Come to the Edge: A Love Story

( 73 )

Overview

The Love Story of JFK Jr. and Christina Haag • New York Times bestseller
 
When Christina Haag was growing up on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, John F. Kennedy, Jr., was just one of the boys in her circle of prep school friends, a skinny kid who lived with his mother and sister on Fifth Avenue and who happened to have a Secret Service detail following him discreetly at all times. A decade later, after they had both graduated from ...

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Come to the Edge

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Overview

The Love Story of JFK Jr. and Christina Haag • New York Times bestseller
 
When Christina Haag was growing up on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, John F. Kennedy, Jr., was just one of the boys in her circle of prep school friends, a skinny kid who lived with his mother and sister on Fifth Avenue and who happened to have a Secret Service detail following him discreetly at all times. A decade later, after they had both graduated from Brown University, Christina and John were cast in an off-Broadway play together. It was then that John confessed his long-standing crush on her, and they embarked on a five-year love affair. Glamorous and often in the public eye, but also passionate and deeply intimate, their relationship was transformative for both of them. Exquisitely written, Come to the Edge is an elegy to first love, a lost New York, and a young man with an enormous capacity for tenderness, and an adventurous spirit, who led his life with surprising and abundant grace.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Lyrically and precisely recaptures the frenetic ecstasy of early love.”—The Washington Post
 
“[A] wistful story of love and ultimate loss . . . The life of a Kennedy is one of great privilege [and Christina] Haag’s memoir allows us intimate access. . . . She doesn’t bow to tabloid sensationalism; instead, she gently dusts off her tender, aching memories and bravely holds them to the light.”—Los Angeles Times
 
“Perfectly captures what it feels like to be young and in love—the giddiness, the lunacy, the madcap swings between exhilaration and despair . . . Haag is a beautiful writer.”—Entertainment Weekly
 
“The most honest, most thoroughly rendered, most memorable memoir of young love published in recent years . . . a remarkable work.”—New York Journal of Books
 
“[A] haunting memoir.”—Marie Claire

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780385523189
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 1/10/2012
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 309,592
  • Product dimensions: 5.22 (w) x 8.22 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Christina Haag
Christina Haag is an actress who lives in New York and Los Angeles. She is a graduate of Brown University and the Juilliard School.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 73 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(27)

4 Star

(19)

3 Star

(15)

2 Star

(7)

1 Star

(5)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 74 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 8, 2011

    This is one to own...

    COME TO THE EDGE has surprising universal appeal and its emotional effect was rather unexpected. Quite profound, really. The part that grabbed me -- so much so, that I let out a gasp then sobbed aloud -- was towards the end, about Big Sur/cancer. Not that I didn't attach to the love story. I did --it was so easy to adore -- but the chapter "After" (I think) communicated so accutely how it feels to be in your mid-forties at the time when you begin to realize that you (and those who walk with you) are not invincible and could vanish in a flash.

    On another level, CTTE felt Victorian -- in a good way-- its chaste depth was so satisfying. And, like a turn of the century novel, it transported me back to another time and place that felt far away but really wasn't.

    GOD. The descriptions of feeling and form were so well drawn -- who was it that said, "Art is in the details"? -- an exquisitely sculpted memory of someone who loved the writer so deeply and meant so much. It must have healed her in some way to lay it down on paper.

    For us, the masses, it will entertain and inspire. But for those who knew him well, it will bring him back, and to me that is the closest thing to writerly magic.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 31, 2011

    Funny, touching, sweet...and beautifully written

    At a time when we're all in need of something uplifting to read, along comes Christina Haag's wonderful, and beautifully written memoir of her five-year love affair with JFK Jnr. The timing could not be better, nor could the book. It is sweet without being cloying, effortlessly funny, full of rich detail, and redolent of a previous, seemingly more innocent, time in New York City life. Come to the Edge deserves to be a huge success.

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2011

    Come to the Edge is a Great Book! Bravo.

    Come to the Edge is an absolutely beautifully written memoir by Christina Haag. Yes, it happens to involve John Kennedy, Jr. But above that, this book presents a story of a romance that was full of love, trust, great intimacy and growth. It is a book that pulls one along, revealing the joys, and trials and tribulations, of a 5-year romance in uncanny detail, giving the story great traction, while making Haag's relationship with the son of the President of the United States, who sought to discover his own identity in the world, come alive. In so many ways, this book is universal. It's a story of young love and hopes, of the things that connect and divide us, of our search for meaning and purpose, and, importantly, of the power of our connection with the natural world. Bravo to Christina Haag for a job very, very well done.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 1, 2011

    I am beside myself - stunned by its beauty...

