JACQUELINE KENNEDY ONASSIS by Lester David

JACQUELINE KENNEDY ONASSIS

The Woman She Has Become
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 A rehash of the life of Jackie as she turns 65: a collection of old news, non-news, and tabloid analysis. Kennedy chronicler David (Good Ted, Bad Ted: The Two Faces of Edward M. Kennedy, 1993) takes us on a walking tour of Jackie's Manhattan. Did you know, for example, that Jackie jogs clockwise around the Central Park reservoir instead of counterclockwise like the other runners (to avoid photographers on her route)? Or that she buys her sweatpants at the Gap at 86th and Madison? Although Jackie had a facelift in 1979, her hands have prominent veins and ``brown and yellow blotches of varying sizes.'' It can't be any fun churning out copy about a subject who does not give interviews. David has spent valuable time in the library and has interviewed colleagues, servants, tradespeople, and Kennedy relatives to get even the smell of a scoop, but his pickings are slim. This is a textbook on how to make short, impersonal interviews seem like page-one stories. As if we were reading a Christmas letter, we learn that Mrs. Onassis exercises regularly, gets plenty of sleep, and eats healthfully. Her newest roommate is chubby, married diamond merchant Maurice Tempelsman. She still doesn't get along with the other Kennedy women (``They were clam chowder, she was lobster bisque''), and she vacations on Martha's Vineyard, where she had a disagreement with the Wampanoag Indians. (Apparently, Wampanoag chief Moshup and his wife, Old Squant, are buried on her private beach.) Regrettably she has been diagnosed with lymphoma, but the prognosis is optimistic. The children and grandchildren are healthy, and John John is no longer dating Madonna. To be read under the hair dryer, but not really thrilling enough to take home. (16 pages b&w photos, not seen) (First printing of 50,000; first serial to New Woman)

Pub Date: July 28th, 1994
ISBN: 1-55972-234-7
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Birch Lane Press
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 1994