makes mistakes that can be fact-checked easily and it makes me question his credibility. For example: • He gives Jackie’s birthday as July 29, when it was actually July 28. • He mentions that, at 31, Jackie was the younge Jackie, Ethel, Joan takes a different perspective on a worn narrative, focusing on the lives and relationships of the wives of Jack, Bobby, and Ted Kennedy. I have learned new things, which is no small feat considering the number of books about the Kennedys. But Taraborrelli also makes mistakes that can be fact-checked easily and it makes me question his credibility. For example: • He gives Jackie’s birthday as July 29, when it was actually July 28. • He mentions that, at 31, Jackie was the youngest First Lady ever. That distinction belongs to Frances Cleveland, who married the sitting president, Grover Cleveland, when she was 21. • Likewise, he asserts that at 43, John F. Kennedy was the youngest President of the United States. That distinction belongs to Theodore Roosevelt, who became President at age 42 after the assassination of William McKinley. • Jackie’s position at the Washington Times-Herald was called “Inquiring Camera Girl,” not “The Inquiring Photographer.” • The surname of JFK’s speechwriter was Sorensen, not Sorenson. • Jackie had a stillborn daughter after the Democratic National Convention in 1956, not 1957. • Rosemary Kennedy was institutionalized immediately after the botched lobotomy in 1941, not 1949. • Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy’s autobiography was called Times to Remember, not A Time to Remember. • Aristotle Onassis died on 15 March 1975 in France, not 14 March 1974 in Greece. And he wasn’t an only child: he had a sister, Artemis, who later championed Jackie over Maria Callas, and two half-sisters. • Eleanor Roosevelt died in 1962, not 1963. • Taraborrelli mentions Lord Harlech and David Ormsby-Gore as if they were two different men, when in fact, Lord Harlech was Ormsby-Gore’s royal title. There are also basic math errors, such as stating an incorrect age at a certain time (for example, Ethel Kennedy was 40 years old when Bobby was killed, not 38, etc.) It’s like neither Taraborrelli nor the editors (if there were any) could be bothered to make the minimal efforts with this book. Taraborrelli also presents as fact events that no one can know for certain: by quoting Kenny O’Donnell, Frank Mankiewicz, and Joan Braden, he concludes that the idea of Bobby and Jackie having a romantic relationship was nonsense, just a rumour invented to hurt their reputations. But other people close to them had their suspicions, including Ethel. In his authoritative biography of Bobby, Evan Thomas doesn’t dismiss the possibility and leaves it open to the reader to decide for themselves. If I sound like I think Bobby and Jackie had an affair, it’s because I do. But more importantly, biographers have to recognize that history is not always clear-cut and that some gaps in the records, particularly those in such a secretive family, will likely never be filled. You cannot sentence according to your personal beliefs. In short, Jackie, Ethel, Joan is an enjoyable enough book. The prose is novelistic in style -complete with stilted dialogues almost certainly invented by the author-, which may put off readers who prefer an academic approach to nonfiction. It brings into the spotlight three women who have been dismissed but who played crucial roles in the careers of three of the most powerful men of the 20th century.

  14. 5 out of 5

    vicky

    Ah, this was such a guilty pleasure read. All the glorious drama and destiny, scandal and tragedy, love, loss, and legacy!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Teresa A. Mauk

    This was an interesting take on the Kennedys because it focused on the three women. Some of the stories were familiar but many were not. I was especially interested in Joan since I knew very little about her and certainly didn't realize what a s*(& Ted was to her. As an interesting side note, I frequent a salon in Hyannis and one day overheard the receptionist (as a joke) threatening to put Ethel on my stylist's calendar. My stylist replied that she could put Joan on her books anytime but NOT Et This was an interesting take on the Kennedys because it focused on the three women. Some of the stories were familiar but many were not. I was especially interested in Joan since I knew very little about her and certainly didn't realize what a s*(& Ted was to her. As an interesting side note, I frequent a salon in Hyannis and one day overheard the receptionist (as a joke) threatening to put Ethel on my stylist's calendar. My stylist replied that she could put Joan on her books anytime but NOT Ethel. When I asked about it, she told me that Joan is very sweet when she comes in, but Ethel treats everyone in the salon like menial servants so they all try to avoid having to deal with her. One day I was there when Joan came in. Life has been hard on her but you can still see the beauty she was and she smiled and had a nice word for everyone.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    I loved this book! I grew up in the Kennedy era so as I looked at the pictures and outfits, and I remembered seeing them on the television or Life Magazine in those outfits. The book gave many behind the scenes accounts of life as a Kennedy and particularly as a wife of a Kennedy. If you want some juicy details about the family and like history, you'll like this book. ""Jackie, Ethel, Joan: Women of Camelot" is a perfect read....historic and informative while being entertaining and glitzy. By th I loved this book! I grew up in the Kennedy era so as I looked at the pictures and outfits, and I remembered seeing them on the television or Life Magazine in those outfits. The book gave many behind the scenes accounts of life as a Kennedy and particularly as a wife of a Kennedy. If you want some juicy details about the family and like history, you'll like this book. ""Jackie, Ethel, Joan: Women of Camelot" is a perfect read....historic and informative while being entertaining and glitzy. By the way, the chapters about the wives' dealings Marilyn Monroe alone are worth the price of admission" ( review on Amazon)

