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Jackie's Camelot
by Mercedes King

Published: 2021-11-22T00:0
Paperback : 294 pages
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She longed for love and an unconventional life...but never dreamed what it would cost her.

After a year in Paris, Jacqueline Bouvier returns home to her family in Mclean, Virginia. Changes and new opportunities abound, including a dinner invite from good friends, anxious to introduce ...

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Introduction

She longed for love and an unconventional life...but never dreamed what it would cost her.

After a year in Paris, Jacqueline Bouvier returns home to her family in Mclean, Virginia. Changes and new opportunities abound, including a dinner invite from good friends, anxious to introduce her to Congressman John F. Kennedy. Though she's curious, Jackie is certain she couldn't be a match for a boring politician-until she meets him. Chemistry sparks between them, but both Jackie and Jack, as he is known, are slow to develop the relationship. Months lapse before they see each other again, and Jackie is pulled in a different direction-even falling for another man and accepting his proposal. But harsh realities about the relationship settle in, and Jackie decides to break the engagement.

When she and Jack reconnect, their misgivings about marriage are apparent. However, Jack's determined to advance his career-with aspirations to run for president-but he knows his hopes for a White House bid are slim without a wife by his side. Jackie's intrigued, despite her aversion to some of his family members and the constant warnings from friends about Jack's womanizing ways. She convinces herself that her love and devotion will change him, although marrying Jack means being steeped in politics and sacrifices to her privacy.

Tragedy and heartache mar the early years of their union-and sacred vows fail to cure Jack's penchant for infidelity. Entrenched in doubts and depression, Jackie contemplates divorce. Parenthood becomes their saving grace, though, and when Jack's chance to serve in the Oval Office comes within reach, Jackie dares to believe their difficult days are over. She refuses to fit the traditional first lady mold but captivates the world with her iconic fashion sense and overhaul of entertaining at the grand mansion. Behind closed doors, she struggles with self-worth as Jack becomes increasingly careless in his dalliances. When his romp with a famous actress threatens to topple the presidency and to ruin her marriage, Jackie takes matters into her own hands, determined to protect Jack's image-and her family-regardless of the consequences.

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Excerpt

CHAPTER ONE

March 1951
Jackie tensed when she glimpsed her mother’s reflection in the vanity mirror as she slipped into the bedroom. They were both due downstairs to take their places. Jackie knew her mother’s entrance meant one of two things: a chastisement because they were late, or her mother had paired her with a young gentleman for the evening and was just now about to tell her. With her arms raised and hands behind her neck, her efforts to clasp her necklace securely were fruitless. Janet stepped behind her and took over. ... view entire excerpt...

Discussion Questions

1. Jackie and Jack have an unconventional courtship, especially for their time. While the chemistry between them sparks from the start, discuss the misgivings they are each wrestling with when it comes to marriage.
2. Although the marriage wasn’t arranged by their families, Joe Kennedy’s approval of Jackie, and perhaps Jackie’s trip to London, proved to be catalysts for Jack and moving the relationship forward. Would you agree?
3. After the tragic loss of baby Arabella, should Jackie have proceeded with a divorce?
4. Today’s First Lady steps into her role intent on bringing reform to particular causes. Not Jackie. Aside from the restoration, she preferred to do as she pleased—appearing mainly for important state dinners and spending most of her time in the countryside. Does this strike you as irresponsible or change your opinion of her as a beloved First Lady?
5. Jack’s tryst with Marilyn Monroe has become legendary. Some believe it was a long-lasting relationship while others claim they were only together briefly at Bing Crosby’s estate. What is your take?
6. Do you think the Kennedys were involved in Marilyn’s death?
7. Was there a better way for Jackie to handle her husband’s adulterous ways?

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