We owe it to each other to tell stories - Neil Gaiman

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Jackie O: On the Couch - Alma H. Bond

I won’t lie to you. I was sceptical. But by page 2... I was hooked. Jackie O: On the Couch is not only informative, it is insightful and interesting; it has the tri-factor of i’s.


This is not just another biography. For the first time, Jackie O: On the Couch highlights Jackie’s life from her own perspective, as imagined by author Dr. Alma Bond, a psychoanalyst and longtime student of Jackie lore. The book delves into Jackie’s childhood and explores how and why she became the person she was. It explores the Kennedy's, Aristotle Onassis, and Jackie’s emergence into the world of publishing, until her death of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in 1995 at age 63. Jackie O: On the Couch is a unique exploration of the life and loves of a great historical figure. The always private Jackie finally emerges as a true human being, with enormous shortcomings and strengths, who all of us can now understand and appreciate like never before.

Book Stats:

Where I got it: netGalley
Title: Jackie O: On the Couch
Subtitle: Inside the Mind and Life of Jackie Kennedy Onassis
Publisher: Bancroft Press
Pub Date: 08/01/2011
ISBN: 9781610880213
Author: Alma H. Bond
Category: Fiction

The Review:

Why was I sceptical? When I see Jackie O – or anyone legendary- on the cover of a book, I take or request it before I really read what it is about. Very short-sighted, but it can make for interesting reading. So when I saw this gem on Net Galley, I immediately requested it – I mean come on – Jackie O! The woman we have to thank for the popularity of over sized sunglasses! The woman at the side of JFK! The woman who married Aristotle Onassis! Those are the three things that immediately come to mind when you think Jackie O. That is until you read Jackie O: On the couch.

But I digress, I was sceptical when I saw that this was not actually a Jackie O book that was in a vault somewhere, but was rather someone who I had never heard of’s writings of Jackie O’s life from Jackie’s perspective. I had my doubts. But then I read that the author – who is wonderful – is a psychoanalyst, and in preparing to write this book, she read 100 books on Jackie. So if anyone who did not actually know Jackie could be looked upon as an authority on Jackie O, it would have to be Alma H. Bond.

I feel I know so much more about the enigmatic woman that was Jackie Bouvier Kennedy Onassis. This book is beautifully written and offers a lot of insight into the world of Jackie O. But it not only sheds light on Jackie O, it also pays attention to other significant historical figures like John F. Kennedy, Marilyn Monroe, Bobby Kennedy etc. The way that Ms Bond writes about JFK as a father is so moving. This book is the kind of book that you would hope that someone will write about you when you are no longer of this world.

So if you are interested in the lives of those who are no more but who made a significant difference in their lifetimes, then Jackie O: On the Couch is definitely the book for you.
I would like to thank the kind people at Bancroft for allowing me to review this galley. Now if I could just get it in hard copy...

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