  17. 5 out of 5

    Melanie

    This book was amazing! Not only did the author explore the relationship between the women, but he also delved into their individual personalities. After reading the book, I understand what motivated each woman to behave as she did and how the traumatic events each went through affected her. J. Randy Taraborelli does an outstanding job of explaining each woman's feelings and reasons for her actions, and does so without making excuses for their missteps. In addition to having a greater understandi This book was amazing! Not only did the author explore the relationship between the women, but he also delved into their individual personalities. After reading the book, I understand what motivated each woman to behave as she did and how the traumatic events each went through affected her. J. Randy Taraborelli does an outstanding job of explaining each woman's feelings and reasons for her actions, and does so without making excuses for their missteps. In addition to having a greater understanding of the three Kennedy women, I have come away from the book with an even deeper respect and love for all three women.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jolene

    Even though I'm a fan of all things historical, biographical, and specifically Kennedy, this was a little hard to get through due to it's size. Really interesting though, a TON of information and details that I'm sure the general public doesn't know (and maybe wouldn't be interested in?) but that I found really interesting. The author did a great job putting it all together though...I can't even imagine the time and research that goes into a project like this! Even though I'm a fan of all things historical, biographical, and specifically Kennedy, this was a little hard to get through due to it's size. Really interesting though, a TON of information and details that I'm sure the general public doesn't know (and maybe wouldn't be interested in?) but that I found really interesting. The author did a great job putting it all together though...I can't even imagine the time and research that goes into a project like this!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Cheryl S.

    This was pretty good considering I have already read quite a bit about these woman. This was a different perspective, however, and I found it interesting how the almost forgotten days of pre womens' lib affected the attitudes and decisions of these three famous women as well as Rose Kennedy and their Kennedy sisters in law. This was pretty good considering I have already read quite a bit about these woman. This was a different perspective, however, and I found it interesting how the almost forgotten days of pre womens' lib affected the attitudes and decisions of these three famous women as well as Rose Kennedy and their Kennedy sisters in law.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Missy Cahill

    Well not as in depth as other books about the Kennedy woman, it was great to learn more about Ethel & Joan. I felt so sorry for poor Joan Kennedy about the way Ted treated her. I'm very curious to read the late Ted Kennedy's autobiography and see what he has to say for himself about those years. Well not as in depth as other books about the Kennedy woman, it was great to learn more about Ethel & Joan. I felt so sorry for poor Joan Kennedy about the way Ted treated her. I'm very curious to read the late Ted Kennedy's autobiography and see what he has to say for himself about those years.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Sandra

    It is an interesting book. The author is careful not to be harsh in his portrayal of the women. He skips certain topics and events that are negative. He does provide more information about Ethel and Joan's backgrounds than most books. I recommend it. It gives the reader a "peek" into the relationship the women had. It is an interesting book. The author is careful not to be harsh in his portrayal of the women. He skips certain topics and events that are negative. He does provide more information about Ethel and Joan's backgrounds than most books. I recommend it. It gives the reader a "peek" into the relationship the women had.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Christine

    This was one of the first books I've read about the Kennedys although they are still talked about today. It was interesting to learn all that these women had to endure in their position of power and how much they had to suffer as a result of the power the family held This was one of the first books I've read about the Kennedys although they are still talked about today. It was interesting to learn all that these women had to endure in their position of power and how much they had to suffer as a result of the power the family held

  23. 4 out of 5

    Emi Yoshida

    I agree with the back of this book that "Jackie, Ethel, Joan presents a balanced and affectionate portrait of three courageous women," but it's just another not particularly well-written "Kennedy Tell-All". Extra half-star for the nice collection of photos. I agree with the back of this book that "Jackie, Ethel, Joan presents a balanced and affectionate portrait of three courageous women," but it's just another not particularly well-written "Kennedy Tell-All". Extra half-star for the nice collection of photos.

