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Graham moves her focus from the U.K. royals she portrayed in Gone with the Windsors to America's royal family in this imaginative fictionalization of the Kennedy clan's evolution between the world wars. The story is told from the perspective of Nora Brennan, an Irish immigrant nanny who watched over the Kennedy kids beginning in 1917. Though Nora adores each child, she grows especially fond of Rosie Kennedy, whose learning disability makes her the runt of the overachieving litter. Throughout her years of service, Nora discovers that beneath Mrs. K's prim and proper exterior is a heart as hard as the hob of hell, only outdone by Mr. K's unrelenting pressure on his sons to succeed at any cost. Meanwhile, Graham guides readers through the family scandals, political triumphs and petty squabbles that lead up to WWII, which will change the lives of the Kennedy family and their faithful nursemaid forever. Though it's billed as a bittersweet comedy, the Kennedys are easier to pity than to laugh at, and their lives are marred by tragedies that Nora suggests Joe Kennedy brought on himself. The family gets a very sympathetic if sometimes soft-focused treatment that should find a readership among those who came of age in the era of Camelot. (Mar.)
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British author Graham takes on America’s royal family, as seen through the eyes of Nora Brennan, an Irish immigrant who becomes the Kennedys’ nanny in 1917. Joe is a toddler and Jack is on the way when Nora arrives. By means of her chatty and insightful memoirs, Graham portrays this proud and prolific family until Kathleen Kennedy’s funeral in England in 1948. The reader is privy to the birth of each child, Mr. K’s philandering, Rose Kennedy’s frequent absences, and the lavish gifts she receives for ignoring his dalliances, including cars with drivers and Greenbrier vacations. The competitive Kennedy spirit is instilled almost from birth, even in Rosie, the slow learner finally sent to a Catholic home in Wisconsin. Mr. K’s stint as a Hollywood mogul, his friendship with FDR’s son Jimmy, and his lackluster years as ambassador to England are seen through Nora’s perceptive eyes, always in light of how they affect her brood. Graham blends accurate historical detail with Nora’s outspoken and gossipy vernacular in this highly entertaining read. --Deborah Donovan --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Editorial Reviews
Although this is a work of fiction, I found it totally believable and in sync with what is generally known about the Kennedy family, especially Joe and Rose Kennedy. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Joyce M.
A delightful read! Very insightful - the perfect combination of fact and fiction.Published 11 months ago by Ginny Bowers
This was an excellent and accurate fictional portrayal of life within the Kennedy household, as seen through the eyes of the nursemaid Nora, who came into the household before Jack... Read morePublished 15 months ago by Kirsten
Enjoyed this book. Its made me interested to read other books by the same author but enjoyed this one best of all.Published 17 months ago by Elspeth
It gave a very different picture of the Kennedy family--particularly Joe Senior.
All in all a very interesting book. Read more
Really enjoyed this book - learnt a lot about the Kennedy family history without having to read a non fiction bookPublished on September 19, 2013 by Sandra Duell
I love Laurie Graham's fun twist on historical events & times. Definitely worth the read. It will keep you engaged.Published on February 12, 2013 by Mary L. Olson
The Importance of Being Kennedy is narrated by Nora Brennan, in the form of a diary. Nora was the nursemaid to the Kennedy clan, from Joe Jr. to Teddy. Since Joe Sr. Read morePublished on January 5, 2012 by Heather Hurley