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The Eternal Waltz of Jacqueline Kennedy Hardcover – May, 2011
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“In The Eternal Waltz of Jacqueline Kennedy, Kristin Marshall takes the reader on an imaginary, dream-like journey through the intimate family memories of Jacqueline Kennedy. Written with respect and tenderness, this book is pure poetry.” ―Rebecca Pierce-Merrick, Co-founder and Curator of the John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum, Hyannis, Massachusetts “An eloquent and delightful portrayal of Jacqueline Kennedy’s one-day stay in eternity with her beloved family.” ―Christine Duminiak, Certified Grief Recovery Specialist, author of Heaven Talks To Children “Kristin Marshall has taken us into some of Jackie’s most innermost thoughts. The Eternal Waltz of Jacqueline Kennedy is a must have addition to any Jackie admirer’s library.” ―Steven Brawley, Publisher, www.pink.pillbox.com
About the Author
Kristin Elizabeth Marshall attended Boston University, where she majored in psychology and graduated cum laude, with distinction. She began a career in advertising in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and subsequently moved to New York City, where she worked in the marketing research departments of several of the largest ad agencies in the world. She is an avid reader, has traveled extensively throughout Europe and the Caribbean, and is interested in art, gardening, and cooking. She is married, with three grown children, and resides in Westchester County, New York.
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Top Customer Reviews
Jackie was a picture of what all women dream of, in my humble opinion. She brought a bright light to every situation. World leaders were subdued by her beauty and poise. An entire nation turned to her for the latest in fashion. She was a strong but always feminine influence to JFK. This book is a must read but I must make an important note here.
I feel almost unqualified to rate this work, not because of the content but because of the author. Every page of this book is poetry. It is written in such beautiful form. The poetic words keep you absolutely mezmorized. This new author, I'm sure could write a manual on how to dig a ditch in a way that could bring you to tears because of its' beauty.
Description (from Amazon.com):
Set in the historic and familiar context of what is arguably the most iconic American family, The Eternal Waltz of Jacqueline Kennedy portrays through elegant, lyrical prose a single ethereal day spent in eternity. Jackie Kennedy, together with her husband and children for one final treasured day, takes us on a literary tour-de-force, a spiritual journey that unfolds as she reflects on her life. She examines both her immeasurable joys and her personal tragedies, not only the loves and the losses that spring from the timeless universality of family, but those that arose from that turbulent, triumphant, and uniquely American era surrounding John F. Kennedy's brief presidency.
The Eternal Waltz of Jacqueline Kennedy invites readers to lose themselves once more in the nostalgic legacy of Camelot by painting a picture so compelling and so exquisite that it may very well challenge us to recast the scope and the vision we have of eternity.
Overall Rating: 4 ½ stars
Plot: 3 ½ stars
This novella is the story of one day in Eternity, told in first person singular by Jackie Kennedy. Much of it is just her musings about things she sees and thinks while going through life on that day, and the memories they bring back. Eternity takes the form of a paradisiacal (pun intended, I think) tropical isle where Jackie is reunited with JFK and her dead baby. John Jr. and Caroline remain children, as they were when JFK was assassinated. The story is a paean to family life, love, and idealism, and tries to show that even in grief there can still be joy or hope. The tone is not quite sad, but more wistful - the memories of love and laugher that once were, and are no longer. The only quibble I have with the plot is that so much occurs that it can not possibly have taken place in one day - though no one sleeps, and in Eternity the concept of Time has little meaning.
Characters: 4 stars
The only real character in the story is Jackie Kennedy. The entire story is told from her viewpoint and everything is seen through the filter of her mind. The only other characters are JFK and their children, and they just play supporting roles. Their personalities are almost idealized. Maybe 'idealized' isn't even the right word - they are almost made into Platonic Ideas - they lack individual personality except for what they represent in Jackie's own mind. I really do not know how accurately they are portrayed in comparison to how they were in real life. But, based on the care and detail with which Jackie is drawn, I suspect that the others are very true-to-life as well.
Jackie is portrayed as a wife and mother first and foremost, an idealist second, and a woman of the world as a distant third. Everyone's own little slice of heaven is different, and Jackie's is shown as spending time in peace with her family, away from the limelight, and free to be her own self instead of a figurehead.
Writing Style: 5 stars
I would give the author's writing style 6 stars if I could. I personally love words and reading this book felt like I was floating in a warm sea of beautiful, scented words. I could close my mind's eye and be transported to my own small slice of Eternity. I realize that many people do not share that feeling, but for me, the writing was the very best part of this book. The author just strung together descriptions into gorgeous strands; adjective after glittering adjective painted an incredible picture.
The author was able to credibly bring the reader inside Jackie's head and to share her experiences, thoughts, and memories. This is definitely not a book for everyone, but it carries an air of 'Camelot' about it in many ways. If you remember the era with nostalgia and can lose yourself in the beauty of pictures painted of words, you will most likely find this an enjoyable, though a very non-traditional, read.