  24. 5 out of 5

    T.B. Markinson

    Listened to the audiobook and it kept my interest. Lots of juicy gossip and maybe not enough facts, but still enjoyed it.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Destanye B.

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. So, this book has been on my to-read list for quite some time. I'm so happy I read it because I have been extremely fascinated with the Kennedys since forever. Check out my pros and cons below ++++++++++++++++++++++ SPOILERS BEYOND THIS POINT ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ PROS - Discussing Camelot from the women's perspective was already an interesting take for me. I honestly don't know how they did it, with such skivy husbands. The fact that all the men were raised by a philandering father whose So, this book has been on my to-read list for quite some time. I'm so happy I read it because I have been extremely fascinated with the Kennedys since forever. Check out my pros and cons below ++++++++++++++++++++++ SPOILERS BEYOND THIS POINT ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ PROS - Discussing Camelot from the women's perspective was already an interesting take for me. I honestly don't know how they did it, with such skivy husbands. The fact that all the men were raised by a philandering father whose mother created the mold of "sit there and take it" which just beyond me. - The tragedy within this family is so beyond, super crazy! - I know that Ethel won the Presidential Medal of Freedom during President Obama's presidnecy. I would have liked to hear some of her political achievements. Ehtel reminds me of a Hilary Clinton, someone who probably had the guts and know-how to run for office herself. - I'm glad that they talked about life before, during, and after their association with the Kennedy clan. It gave you a real well-rounded idea of who these women are and who they morphed into being. CONS - There were a lot of circumstantial conversations, where you can't be sure that the conversation really happened the way the author describes because it's all hearsay. - Clearly, the author was extremely enamored by Jackie Kennedy and her life more so than the other women. I think Joan's story was the best for the mere fact that she had to overcome addiction and she was truly genuine at heart (plus Ted seemed plain awful). - Having infidelity was one thing, bringing home an incurable STD because you didn't even have the decency to wrap it up, a whole other thing. Shame on you JFK. Also, how does a President have that much side action, like isn't running the country a whole ass tiring job? - These women all come from a background of priviledge. Without the small sections about the feminist movement, we still don't have an idea of what the women believed in. Did the women believe that Black and Mexican Americans deserved to vote and have freedoms? I see that John Lewis was in a lot of photos later in life with Ethel, did she champion and believe in all the things her husband was working for or did they just want the presidency? I really wish we knew where they stood on some things. - The Kennedys were super-rich. All these compounds all over and flying out, maids, cooks, nurses, nannies, governesses. It's just a lot of money. I don't know how the American people related to them so well. I feel it was more fascination and youth than actual relation. After reading this book it makes me appreciate Barack Obama and Michelle Obama even the more. Though he was ambitious and did put his wife second to his country he never went out on her. Having a scandal-free presidency is not normal, but you know haters gonna hate. I think the book was good and the subject matter great. I enjoyed reading it!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Brooke Lewis

    I did find this book somewhat enjoyable, it did give you some of the feeling of Camelot. But that being said I felt like it lacked substance. It seemed to basing things it presented as fact on rumors. But I did love reading about these three women, their strength in times of tragedy. I feel like the author definitely did get one fact completely right- “ In 1962 Jack was about as faithful as he was going to be. It was more than Jackie expected less than she deserved.” The Kennedy women deserved b I did find this book somewhat enjoyable, it did give you some of the feeling of Camelot. But that being said I felt like it lacked substance. It seemed to basing things it presented as fact on rumors. But I did love reading about these three women, their strength in times of tragedy. I feel like the author definitely did get one fact completely right- “ In 1962 Jack was about as faithful as he was going to be. It was more than Jackie expected less than she deserved.” The Kennedy women deserved better than they got treated by their husbands. I love the contrasts in personality painted in this book. Ethel’s strong motivation and energy and her envy at times, Joan’s extreme ability to be human not Kennedy and empathize with people, Jackie’s dignity and style. I just didn’t really like this book because it felt like reading a bunch of the gossip magazines, presenting their information as fact and that is not how any historical biography should be written. To anyone else who read this book and had a like-minded opinion and loves reading about the Kennedys or Jackie Kennedy, I will recommend Mrs Kennedy and me by Clint Hill, Jackie’s former secret service agent. It is a very good fact based look that gives you a deep look into Jackie Kennedy and her life.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    I thought this book was great. I am ashamed to say that I really didn’t know much about the Kennedy’s aside From the fact that Bobby and John were assassinated and that they spent time in Newport RI. I Liked how this book focuses mostly on the wives of the three brothers. I’m sure people who know a lot about the family would still learn something from this book. As an audiobook, it felt more like a story than a history book. I was glad that I didn’t tune out at all and have to rewind much. I gue I thought this book was great. I am ashamed to say that I really didn’t know much about the Kennedy’s aside From the fact that Bobby and John were assassinated and that they spent time in Newport RI. I Liked how this book focuses mostly on the wives of the three brothers. I’m sure people who know a lot about the family would still learn something from this book. As an audiobook, it felt more like a story than a history book. I was glad that I didn’t tune out at all and have to rewind much. I guess their lives were just that interesting. Since schools don’t teach much recent history, I have always been interested in history after the industrial revolution. Especially the times my parents were alive during. So this was great and I’m glad that I enjoyed it so much. Just learned that there’s a sequel about more of the family from ‘68 and beyond so I’m starting this one next! Even though this book did have an epilogue I’m definitely interested to learn more about everyone in the family. 👍🏼 for anyone interested in history! Always good to know about such prominent figures. Learning every day!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Rosemary Kennedy

