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

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

3.6 174
by Mimi Alford
     
 

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#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
 
In the summer of 1962, nineteen-year-old Mimi Beardsley arrived in Washington, D.C., to begin an internship in the White House press office. After just three days on the job, the privileged but sheltered young woman was presented to the President himself. Almost immediately, the two

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Overview

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
 
In the summer of 1962, nineteen-year-old Mimi Beardsley arrived in Washington, D.C., to begin an internship in the White House press office. After just three days on the job, the privileged but sheltered young woman was presented to the President himself. Almost immediately, the two began an affair that would continue for the next eighteen months. Emotionally unprepared to counter the President’s charisma and power, Mimi was also ill-equipped to handle the feelings of isolation that would follow as she fell into the double life of a college student who was also the secret lover of the most powerful man in the world. After the President’s assassination in Dallas, she grieved alone, locked her secret away, and tried to start a new life, only to be blindsided by her past.
 
Now, no longer defined by silence or shame, Mimi Alford finally unburdens herself with this unflinchingly honest account of her life and her extremely private moments with a very public man. This paperback edition includes a special Q&A, in which the author reflects on the intense media attention surrounding the book’s initial release. Once Upon a Secret is a moving story of a woman emerging from the shadows to reclaim the truth.
 
“With the benefit of hindsight and good old-fashioned maturity, [Mimi Alford] writes not just about the secret, but the corrosive effect of keeping that secret. . . . You can’t help liking her, or her elegant and thoroughly good-natured book.”—The Spectator

“What [Alford] sacrificed in lucre she has more than recovered in credibility and dignity.”—The Washington Times
 
“Compelling . . . a polished voice telling a credible story you can take to the bank.”—Seattle Post-Intelligencer
 
“Explosive . . . searingly candid.”—New York Post

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“With the benefit of hindsight and good old-fashioned maturity, [Mimi Alford] writes not just about the secret, but the corrosive effect of keeping that secret. . . . You can’t help liking her, or her elegant and thoroughly good-natured book.”—The Spectator
 
“What [Alford] sacrificed in lucre she has more than recovered in credibility and dignity.”—The Washington Times
 
“Compelling . . . a polished voice telling a credible story you can take to the bank.”—Seattle Post-Intelligencer
 
“Explosive . . . searingly candid.”—New York Post
Kirkus Reviews
Kiss-and-tell memoir about the author's affair with President John F. Kennedy, beginning when she was a White House intern in 1962. Alford describes life as a debutante and the import her parents placed on The Social Register. In 1961, as a high-school senior at Miss Porter's School in Farmington, Conn., she attempted to set up an interview with one of the school's alumna, Jacqueline Kennedy, then the First Lady. Her request was declined, but she was nevertheless invited to visit the White House. There she was introduced to JFK, whose charisma struck her at once. The following year she was offered a summer internship in the White House press office. On her fourth day, Alford writes, she received a phone call from one of JFK's closest aides, Dave Powers, asking her to come for a swim in the White House pool. As she swam in a borrowed suit, the president appeared and asked to join her. That evening, the president offered the star-struck 19-year-old a personal tour of his residence and, in Mrs. Kennedy's bedroom, deflowered her. Alford is adamant that their sex was consensual, yet other aspects of their affair, which lasted from June 1962 to November 1963, bordered on brutish. The author describes two instances in which the president urged her to service other men sexually and another involving his insistence that she take amyl nitrite. Alford also discusses how she joined him on trips around the country, where they met for trysts in hotel rooms. The rest of the book is light on personal revelations and salacious details, but its subject alone should be enough to guarantee bestseller status. The first half, which unpacks her affair, is far more compelling than the second, which tracks the author's life after JFK's assassination. Voyeuristic and occasionally fascinating.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780679603443
Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
02/08/2012
Sold by:
Random House
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
224
Sales rank:
98,863
File size:
2 MB

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
“With the benefit of hindsight and good old-fashioned maturity, [Mimi Alford] writes not just about the secret, but the corrosive effect of keeping that secret. . . . You can’t help liking her, or her elegant and thoroughly good-natured book.”—The Spectator
 
“What [Alford] sacrificed in lucre she has more than recovered in credibility and dignity.”—The Washington Times
 
“Compelling . . . a polished voice telling a credible story you can take to the bank.”—Seattle Post-Intelligencer
 
“Explosive . . . searingly candid.”—New York Post

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