Thursday, May 24, 2018

A Rrrrriveting Read

Jackie, Janet and Lee, The Secret Lives of Janet Auchinsloss and Her Daughters, Jacqueline Kennedy, Onassis and Lee Radziwell by J. Randy Taraborrelli  516 pages   $29.95

It should be noted that Taraborrelli has made himself a nice little income writing about such as the Kennedys and show biz types such as Diana Ross, Sinatra, Elizabeth Taylor,

I would have thought that leftover Kennedys were rather sparse on the ground of biography myself.  There is only one "original" Kennedy left out of the original nine and that is Jean Kennedy Smith and she is 90.  Another 90 year old, but not a blood Kennedy (although she would probably dispute that) is Ethel Skakal Kennedy.  Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg is the last of the Camelot days and she's 60.  

Jackie, Janet and Lee are covered in great depth, given the reticence of two of them to speak  in public..  Janet was a bitch; Jackie suffered from PTSD for many more years than was visible in their public lives.  Lee would talk to anyone that would listen.

Much of this book is devoted to Jackie's younger sister by three years, Lee Bouvier Canfield Radziwell Ross.  She is 85.  She is a failed actress (terrible reviews,) writer, film producer and interior decorator with her own firm that never made a profit.  

Her relations with her sister were alternately a love fest when they were kids to the end of the story when they pretty much ignored the other.  Why makes for interesting reading.

Tidbits - after JFK  was buried in Arlington National Cemetery, Jackie called Janet in the middle of the night and told her to go get Arabella, her first miscarriage, out of her grave and bring the coffin to Washington to be re-interred with Kennedy.  Janet dutifully got the private plane and took off for the site.  When the coffin was dug up, the bottom of the casket fell off shocking all present.  

Lee had first dibs on Onassis attention - until Miss Jackie, widow, swooped in and stole him away.  Mind you the Lee/Ari relationship had been going on for some six years despite the fact that Lee was still married.

Janet died from Alzheimer's while married to her third husband whom Jackie referred to as "Jed Clampett" for his country ways and battered straw hats.  

All in all, a good gossipy reveal.  Because it consisted of actual conversations and not the writer's suppositions about dialogue, it was very interesting.

One caveat, having read it, I would not recommend taking it to the beach or a pool as you will become so engrossed in it, that you'll fail to turn over and will get a rousing sunburn.

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