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I found this to be a waste of time with no new information, and had not realized it was a ‘historical fiction’ account. Riddled with inaccuracies, it does very little to inform the reader of real information, and the book is just a short way away from a romance novel with a bare chested man behind a long haired woman in a scanty dress, with heaving body parts and characters named Reginald. I found the dialogue she chose to furnish JFK with in private moments unbelievable, as I could not imagine him being that demonstrative in any way. Several points in the book are glaring, such as when the author has JFK and his father smoking Cigarettes. I have read extensively on the Kennedy family, and have never read of JFK smoking anything other than Cuban cigars, while his father is never portrayed as smoking anything at all. Severely disappointed with this book. Please don’t bother.
Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis was one of America’s most fashionable First Ladies. She was also a symbol of America’s strength on the dark day when her husband, John F. Kennedy was assassinated. In this historical retelling of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis’s life, Jackie is shown as a wife, mother and ultimately a survivor.
And They Called It Camelot is a very personal and intimate look at Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. In this novel, it felt like the First Lady’s own autobiography. The reader got to delve into her head as she goes through her two marriages with her husbands- John F. Kennedy and Aristotle Onassis. Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis was a strong character and had to go through many personal tragedies. She lost three of her children. Both of her husbands were unfaithful to them, and she had to bury them. My heart ached for her each time she had to face a loss. However, I admired her courage to rouse herself out of grief to support her own children. Her children were her strengths. Thus, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis was mostly a wife and a mother first and was America’s First Lady second. She was also a woman of perseverance.
Overall, this novel was an in-depth psyche of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. All the characters were very complex. I thought Mrs. Thornton depicted the infamous historical figures very well, especially John F. Kennedy. He was shown as a very complex person who frequently reverted to his bachelor’s ways. My favorite aspect of this novel was Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis’s relationship with Bobby Kennedy. And They Called It Camelot was a very engrossing read from the first page till the last! Even though it is long, it was a novel that I did not want to end! The novel was very fast-paced that begins by detailing her courtship with John F. Kennedy! This novel will linger with you long after you have finished reading the last page! I recommend this novel for fans of The Kennedy Debutante, The Lost Diary of M, and The Pink Suit! And They Called It Camelot is a symptom banquet for anyone that loves reading about America’s First Ladies! (Note: I read an ARC copy of this book in courtesy of Netgalley.)
Based on other reviews, I had high hopes for this novel. The subject interests me and the genre (fictional biographies based on historical subjects) has become one of my favorite. However, I really don't think research was high on the list for this author. There were so many anachronisms and just plain errors that it didn't make sense. Everything from having the Attorney General's office in the White House to the timing of certain events was off. My interest finally petered out after reading more than three-quarters of the book. If you want a fictional book about this era, this might interest you; just don't accept anything for truth.
As a fan of historical fiction, this is the best I've read. It was as if I was sitting across from Jackie Kennedy in perhaps her library while she told her story. I remember as a teenager listening to the inaugural speech, especially, "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country." Then there was that very frightening day after school when the bus dropped us off well before our regular stop because the military post where we lived was closed and the road blocked due to the Cuban missile crises. Like every other American at that time, I remember exactly where I was and how we heard of the assassination.
Even knowing how it would end, I couldn't leave it alone. Every time I closed my Kindle, I wanted to just keep reading.
Miss Thornton has done a remarkable job of weaving together the joys, tragedies and triumphs of the most gracious First Lady America has ever had, who did more for international relations than her husband ever could. If Jackie and the Kennedy's never existed, and their story was published as a novel, it wouldn't be believable.