    And I don't have the words to add to what's already been written here. Just buy it and read it and take from it all that it has to offer.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 3, 2011

    Beautiful Story, Beautifully Written

    Christina Haag has written an achingly beautiful memoir. Her respectful portrait of John Kennedy not only reveals him as a flesh-and-blood human being but at the same time captures the larger-than-life aspects of his story. Christina tells of how their paths wove themselves together and apart during their childhoods in New York and beyond, culminating in an intense, five year love affair -- what John called the longest courtship ever. Also of great interest is Christina's portrait of John's mother, whom she obviously admired and adored. Their friendship continued even after the affair with John was over. But this book is more than all that. It is a delicate tale of coming of age, of first love, that transcends its connection to a famous family.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 6, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    An honest, tender love story

    Christina Haag spent five years in a romantic relationship with John F. Kennedy Jr. She recounts these years in her tender and honest memoir, Come to the Edge. While a memoir about loving one of the most famous Americans could be lurid and gossipy, this book is remarkable in its restraint. Haag tells a story that is relatable to many women; she loved a man, thought they were headed towards spending the rest of their lives together, but in the end, it didn't work out. She begins with a childhood filled with games and loving Dark Shadows and Lost in Space. (I loved those too, but wanted to be Judy, not Mrs. Robinson.) Her first remembrance of being aware of JFK Jr. was seeing his photo on the wall at a barber shop. She attended Sacred Heart School with his sister Caroline, but they weren't friends. As teenagers, their social circles intersected as they attended many of the same parties. He had the reputation as a playboy, even then breaking hearts, and friends warned Christina to stay away from him, which she did. They both attended Brown University, and shared a house with three other students, one of whom was future journalist Christiane Amanpour. They became closer friends then, and that section of the book sheds much light on Kennedy. Haag tells of answering the phone one day, and a man on the other end threatened to kill Kennedy. She became justifiably upset, and when the roommates finally found John, he brushed it off. It was something he lived with, but he did not let it rule his life; he lived life to the fullest. Haag became an actress, and appeared in an off-off Broadway play with Kennedy where they had a romantic kiss that deepened their feelings for each other. He wanted to be an actor, but knew his mother would not accept it, so he went to law school. The portrayal of Jackie shows a different side to her than most people know. She was genteel yet strong, kind, wise, and she had a bit of wicked sense of humor. She liked Christina, seeing a bit of herself in the young woman whom her son loved. After they broke up, Jackie tried to help Christina get an acting job, and even sent her a note a month before she passed away. Haag does an admirable job of writing this memoir while still respecting the privacy of people involved. Sometimes when you read memoirs with famous people in them, it can feel like reading The National Inquirer. Not so with Come to the Edge. Even when she has a right to her anger, such as when he married his wife Carolyn on Cumberland Island, a place that he and Christina discovered together and spent a romantic vacation, she doesn't write of how much of betrayal that was. She describes the lovely time they spent there, and then of hearing that that was where he got married. She makes her point subtly, letting the reader come to her own conclusion how that would feel. Kennedy comes to life in this book, especially in this passage: "We had been together more than a year, and there were things I had learned. He was chivalric and competitive, puritan and sensual. He wore Vetiver and Eau Sauvage, and when he didn't, his skin was like warm sun. He loved to cook but burned his food, and he slept with the windows open. I wore his sweaters, he ate off my plate, and we spent most nights at his apartment on Ninety-first Street. And if he was in a mood and I wanted something, a small thing- a light turned on, a fan turned off- I found that if I said the opposite, it worked like a charm

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 7, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    If you follow the Kennedy's a must read.

    A nice love story.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 10, 2011

    overall good read

    I enjoyed this tale of young love. Anyone who experienced the lifecycle will find this story touching and sweet. At times the sequence of events was hard to follow because her recollections are not chronological. The story is considerate of the Kennedy family. It's a quick read.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 25, 2012

    This book is one of the most beautiful i have ever read. It is w

    This book is one of the most beautiful i have ever read. It is written with such honesty and grace that it draws the reader in from the very first page. You feel as if you are right alongside John and Christina going through life together. If you are fascinated with the Kennedys as i am, this book will be one you will cherish. It provides an inside personal look as to what John was like in everyday life and as a normal boy and man, rather then what tabloids made him out to be. Even if you are not a Kennedy historian, this book is one of the most beautiful love stories of all time, and i think everyone can take away something in how to live their life with grace, fun and humility. Couragio!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 25, 2012

    Simply the best memoir I've read in eons.All Kennedy buffs read this.

    I loved this book. Read it in two days and literally rolled in the language and experience of Ms. Haag, who met JFK Jr. as a young girl, and describes her relationship with him after a very long courtship.

    There were many things that were stellar about this book. First of all, Ms. Haag is a good writer. The book waxes poetic at time, and is definitely written by a woman with a mind and a heart. Secondly, she gives us such a sensitive look into what life was like for the child of the Camelot era and how he progressed through life which unfortunately ended way too soon. With insights into John Jr, and the meetings with Jackie O, we feel like we know them through her writing and her eyes. And we like them. Except perhaps for Aunt Ethel.

    There are so many personal little tidbits, such as John giving Christina his gloves on a cold night when she doesn't have any that she shares with us. She also illustrates his adventurous spirit as well as some emotions he felt free to share with her. Little touches, like him touching his father's rocking chair in his apartment.I could go on and on but you have to read the book. The Cumberland experience was extremely potent for me as he later married another woman there.

