The Fabulous Bouvier Sisters

The Fabulous Bouvier Sisters

The Tragic and Glamorous Lives of Jackie and Lee

Book - 2018 | First edition
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When sixty-four-year-old Jackie Kennedy Onassis died in her Fifth Avenue apartment, her younger sister Lee wept inconsolably. Then Jackie's thirty-eight-page will was read. Lee discovered that substantial cash bequests were left to family members, friends, and employees - but nothing to her. "I have made no provision in this my Will for my sister, Lee B. Radziwill, for whom I have great affection, because I have already done so during my lifetime," read Jackie's final testament. Drawing on the authors' candid interviews with Lee Radziwill, The Fabulous Bouvier Sisters explores their complicated relationship, placing them at the centre of twentieth-century fashion, design, and style. In life, Jackie and Lee were alike in so many ways. Both women had a keen eye for beauty - in fashion, design, painting, music, dance, sculpture, poetry - and both were talented artists. Both loved pre-revolutionary Russian culture, and the blinding sunlight, calm seas, and ancient olive groves of Greece. Both loved the siren call of the Atlantic, sharing sweet, early memories of swimming with the rakish father they adored, Jack Vernou Bouvier, at his East Hampton retreat. But Jackie was her father's favourite, and Lee, her mother's. One would grow to become the most iconic woman of her time, while the other lived in her shadow. As they grew up, the two sisters developed an extremely close relationship threaded with rivalry, jealousy, and competition. Yet it was probably the most important relationship of their lives.
Publisher: New York : 2018. Harper,
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780062881809
Branch Call Number: ANF 973.920922 KASH
Characteristics: 318 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (some colour), portraits (some colour) ; 23 cm
Additional Contributors: Schoenberger, Nancy


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Mar 12, 2019

I was not particularly familiar with Jackie Kennedy (beside knowing that she was President Kennedy's and, later, Onassis' wife), although I have obviously seen the terrible video of her husband's assassination several times. I didn't even know that she had a sister, who is apparently still alive. I was very curious at first: I like history and I was hoping to learn more also about a period in American history that is still so important today. However, soon I came to dislike this book. The style is overall acceptable, the authors have done their homework and truly offer a lot of information (and gossip) about the two sisters. But it's the Bouvier sisters that I slowly came to dislike. In the book, the authors mention some criticism that they received in life and one definition stuck with me: Jackie and Lee are the two worst piranhas in America. These two women, who didn't have to work a day in their life because born into privilege, don't seem to have ever done anything for anyone beside themselves and partially their children. Yes, they worked once they got older, but it seemed to be more a hobby, a way to spend free time, than a real job. Lee married an older man for his money and cheated on him for most of their marriage. When she divorced, she was still so full of herself that she insisted on using the title "Princess" that didn't belong to her! She demanded a very expensive life style without ever thinking that she had to do something to deserve it. What a parasite! Jackie also married an older rich man, and had no trouble spending Onassis' money. I don't know if the authors forgot to mention it, but neither sister ever worried about charity or helping people in need. They truly were two piranhas and I don't understand why the authors call them two icons - icons of what? I rated this book "average" because I feel that the authors have focused too much on the gossip, the fashion, the parties, the cheating, the envy and the rivalry of the two women. I want to hope that there was more to them than that.

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