Customer Reviews for

Once Upon a Secret: My Affair with President John F. Kennedy and Its Aftermath

Average Rating 3.5
( 172 )
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(57)

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(24)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

103 out of 111 people found this review helpful.

Interesting story

While I found this story at times disturbing, I found it still believable. For anyone who has been swept up in a relationship (business, friendship, or love) with an individual who has immense power, they will understand this book. I've seen a few cruel reviews on other...
While I found this story at times disturbing, I found it still believable. For anyone who has been swept up in a relationship (business, friendship, or love) with an individual who has immense power, they will understand this book. I've seen a few cruel reviews on other sites about Mimi and how she was naive, has no self confidence, or needs to just get over this and move on. First, she was a nineteen year old in the 1960's, a completely different era. Second, anyone who thinks they could just easily "get over" or move on from a affair with such a powerful figure is full of it. For those who know the complexities of the human mind and heart, it's completely understandable how something like this would change someone's life, especially years later as you mature and realize some of the things that happened in the past. Looking back in our youth, there are a lot of moments we just didn't understand or had to learn from. I truly believe Mimi when she says this is just a book she had to write to fully reveal the true story she kept a secret for so long. As an older, more mature woman, she reveals a number of her feelings in the book, to fully admitting how she was naive and had a lack of understanding in her youth. But she also began to grow from the experience, until she did gain confidence and the belief in herself to be the woman she is today.

posted by Kylie51 on February 9, 2012

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Most Helpful Critical Review

24 out of 98 people found this review helpful.

Waste of money and time

She should not profit from her lack of morals and ethics. He may have started the affair, she continued it, time and time again. While knowing he was married . And now again NO consideration of Caroline and her children. If Mimi needs to talk to free herself from the bu...
She should not profit from her lack of morals and ethics. He may have started the affair, she continued it, time and time again. While knowing he was married . And now again NO consideration of Caroline and her children. If Mimi needs to talk to free herself from the burdens of her continuous actions, talk to a therapist behind closed doors. She continues to hurt others with no consideration, this book is a waste of time and good money. President Kennedy is a fool for starting the affair, she is despicable for continuing it! This book is a waste of my time and money.

posted by Ccobx on February 11, 2012

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  • Posted March 9, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Excellent Read

    At first, I thought it difficult to believe that someone could or would wait decades before they wrote about an experience that was very personal to them. In reading this book I began to understand her personal relationship with President Kennedy. We can all judge that this affair was based on power, charisma or youth; however, Ms Alford is truly the only person that could write her feelings and emotions as to how it happened. She did a great job!

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 18, 2012

    ...upon a secret

    Yes, this is a story about Mimi's affair with John F. Kennedy, but it also an intriguing journey of her time as a young woman working as an intern inside the white house. Moreover, it is a coming of age story, albeit a late one and follows Alford all through the very long road that eventually took her back to the center of her own voice, her own strength and her self. If you've seen the Meredith Vieira interview then you've seen the more explicit sections of the book. Other than the logistics of carrying on such an affair with the President of the United States, what I will best remember about the book is Mimi herself. This book will particularly resonate with women who have been mis-used by poor alliances and resurrected themselves from the mire. This is a good read, and a quick one.

    3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 13, 2012

    Booknook

    Very believeable. Very insightful. If you lived during this time you will like this.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 12, 2012

    Don't bother

    This was a waste of time and money. There are much better books then this one.

    3 out of 17 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 28, 2012

    '

    His martydom may have changed the light in which he is viewed. From the bay of pigs, the removal of the jupiter missles from Turkey following the Cuban missles crisis, to the debatable escalation in Vietnam. That tragic November day in Dallas has caused many to either over look or ignore a less than stellar foreign policy. Perhaps JFKs affliction of Graves disease, his back condition and the medications used to treat both, lead to his sexual impulsivity as well as his political judgement. As an American og Irish Catholic lineage, JFK was a saint in our household. When in reality he was flawed, perhaps more than most of us.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 1, 2012

    I didn't want to like this book but I found her side of the stor

    I didn't want to like this book but I found her side of the story compelling for any woman who has found herself wrapped up in the wrong relationship at a young age. I couldn't help feel sorry for her. Regardless of your thoughts or opinions, she offers a unprecendented view into the White House and mystique of JFK.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 14, 2012

    A Confirmation

    Although Mimi is a little older than me, I tried very hard to remember what it was like to be a young woman in the 60's. I have come to the conclusion that it can't be blamed completely on the times. How do you let someone, anyone, treat you so badly? 60 years later she is still justifying her part in this disgusting affair! As for JFK, this just confirmed what I knew as a 14 year old. He was an immoral, disgusting man who used his power to take whatever he wanted from anyone. I hate to think what would have happened in this country if he had lived to serve another term.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 12, 2012

    I recommend this book

    This book was well written and a real eye opener to the extra sexual interest the JFK had. I truly believe that Mini Alford held this information in long enough and felt it had to be told. We all know JFK had my sexual interests and a separate life with his wife and family.
    I loved JFK and though that those sexual interests did not interfere with his running the Presidency. I'm sorry the Caroline had to hear of her fathers sexual appetite but I don't really think it came as a surprise to her.
    I'm happy to read the Mimi is happily married and living a nice life.
    Good luck to her.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 10, 2012

    Not worth the hype

    Was an easy read and read lie fiction. A tad unbelievable and who's to say if it's made up or not. Don't waste your time. If you're really intesterted in the story get it out of your local library.