    Also, this book (for me) plugs deeply into the psyche of how hard it was to be him and yet be a man. There are nuances of what he struggled with emotionally just being a Kennedy and how Christina became his "compass". Their romance and exchanges are crystallized in this book and leaves one fluttering with the beauty and the revelation, and the sorry perhaps of "If only he had...".

    A splendid read and an absolutely lovely book. Romance and decency still live.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 22, 2012

    Ok ok

    Ms. Haag appears to have a mild case of ADD... I felt like I was being challenged to figure out where they were in their era. "What the heck is she saying now?" Then I had to go back a few pages in case I missed something. JFK Jr seems seemed to be full of adventure yet Ms. Haag is too uptight for his taste... quite dull. It took me months to finish this book... yawn!

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 26, 2012

    Beautiful love story

    I just finished reading this book. It is a beautiful love story of two young adults. Nevermind that the book is about JFK Jr. I would recommend this to anyone who likes a good story, especially if the story is true.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 25, 2012

    Read This Book, Your Heart Will Thank You!

    This love story is not only deeply rendered, completely transportive and beautifully painted, it is also a true story, told with raw emotion, unflinching honesty, and it revolves around a man few knew well, certainly none as well as our author did, in so many ways. There are lessons in love from our earliest days, the dance of insecurity and desire, and the abandon of being led by an adventurous soul into places one never thought possible. It is a love story told both shyly and boldly, with such courage and beauty, that in truth, laying it down before finishing it felt like a crime of the heart. It is the kind of thing we see in films believing it could only be fiction, however here, it is shimmering, naked, down-to-the-breathless-core truth. Brava to the gifted author. I encourage you to READ THIS BOOK! Your heart will thank you.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 14, 2012

    A book that touched my heart...

    ... and shall remain forever imprinted there. With writing as intricate and exquisite as finely-woven lace, Ms. Haag weaves a powerful story of a great and passionate love with a figure whose life was chronicled endlessly from the day he was born and yet remained a mystery to most of us long after his tragic death. The book succeeds on many levels: On a personal note, like so many of my generation who also fell in love with the three-year-old John-John, watched him grow, and invested in him the hopes and dreams that we'd also invested in his father and his uncle, Haag's generous telling their personal relationship for me, at least, finally lays bare the man and the mystery that was John F. Kennedy, Jr. I could never understand why he chose to go up in that plane on that fateful day. Now, although still sadly, it makes perfect sense. As a love story, one could not possibly ask for more. Haag's own story of growing up in New York, her childhood intersecting with that of John's from grade school through college and beyond, beautifully captures a city and a time of that would set the stage for a relationship born of friendship and the innocence of youth with its belief that, with love, anything is possible. As a story of adventure, the element of risk is detailed in the telling of their many harrowing adventures together, when John would literally beckon Haag to "come to the edge," times when she would risk not only her heart for this man. Haag is a remarkable writer, as well as a remarkable woman. I loved every beautiful and lovingly chosen word of this very special book. Thank you, Christina.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 12, 2012

    A Must Read!!

    What a wonderful book and so much more than I expected. Ms. Haag takes you on an intimate journey that allows you to share her love and friendship with John. She has a beautiful style of writing and it makes you long to turn the page. You will laugh, cry, and wish they could have worked it out. A beautiful love story.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 3, 2012

    Beautiful and Heart-Breaking

    Brava to Christina Haag for crafting this searingly beautiful memoir. She has taken what could easily have been a sensationalized story of her love affair with JFK Jr. and turned it into a literary greatness. I haven't been this touched by a memoir since James Salter's "Burning The Days."

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 15, 2011

    Beautiful story, well told - don't miss this one!

    A brave thing, to write down and then publish to the world your love story, with good things and bad. Christina Haag and John Kennedy Jr clearly had a true love, and Ms Haag does a lovely job in capturing their relationship in words. Of course we know how it turns out, but we learn along the way about the way that they handled their lives, in and out of the spotlight. Clearly Mr Kennedy was very well protected and monitored from childhood, so it is not surprising that he found ways to court danger in nature, may be as a way of testing his own courage. Ms Haag notes his bravery - but she too is a courageous soul. I hope that we hear more from her, she clearly has a natural writer's gift.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 6, 2011

    Beautifully written. Highly recommended.

    I really enjoyed the book and the story. I liked Christina Haag's detailed meaningful writing style.
    I would have enjoyed the book a little more if it was written chronologically, but overall it is very good book that keeps you thinking about the story.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 1, 2011

    An interesting glimpse of love and and a young JFK JR

    I saw the author on the Today show and was interested as I enjoy reading about the Kennedg family. I found a unique glimpse into young love, written very sweetly and without sorid tales... A beautiful read - I came away missing JFK JR and wishing he had been my love.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2011

    Highly Recommended - You must check it out!

    It's really a beautiful book.
    My favorite parts are her relationship with "Mrs. Onasis." It's a world I always wondered about.
    It completely took me back to that time.
    Elegant and smartly written.
    Intimate and poetic like listening to rain fall upon waking.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 74 Customer Reviews

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