    Another book about the Kennedys that I thoroughly enjoyed from cover to cover. Such a great idea to present a unique perspective of the family by focusing on the three sisters-in-law, their life experiences, and especially their relationship to each other. Lots of great insight and revelations. The reader gains a real appreciation for all that they endured despite their wealth and privilege. What a life these women led as members of the Kennedy clan. I would love to know from them individually i Another book about the Kennedys that I thoroughly enjoyed from cover to cover. Such a great idea to present a unique perspective of the family by focusing on the three sisters-in-law, their life experiences, and especially their relationship to each other. Lots of great insight and revelations. The reader gains a real appreciation for all that they endured despite their wealth and privilege. What a life these women led as members of the Kennedy clan. I would love to know from them individually if they had the chance to do it all over again, with the advantage of hindsight and considering all the exceptional high highs and unimaginable low lows, would they willingly repeat the life they had? The book gave me a new appreciation for Jackie's role within the family and I gained much empathy for Joan. I had not previously known anything about Joan other than the fact that she was an alcoholic. The book flowed beautifully and I look forward to reading other biographies by this author.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Kat

    It's... ok, one of my major complaints being that it is based a lot on 'he said', 'she said' conversations and the authenticity of conversations like that being remembered 40 years after said conversation happened is debatable. It also suffers from assuming that we the audience only care about the women when their spouse is still alive (Jack and Jackie, and Bobby and Ethel) or their marriage is still going (Ted and Joan). Once their husbands have been assassinated or they get divorced, Jackie, E It's... ok, one of my major complaints being that it is based a lot on 'he said', 'she said' conversations and the authenticity of conversations like that being remembered 40 years after said conversation happened is debatable. It also suffers from assuming that we the audience only care about the women when their spouse is still alive (Jack and Jackie, and Bobby and Ethel) or their marriage is still going (Ted and Joan). Once their husbands have been assassinated or they get divorced, Jackie, Ethel and Joan's stories end and that's a bit disappointing. They didn't just walk about for 30 years after their husbands died or their marriages ended, they did (and still do for Ethel and Joan) live. Apart from that Taraborrelli thinks that 1.5% of $500 million is $62.5m (pg 367, Andy Williams chapter), luckily he chose a career as a writer and not an accountant.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Wendell Hennan

    464 pages with another 49 pages detailing sources this book was a detailed account of the lives of the three women married to Kennedy sons. Most surprising was the conversations repeated verbatim, received from the countless people interviewed in compiling the history. Certainly an incredible family, and those of us alive on November 22, 1963, we remember vividly where we were when hearing of the travesty. The women fare well in this account, all being strong and persevering while the three Kenn 464 pages with another 49 pages detailing sources this book was a detailed account of the lives of the three women married to Kennedy sons. Most surprising was the conversations repeated verbatim, received from the countless people interviewed in compiling the history. Certainly an incredible family, and those of us alive on November 22, 1963, we remember vividly where we were when hearing of the travesty. The women fare well in this account, all being strong and persevering while the three Kennedy sons and their father Joseph were all womanizers and totally without respect for their wives who put up with and accepted this weakness. I am glad that I read this tome, a reminder of Jackie O's story and life, and an opportunity to get to better know Ethel and Joan.

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