    2 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 3, 2012

    awful

    Such a dissapointing read. The lack of detail about the actual affair between alford and president kennedy left me frustrated. Mimi alford spent more time detailing her current marriage than she did her affair with kennedy. I thought this book was supposed to be about her affair, not her current life. A complete bore.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 24, 2012

    Oh Mimi

    The book was an ok read, but this woman is very self absorbed..........even as a 19 year old. Not once did she think about any impact this affair would have on JFK's family, her family or her co-workers. This book is an effort to explain away any responsibility she had for the affair continuing and try to convince us (and herself) that she was a victim, and she was not a victim.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2012

    Very good read!

    This was well-written and NOT "sleazy" at all... like other reviewers (who most likely did not read the book) have stated. I think the author explained her story very well and provided more than enough evidence to back her claims. Kudos to you, Mimi, for breaking your silence and sharing your story with us.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 5, 2012

    Fascinating and moving

    Mimi's candid portrayal of her affair with J.F.K. is at times very unflattering to both of them. That is why this book is so good, its honesty. That Kennedy selfishly exploited women is indisputable. But it is also evident that he cared for Mimi in his own narcicistic way. The story of a nineteen year old's affair with the leader of the free world is a vicarious thrill. The story of her struggle to come to terms with its emotional impact is heart wrenching and ultimately deeply enriching.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 11, 2012

    I Also Recommend:

    Less than a "1". Sorry I bought it ;nor did I finish

    Less than a "1". Sorry I bought it ;nor did I finish it.

    I would like to suggest another book; just written: JACQUELINE KENNEDY: Historic Conversations on life with JOHN F KENNEDY. based on interviews with Arthur M Schlesinger. This is not only a good read;but you also are provided with the actual interviews between Mr. Schlesinger and Mrs. Kennedy.Included are eight CD"s of theses interviews. These interviews leave no doubt that they truly loved one another and slghtly alluded to the fact that Mrs. Kennedy was aware of her husband's sexual daliences. These interviews alo provided that President Kennedy slept with Jackie in her room most nights. Jackie was involved with affairs of the Presidency; because he trusted her opinion.

    I was a teen during that time so I understand the era and have read hundreds of books regarding President Kennedy. No doubt he was a womanizer; however he also loved his wife very much. I am not defending The President for what he did; just want to explain a couple of things. President Kennedy had Addison's disease; though no one knew it at the time. He was given mega doses of medications (that we no longer use; I am a nurse) that increased his sexual libido. Not defending that he cheated; he was also taught that it was ok by his father as long as you stayed with your wife and treated her like a lady; which Mr. Kennedy did. I am just bringing that to the discussion. Mimi Alford was about my age when this happened. I don't agree she was that nieve unless she lived under a rock. There is no proof that President Kennedy deflowered her in Jackie's Bed. (How dispicable if he did and how sensational for her book if he did not) I agree with another reviewer who stated the author could have gone into therapy instead of hurting Caroline. She has had enough hurt in her life through such authors no matter how "good" their intent.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 14, 2012

    A story that needed to be told, I get it.

    This story stood out to me because I, like many, am enamored with the Kennedy Presidency. It was delightful to read her story because it's helped me deal with mine. I wish I could sit down with her and pick her brain because I also know what it's like to be somewhat involved with a man in power in DC (not THAT much power though, good Lord), and it's extremely hard to say no when you're young and in need of that kind of affirmation. I understand her and feel that perhaps its taken her this long to write the story because she adored him. It was almost like it was her chance to be with him again without being too embarrassed that anyone from that time would be around to take that from her. Even her critics now can't take that from her. Sounds to me like she's "loved" him her whole life and even in his death couldn't get the closure that she needed, hence the book. I would've liked to have known a lot more about the affair. Like what kinds of things did he say? More insight into the man himself that only those closest to him could tell us. Like him or not, JFK is fascinating, scandal and all. The book was a great read into a small portion of that.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2012

    Electric subject thin writing

    Missed opportunity to document an electric time in history from a unique vantage and still tell a very personel story, could not help but feel cheated due to a thin storyline that seemed to be leaving our something needed more flesh to the writing and not in a sexual or sensational aspect

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 10, 2012

    recomended

    Not the greatest book but a diffrent insite to JFK's secrect life. We all know that he had a mistress or two but so did alot of other presidents. Quick read with not alot of inside information not otherwise known and cannot be confermed due to the deaths of key persons named in the book.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 8, 2012

    Save your money

    Just another person trying to make the history books.

    1 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 29, 2012

    Great book. Our eyes never cease to be opened wider to the kennedy's.

    Wow . Just finished this book and wow what a story. What an abslute disgrace kennedy was. She may have been 19 in yrs but certainly not emotionally. A virgin. Sick sick man. Good for you mimi to have lived with this all these yrs and come out on top. You give him way too much respect.!.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 22, 2012

    Looking for more

    This was more of a women's journey to find her voice that was counter to what was expected of her WASP upbringing. But her voice is still cloaked in that wasp-ness. The intimate scenes were antiseptic and told little of how Kennedy was in that vulnerable state. I finished it wanting to know more

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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