Riveting...Taraborrelli presents a woman of passion, both sexual and emotional, whose facade somehow always remains in place...the magic of Jackie's aura is imperishable to this day...deliciously readable.” New York Times Book Review
“In this revealing biography, Taraborrelli explores the complicated relationship between Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis, her mother Janet Lee Auchincloss, and her sister, Princess Lee Radziwill. Though the two sisters became two of the most idolized women of the 20th century, they struggled with sibling jealousy and constantly sought 'money and power'which their mother told them was 'the secret to happily-ever-after.'” People magazine, "Best Books About the Kennedy Family"
"Taraborrelli takes an intimate look at the sisters’ complicated relationship with [Aristotle Onassis], and reveals for the first time what really happened when Lee learned her sister was marrying Onassis five years after John F. Kennedy’s death." Harper's Bazaar
"Veteran Hollywood biographer J. Randy Taraborrelli, drawing on interviews with family members, reveals how their formidable and hard-nosed mother, Janet Bouvier Auchincloss, sought to mould her daughters in her own ruthlessly mercenary and social-climbing image." Daily Mail
"Meticulously researched...fascinating and absorbing...Taraborrelli captures the glamorous, tragic, seductive and completely absorbing world of the Kennedys and those who married them. With his bite-size chapters, insightful writing and impeccable research, Taraborrelli's Jackie, Janet & Lee is irresistible, intimate and revealing." Shelf Awareness
“Jackie, Janet & Lee traces the fraught relationship between First Lady Jackie Kennedy Onassis and her rivalrous celebrity sister Lee Radziwill as they dueled for popularity, men, and the approval of their mother Janet Auchincloss...Taraborrelli’s gossipy narrative revels in luxurious decor, stunning outfits, and soap-operatic fights in this entertaining saga of how wealthy, fashionable women got that way.” Publishers Weekly
“A narrative about money and the seemingly unlimited power that goes with it...The aura of Camelot lives on in a book for Kennedy completists and those who enjoy tales of the rich and powerful.” Kirkus Reviews
“Engrossing...An intimate look into the intertwined lives of the Bouvier, Auchincloss, Kennedy, and Radziwill families. Taraborrelli creates a tabloid-style story of money, power, politics, and familya voyeuristic look into a world of patrician privilege.” Library Journal
A formidable mother teaches her daughters to rise in the world by putting cold calculation before romance in this canny family portrait. Taraborrelli (Jackie, Ethel, Joan: Women of Camelot) traces the fraught relationship between First Lady Jackie Kennedy Onassis and her rivalrous celebrity sister Lee Radziwill as they dueled for popularity, men, and the approval of their mother Janet Auchincloss, an imperious matriarch who manipulated them as sternly as Joseph P. Kennedy did his offspring. Auchincloss’s battle between heart and head—she married first a charming, virile womanizer, then a stolid, impotent plutocrat to secure her finances—laid the template for her daughters: Kennedy Onassis rehashed it by rejecting merely affluent suitors (usually at her mother’s insistence) to marry into the “real money” of charming, womanizing J.F.K. and Aristotle Onassis (after wrestling him away from an affair with Radziwill—always the lesser marital strategist—and negotiating a $5 million prenuptial payment for her hand). Taraborrelli’s gossipy narrative revels in luxurious decor, stunning outfits, and soap-operatic fights (“Janet just hauled off and slapped her daughter across the face, twice”) in this entertaining saga of how wealthy, fashionable women got that way. Photos. (Jan.)
Those enamored of the Kennedy mystique will enjoy this intimate look into the intertwined lives of the Bouvier, Auchincloss, Kennedy, and Radziwill families. Taraborrelli, a prolific author of popular biographies including the best-selling After Camelot, creates a tabloid-style story of money, power, politics, and family—a voyeuristic look into a world of patrician privilege. While Jackie Kennedy Onassis has been the subject of countless chronicles, less is known about details of her relationship with her mother, Janet Auchincloss, and sister Lee Radziwill. This sweeping account traces their relationships over the decades, including familiar events such as the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and obscure ones such as how Jackie's mother shared her "formula for good living" with her daughter. Relying on interviews, oral histories, original documents, and published sources, the author reveals personal details of the lives of these three women: the competitive tension between the sisters; poignant accounts of troubled marriages; and the tangled web that linked Lee, Jackie, and Aristotle Onassis. Readers are also introduced to the "other side of Camelot;" the lives of Jackie's half brother and half sister, for example. VERDICT Engrossing for general readers. Historians may challenge some of the anecdotes and interpretations presented.—Marie M. Mullaney, Caldwell Coll., NJ
The prolific celebrity biographer returns to Camelot, this time to examine some of the women involved in the glamorous proceedings.Taraborrelli (Becoming Beyoncé: The Untold Story, 2015, etc.) tells the story of Janet Lee Bouvier, mother to Jackie and Lee, a woman whose life's work was the acquisition of money and power. Indeed, Janet never let either of her daughters marry without understanding the suitor's finances and connections. After divorcing John Bouvier, Janet married Hugh Auchincloss, a Standard Oil heir with two magnificent estates, one in McLean, Virginia, and the other in Newport, Rhode Island. Once married to Auchincloss, Janet wanted more children, and she was able to bear two more. This is much more the story of Lee and Jackie and their lifelong competition with and devotion to each other. Janet fostered and fed their competition, praising Jackie and criticizing Lee. Even in their games, Jackie was the princess and Lee the handmaiden; everything seemed to come to Jackie easily, while Lee struggled. Throughout their lives, Janet told the girls what to do and how. She even caused the end of Lee's first marriage. Her greatest failure was Aristotle Onassis. Lee was ready to leave her husband, Prince Radziwill, for Onassis but was convinced it would be fatal for John F. Kennedy's re-election, and she backed off. Even after Kennedy was killed, Lee hoped, but then Jackie moved in. Lee stepped aside gracefully, but Janet was furious. Throughout their lives, especially Lee's, Janet vetted every attachment, with demands for settlements and monthly allowances (in the tens of thousands) before marriage. Jackie learned from the master, securing $3 million from Onassis along with at least $30,000 a month. Ultimately, this is a narrative about money and the seemingly unlimited power that goes with it. It's a sad story, but anyone desperately questing for wealth could learn from it.The aura of Camelot lives on in a book for Kennedy completists and those who enjoy tales of the rich and powerful.