Monday, July 2, 2012

Review: Jackie After O by Tina Cassidy

Ms. Onassis meets with her boss at Viking, 1975 (via)
 Reviewed by Christina
I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Published: 2012

It's about: Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis had an eventful 1975.  This book describes the projects the ultrafamous former first lady undertook in that year, after she became a widow for the second time.  Released from her duties as wife and nearly finished being a full-time mother, she discovered a new sense of personal independence and explored roles as a writer, editor, and preservationist.

I thought:  Almost exactly five years ago, I read Tina Cassidy's Birth: The Surprising History of How We Are Born.  I adored that book.  It's on my mental list of favorite nonfictions ever, and I've given it to several friends as gifts.  So when Jackie After O was offered to The Blue Bookcase for review, I jumped at the chance to read it.  And, once again, I enjoyed and respected the author's clear style, organization, and research.  She presents her topics in this smart, smooth, journalistic way; that's exactly what I like to find in nonfiction.

But Jackie After O is not a new favorite.  I'm only mildly interested in the subject, and Tina Cassidy didn't win me over, despite all the new (to me) information she included.  I wouldn't call the book boring, but... yeah, I was a little bored sometimes as I read.  The chapter on preservation especially dragged.  Jackie Onassis was a fascinating, admirable person.  But I think I personally could have satisfied my rather limited curiosity by reading her wikipedia article. 

Verdict: In-between.  It's a good piece of nonfiction, but it just didn't particularly float my boat.

Reading Recommendations:  Obviously, read it if you're a big fan of Ms. Onassis!  Otherwise, check out Birth, by the same author, instead.

Warnings: A couple of quoted swears (mostly from Aristotle Onassis)

What I'm reading nextBack When We Were Grownups by Anne Tyler