THE LONELY LADY OF SAN CLEMENTE: The Story of Pat Nixon by Lester David

THE LONELY LADY OF SAN CLEMENTE: The Story of Pat Nixon

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Do not be misled by the title. This is not a revealing look at Pat Nixon's life since she left the White House four years ago, for as Lester David tells us, she has been ""a virtual recluse"" and anecdotes obviously were hard to come by. David--who has done biographies of assorted Kennedys as well as Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor--is forced to tell us that the family's food is bought at the Alpha Beta Supermarket on El Camino Real, and that Pat Nixon loves digging around in the garden (""'She puts on dark pants,' her daughter Julie confides, 'so the stains on her knees won't show' ""). Most of the book is a rehash of familiar stories--difficult childhood, the now-famous courtship, her loathing of politics. David also looks at such recent items as her alleged heavy drinking during Watergate--friends deny this, while admitting that Pat is ""no teetotaler""--and the Watergate tapes: ""I would have burned or destroyed them,"" says Pat. Throughout the book, Pat Nixon appears as the tragic heroine, sacrificing her own wishes to her husband's ambitions, putting up with his ""indifferent"" treatment, hearing herself described as ""plastic Pat""--""Julie put it best: 'Nobody really understands Mother.'"" Readers of fan magazines may find this to their taste, but it is probably too saccharine for most.

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 1978
Publisher: T. Y. Crowell