Friends, it’s been a while since we’ve talked books here on the blog, but as we wrap up June…I’m finally reviewing Stephanie Marie Thornton’s book, And They Called It Camelot: A Novel of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis. Did you have a chance to read along?
This book came along just when I needed a wonderful distraction, while also giving me lots to about. It’s funny how you think you can know someone like Jacqueline (Jackie) Kennedy Onassis from pictures and old news clips. But to have a talented writer like Stephanie Marie Thornton bring these one-dimensional pieces to life by infusing first-person dialogue went so far in shedding light on the infamous Kennedy mystique. While this novel was historical fiction, it was incredibly well researched, giving Jackie a very believable voice as she narrated this story from her perspective. She became so much more to me than the fashion icon behind the oversized sunglasses.
This novel spans from Jackie’s first meeting with Washington D.C.’s rising political star Jack Kennedy, to her life as a young wife and mother; and later her marriage to Onassis and her work as an editor; ending in 1977 with the dedication of the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and her relationship with Maurice Templesman. This story unfolds with such empathy and emotion that you want to celebrate Jackie’s highs and comfort her during her lows. The amount of tragedy Jackie encountered as a wife and mother seems unsurvivable, but somehow she did it with incredible class and elegance. Author Thornton very much drove home this point, but made us understand that Jackie was human and endured the insecurities and grief that any woman in her position would.
For any Jackie Kennedy Onassis-philes, I would highly recommend reading this book. It’s well done, from start to finish.
July Book Pick: Of Literature & Lattes by Katherine Reay
I’m so excited to announce our July book pick, Of Literature & Lattes by Lake Forest author Katherine Reay. I’ve been lucky enough to interview Katherine over the years as she’s debuted her new books (I believe this is her eighth book to date!) and I’m thrilled to feature her newest novel, Of Literature & Lattes, on my blog.
In Of Literature & Lattes, Katherine takes us to Winsome, Illinois where two people discover the grace of letting go and the joy found in unexpected change.
After fleeing her hometown three years earlier, Alyssa Harrison (the novel’s main character) never planned to return. Then the Silicon Valley start-up she worked for collapsed and turned her world upside down. She is broke, under FBI investigation, and without a place to go. Having exhausted every option, she comes home to Winsome to regroup and move on as quickly as possible. Yet, as friends and family welcome her back, Alyssa begins to see a place for herself in this small Midwestern community.
Jeremy Mitchell moved from Seattle to Winsome to be near his daughter and to open the coffee shop he’s been dreaming of for years. Problem is, the business is bleeding money—and he’s not quite sure why. When he meets Alyssa, he senses an immediate connection, but what he needs most is someone to help him save his floundering business. After asking for her help, he wonders if something might grow between them—but forces beyond their control soon complicate their already complex lives, and the future they both hoped for is not at all what they anticipated.
I’m so excited to read this! To kick off our book this month, I’m hosting a giveaway for you and a friend on Instagram. Be sure to watch for my post on Instagram for details on how you can enter to win.
Please plan to circle back for a review of Of Literature & Lattes at the end of July, as well as a virtual discussion with author Katherine Reay herself. More information to come!