I am probably like most of the folks that picked this book up, an inveterate Jackie O fan. I've easily read 20 books about the Kennedy's. I watched Jackie's White House tour on Youtube. I am all about any scrap of info I can glean about the enigmatic Jackie. I saw some reviews that said "she should have done her research" well, maybe there was an anachronism thrown in the mix, but this book is WELL researched. I can tell she listened to the interview with Bill Manchester following the asssasination, that she read The Death of A President, that she read Upstairs at the White House by J. B. West. I read/listened to those as well and this book holds up with other respected histories or even the oral history provided by Jackie herself. What is remarkable about this book is she pulls it all together into fiction, keeps in line with what history has preserved about Jackie AND makes her human. This book is fan-freakingtastic. I was not expecting it to be this good and it WAS good. She had the bits about her rivalry with Lee but in a natural, sisterly way, not in a epic clash way. THIS BOOK IS GREAT. READ IT. I'm going to see if there are more books by this author because she is super talented. Well done. Bravo.
In her latest novel, And They Called It Camelot, author Stephanie Anne Thornton takes us on a whirlwind adventure into the remarkable life of yet another famous White House dweller, Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis.
Through triumph, challenges, heartache, and tragedy, Thornton steers is through the life of a woman we all *think* we know with great aplomb. This well researched novel gives a deeper, lusher voice to the woman who was on top of the world for 1036 shining days of her self-named Camelot. The glimpses into the life of. woman who would lose so much throughout her life but persevere like no other were detailed and well played out.
Thornton took great care to research JKO and give her the depth she deserved. She honored the tragedy of both Kennedy assassinations, and gave us insight on what made Jackie so successful ... not only as a reporter, wife, mother, and First Lady but as a sideline political advisor to both JFK and his brother, Bobby.
I absolutely fell in love all over again with JKO’s indomitable spirit regardless of what life threw at her.
This portrayal of JKO was so raw and honest. I felt like I was reading more of a memoir than historical fiction. Thornton truly made each incarnation of Jackie come alive.
I have been intrigued by the Kennedy’s story for a long time. I love how this author, Stephanie Marie Thornton, combined an immense amount of obvious research with an imagining of what Jackie Kennedy might have been thinking and feeling throughout this extraordinary period of time. We have heard all the rumors surrounding various parts of her relationship and marriage to John. This book allows us to imagine the bigger picture. I especially love that the author brings out Jackie’s probable desire to be thought of as person in her own right, not just as the wife of an important politician.
Jacqueline Bouvier never wanted an ordinary marriage: she never wanted to be bored, she never wanted to be under appreciated and she never, ever, wanted to be cheated on. Well she got 2/3 in her marriage to Jack Kennedy as well as seeing herself become a powerhouse in society. This novel goes in-depth about Jackie’s life prior to marrying JFK (I had no idea she was a journalist!), her marriage to JFK and her later marriage to Greek shipping Ari Onassis. This novel explored Jackie’s life but it also gave her a voice all on her own. There was so much about Jackie I didn’t know and this novel explored her as a force to be reckoned with. I absolutely loved this book. I loved that we got inside look at her fears, insecurities and all of the details that went into building the image of the cool, unflappable Jackie Kennedy Onassis. I was fully drawn into the story and her voice came through so strongly, I felt as though I was back in the ‘60’s.
I wonder what Jackie herself would have thought about this book...Interesting that the author chose to use first person. I had some difficulty adjusting to it. Most of what I read in the book I had read before; however, this was the first time I had heard of any speculation about a romance between Bobby or Teddy and Jackie. At the time I had thought they were caring for their brother’s widow. I still do. I never could grasp why she married Onassis, and even though the book attempted to explain her thought process in this, I still didn’t understand it. Regardless of any personal flaws, Jacqueline Kennedy carried us all through the tragic loss of a young president.
Rarely do I provide a review. This is an exception. AND THEY CALLED IT CAMELOT is by far the worst novel I have EVER attempted to read. I read the Author's note at the end of the book before attempting to read it. Clearly it is a work of fiction. Unfortunately, the author failed miserably in her attempt to portray Jackie as a woman of grace and style. Geographical errors abound. Ms. Thornton stated that she would have been unable to complete this work without her legion of cheerleaders. I can only wonder how much she she paid these people to cheer her on. AND THEY CALLED IT CAMELOT fails as a fictious novel at every turn. To the author I say, before attempting another such endeavor, remind yourself that dialogue, place, plot, description & timing are key elements required for all stories.