Jackie, Janet & Lee: The Secret Lives of Janet Auchincloss and Her Daughters Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Lee Radziwill
Prolific biographer Taraborrelli (After Camelot) writes meticulously researched biographies that read like novels, and his third book covering the Kennedy dynasty is fascinating and absorbing. This hefty volume focuses on the relationships among Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Princess Lee Radziwill and their mother, Janet Lee Bouvier Auchincloss. Early on, Janet tells her daughters the secret to happiness is money and power. All three strong and temperamental women spent their lives pursuing both.
Despite their efforts to rebel against their mother, both daughters ended up following her matrimonial blueprint. All married initially for love (Jackie snagged John F. Kennedy, who would become president of the United States eight years into their marriage) while their second marriages focused on security: Janet to the heir to the Standard Oil fortune; Jackie to billionaire Aristotle Onassis; Lee to a Polish prince. Shipping tycoon Onassis is a fascinating character. Lee was ready to leave her husband for Onassis, but was convinced by her mother that it would ruin JFK's presidency. But five years after her husband's assassination, it was Jackie who ended up marrying him (after demanding a lump payment of $3 million and a monthly $30,000 allowance for expenses).
Taraborrelli captures the glamorous, tragic, seductive and completely absorbing world of the Kennedys and those who married them. With his bite-size chapters, insightful writing and impeccable research, Taraborrelli's Jackie, Janet & Lee is irresistible, intimate and revealing. His massive biography offers a fresh take on the iconic First Lady and her family. --Kevin Howell, independent reviewer and marketing consultant