LOVE, JACK by Gunilla von Post

LOVE, JACK

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KIRKUS REVIEW

 Yet another JFK paramour! Is there no mercy? This is a lover with a difference, however, a woman whom Kennedy first wooed before he was president and even before he was married (though he was engaged) to Jackie. The author was a lissome, 21-year-old, upper-class Swede on vacation at the French Riviera when she had a chance encounter with then Senator Kennedy. They dined and danced and sat on the edge of a cliff overlooking the Mediterranean, where he confessed that he was to be married the next week but added, ``if I had met you one week before . . . I would have cancelled the whole thing.'' As we know, he did not cancel, but a half-year later was writing to Gunilla that he would be returning to Europe and would like to meet. The rendezvous was in Sweden and according to von Post, they fell into bed where his ``tenderness was a revelation.'' The romance went on for another few years, mostly long-distance, says von Post, while Kennedy struggled with his father's dominance and his own ambition. Father Joseph and the prospect of the presidency won, although JFK suggested at one point that Gunilla establish herself in New York City's Carlyle Hotel, later infamous as a presidential playground. Gunilla wisely refused, going on to marry a Swedish notable, bear children, be tragically widowed, remarry, divorce, and lose a child through leukemia. She identified with Jacqueline's similar experiences. But she kept the letters from and the memories of the riveting young Jack Kennedy and is sharing them with us now (aided by Johnes, the author of two biographies). A good portion of this book is also devoted to establishing her credentials as a ``good girl,'' one of JFK's true loves. A sweet but unconvincing effort to depict JFK as an only somewhat unwilling victim of his father's dreams. (8 pages b&w photos) (Author tour)

Pub Date: Aug. 20th, 1997
ISBN: 0-609-60095-8
Page count: 160pp
Publisher: Crown
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15th, 1997