The fabulous bouvier sisters book review
The Fabulous Bouvier Sisters by Sam KashnerA poignant, evocative, and wonderfully gossipy account of the two sisters who represented style and class above all else—Jackie Kennedy Onassis and Lee Radziwill—from the authors of Furious Love.
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 center 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 favorite, 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.
For the first time, Vanity Fair contributing editor Sam Kashner and acclaimed biographer Nancy Schoenberger tell the complete story of these larger-than-life sisters. Drawing on new information and extensive interviews with Lee, now eighty-four, this dual biography sheds light on the public and private lives of two extraordinary women who lived through immense tragedy in enormous glamour.
Sisters book review
Thank you! These two remarkable women, who would go on to become first lady to President John F. Kennedy and princess to Prince Stanislaw Albrecht Radziwill, had seemingly every possible advantage. In this well-researched dual biography, the authors describe how that fate would both haunt and help them. Style is more a habit of mind that puts quality before quantity, noble struggle before mere achievement, honor before opulence.
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Randy Taraborrelli Illustrated. Nancy herself was often the Lee figure of the Mitford household: a bright and stylish woman who would have been the star of almost any family on earth. She was constantly confronted by the figure of her sister Diana, a political extremist who possessed an otherworldly power of commanding idolatry. All her life, Nancy was jealous of Diana, partly for her beauty but more for the indomitable and rare self-control that enabled Diana to remain sphinx-like, serene and supremely herself no matter what befell her. Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis had that same defining quality. Randy Taraborrelli presents a woman of passion, both sexual and emotional, whose facade somehow always remains in place.
And did it ever live up to its title, a mix of lust, love, alcohol and diamonds. Big movies, even if for every Virginia Woolf there was a Boom! And career highs and career lows and Private Lives on Broadway, during which the actors onstage were as crocked as the characters they were playing. And fury, always fury, to say nothing of passion and anger and jealousy and sighs and screams and ice cold champagne, and gigantic diamonds, and marriage and divorce and remarriage and divorce and then death, which sort of put an end to it. With the success that Liz and Dick brought them all, it must have seemed a great idea to Kashner and Schoenberger, to say nothing of their publishers, editors and agents, for the duo to find some other duo to write about, ASAP. It had to be a pair who were equally famous, if such a thing were possible. When fame was more newsprint than Internet.