Jacqueline Bouvier: An Intimate Memoir

Overview

Critical Acclaim for Jacqueline Bouvier John Davis's intimate memoir of his beloved first cousin "Readers longing for a dignified and elegant approach to Jackie's early years will enjoy this biographical gem by John H. Davis." —Boston Herald "Goes a long way to highlight the formative influence of her privileged back-ground and her warm relationship with her father, the philandering Jack (Black Jack) Bouvier." —Los Angeles Times "Re-creates a colorful, fast-fading slice of American life as it flourished in the ...

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Jacqueline Bouvier: An Intimate Memoir

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Overview

Critical Acclaim for Jacqueline Bouvier John Davis's intimate memoir of his beloved first cousin "Readers longing for a dignified and elegant approach to Jackie's early years will enjoy this biographical gem by John H. Davis." —Boston Herald "Goes a long way to highlight the formative influence of her privileged back-ground and her warm relationship with her father, the philandering Jack (Black Jack) Bouvier." —Los Angeles Times "Re-creates a colorful, fast-fading slice of American life as it flourished in the shadows of toll hedges and long lineages." —The Miami Herald "The most charming and reliable in the batch [of Jackie books] is Davis's memoir." —The Atlanta Journal and Constitution "Entertaining, a guilty pleasure." —The Associated Press "This tender memoir of Jackie's early years sheds much light on the future woman we all wanted to know but never could." —The Star-Ledger (Newark)

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Jackie's cousin shares childhood memories. (July)
Library Journal
This very evocative book by the late Mrs. Onassis's cousin is as much a nostalgic look at a vanished way of life as it is a memoir of Jacqueline Bouvier from her birth in 1929 until her marriage to Senator John F. Kennedy in September 1953. The author's access to family papers helped fill in the details of an enormously privileged yet often unhappy childhood, in which her parents' divorce left the young girl torn between the father she adored and an extremely controlling mother who was jealous of that relationship. Davis recounts gossip, but readers expecting nothing but dirt will be disappointed. This is instead a fond look at a beautiful and intelligent woman who was always something of an enigma, even to her own family; Davis does shed light on the events that helped make Jacqueline such a private person. This brief memoir includes beautiful photographs, some never before published. Recommended for libraries where there is an interest in Jacqueline Onassis and the Kennedys.Elizabeth Mellett, Brookline P.L., Mass.
Kirkus Reviews
Nothing more to learn about Jackie O.? How about that her mother was a screamer, hit her daughter, and abandoned Jackie and her sister to a nanny while she prowled the New York social scene in search of a husband to replace Jackie's beloved father.

Author Davis (Mafia Dynastry, 1993, etc.) was a first cousin on the Bouvier side to the late Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis, but by his own admission, he was not an "intimate." What Davis has going for him is family papers rescued and preserved by his mother and many childhood summers shared with Jackie at Lasata, the East Hampton retreat of their Bouvier grandparents. Davis's thesis is that the elegant surroundings and lifestyle at Lasata gave a head start to Jackie's highly developed esthetic and that the escalating warfare between her mother, the former Janet Lee, and her father, "Black Jack" Bouvier, led to her "secretiveness." Caught in a tug-of-war between her parents for her affections, according to Davis, after her mother married the wealthy Hugh Auchincloss and her Grandfather Bouvier died leaving Lasata to be sold, Jackie began to pull away from her father. Eventually, on her wedding day, Bouvier was tragically abandoned, waiting in a Newport hotel room while Hugh Auchincloss gave his daughter away. Included are stories of Jackie as Deb of the Year, as Vassar student with football weekends at Yale and Princeton, and as inquiring photographer for the Washington Post. Here also is the text of Jackie's winning Vogue Prix de Paris entry, stories about how she charmed Joe Kennedy, and the fact that her number-one priority in a husband was that he be wealthy. Davis's reminiscences stop with her wedding. For ardent Jackie fans, plenty of photos, from babyhood to wedding day, some not seen before.

Although the broad outlines of Jacqueline Bouvier's childhood are familiar, Davis's memories add details that will help readers better understand this most celebrated, most mysterious woman.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780471249443
  • Publisher: Turner Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 2/23/1998
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 1,006,120
  • Product dimensions: 0.52 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 9.00 (d)

Meet the Author

JOHN H. DAVIS is the author of the critically acclaimed The Bouviers, The Kennedys, and The Guggenheims. He lives in New York City.
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Table of Contents

The Years of Bliss.

The Years of Dismay.

The Divorce.

The Remarriage.

A Divided Life.

The Death of Grampy Jack.

Vassar and The Sorbonne.

One Special Summer.

The Inquiring Camera Girl.

"The Wedding of the Year." Acknowledgments.

Photo Credits.

Index.

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 21, 2011

    Good, but tiresome at points

    Since I hadn't read anything on Jackie, this was a nice place to start. It gave some great insite into her life up to the point when she became a public figure. I just couldn't get past how biased the author was; apparently her mother was pure evil and her father was a saint. Maybe if the author would have made some acknowledgement that his perspective was slightly slanted (since he was a cousin on her dad's side of the family), it would have made it forgivable. It just got in the way of me enjoying the rest of the book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 14, 2006

    An insightful look into Jacqueline Bouvier's life.

    This book was well written. It held my interest so well that I read it in two days. The author did a fine job writing a fairly unbiased history of his famous cousin.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 9, 2000

    A FRESH CHANGE

    This is a special book written about Jackie's childhood and teenage years. The author is her cousin, who gives us fun revelations and fascinating photographs. A touching memoir. PLEASE E-MAIL ME ABOUT JACKIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 26, 2000

    Jacqueline Bouvier, An Intimate Memoir

    First cousin of Jacqueline Bouvier, John H. Davis, has combined family history, detailed events of the life of the Bouvier family, and insightful stories of Jacqueline's early years in this wonderful intimate memoir. 'Jacqueline Bouvier, An Intimate Memoir' is filled with pictures of not only Jackie but also her sisters, cousins, aunts, grandparents, parents, and beloved family pets. This is especially nice so that the reader gets an image of the people described. It would be wrong to say this book is all about Jackie. It explains the lives of people around her and how they effected her own life, and vice versa. Basically it tells the whole story. This memoir did not touch the subject of the Kennedy assassination at all. It ends with Jacqueline's marriage to President Kennedy (or at the time, Senator Kennedy). If one were looking to a deeper look into Jacqueline's later years, this would not be the book. Even though it very well covers the early years of Jacqueline Bouvier.

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