New York Times bestselling author imagines the affair between JFK and Alicia Corning Clark – and the child they may have had.
Based on a real story – in 1950, a young, beautiful Polish refugee arrives in Hyannisport, Massachusetts to work as a maid for one of the wealthiest families in America. Alicia is at once dazzled by the large and charismatic family, in particular the oldest son, a rising politician named Jack.
Alicia and Jack are soon engaged, but his domineering father forbids the marriage. And so, Alicia trades Hyannisport for Hollywood, and eventually Rome. She dates famous actors and athletes and royalty, including Gary Cooper, Kirk Douglas, and Katharine Hepburn, all the while staying close with Jack. A decade after they meet, on the eve of Jack’s inauguration as the thirty-fifth President of the United States, the two must confront what they mean to each other.
The Summer I Met Jack is based on the fascinating real life of Alicia Corning Clark, a woman who J. Edgar Hoover insisted was paid by the Kennedys to keep quiet, not only about her romance with Jack Kennedy, but also a baby they may have had together
Alicia is a poor, polish immigrant struggling to stay afloat. Then she meets Jack Kennedy. She is pulled under his spell and the spell of his family, so much so, it may be her undoing. Alicia falls hard for Jack. So hard their romance continues for years…even after she leaves for Hollywood. She creates a name for herself but it is just not enough. It is not enough to keep her away from Jack.
This is such an intriguing read! Who doesn’t want to know more about the Kennedys. The author did a lot of research to create the atmosphere in this book. I was fascinated with the Kennedy family dynamics. I have not read much about the Kennedys. I have read Rosemary: The Hidden Kennedy Daughter by Kate Clifford Larson. So, I do understand how tough it was in many ways to be a Kennedy. Joe was very demanding of his children and Rose was cold and distant. This is reiterated in this book. It was also compelling how the author portrayed Jack. He comes across in the book as he did in life…so attractive and magnetic.
This tale also takes you on a tour of old Hollywood and all of its wonderful myriad of characters. However, it is a little long and it does get a tad monotonous. I mean how many times can you go back to Jack. I understand the attraction. Jack oozes magnetism. But sometimes you need to “woman up” and break the cycle. This is really tough for Alicia to do. I still highly recommend this read. It is compelling with all the famous people and the problems Jack and Alicia face.