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Reviewed by Gordon D. Durich for Readers' Favorite
There were effectively two Jacquelines - the much admired First Lady Jackie Kennedy (nee Bouvier), and the free-spirited, glamorous globetrotting Mrs. Onassis. As one of the most famous, revered, stylish, and talked about women in the world, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis had it all. Paul Brandus’ captivating book, Jackie: Her Transformation from First Lady to Jackie O: and sub-titled Jackie - The Incredible Five Years Between Her Marriages, profiles this famous figure during an interim period in her life. Focusing on the handful of years between her rocky marriage to US President John F. Kennedy and Greek tycoon and millionaire Aristotle Onassis, this brilliant biography was written by seasoned White House correspondent and political commentator Paul Brandus. The hitherto largely unknown and interesting events that took place between Jackie’s high-profile marriages in America and Europe are examined by Brandus, including her reliance on drinking to deal with the grief after JFK’s assassination, her torrid romances, and what ultimately led her to marry her second and most unlikely spouse. The mid to late 1960s was a colorful time historically, and this biography chronicles that period thoroughly.
Having always been aware of, and like many others, intrigued by this mysterious woman, a biography on an important part of Jackie's life captured my interest. I love biographies, so this story of such a fascinating figure, with all her enigmatic qualities, was hard to resist or stop reading. Jackie: Her Transformation from First Lady to Jackie O satisfied my thirst for knowledge and new revelations. The most resonant voice of biographer Paul Brandus was palpable from page to page, chapter to chapter. I especially liked the inclusion of the influence “Jackie O” had on style, pop art, and fashion. She still does.