John F. Kennedy Jr.’s former love offers glimpses into the last vestiges of Camelot.
In actress Haag's debut memoir, readers gets a front-row seat to her on-again/off-again love affair with JFK Jr., President Kennedy's eldest son. After nine years cloistered in Catholic school, the author was suddenly propelled into the glitzy world of upper-crust New York. Her sepia-toned recounting of evenings shared with an adolescent JFK Jr. are spellbinding, setting the stage for the romance soon to come. After a series of missed connections and serendipitous run-ins, the pair finally fell into sync, two young actors playing opposite one another in a play. In a revealing conversation, a young Haag informed JFK Jr. that if he forgot his lines, he need only, “[s]top, take a breath, and look into my eyes. It will ground you.” It was sound advice, particularly from the woman JFK Jr. would later call his compass. Haag provides minute details that manage to humanize JFK Jr. in a manner the media never attempted. She recalled the “[s]paghetti he made with soy sauce” and “[l]eaping on the benches outside the Museum of Natural History”—both seemingly innocuous details, yet they offer a new look at an old figure. Equally intriguing are the author’s romanticized depictions of Jackie Onassis, the widow who could often be spotted riding her bicycle along the trails of Martha's Vineyard, “her head kerchiefed,” searching the fields for birds. Despite her intimate view, Haag is careful not to exploit the Kennedy clan; instead, she simply returns them to human form.
An honest, heartfelt account of love, politics and tragedy.