Official Synopsis from Goodreads: 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.
Genre: Historical Fiction
Setting: 1950-1962 mainly set in Hyannisport, Massachusetts with scenes in New York City, Hollywood, and Rome. Also 2016 Rome and Los Angeles.
***I received an eARC copy of The Summer I Met Jack from the publisher, St. Martin’s Press, via NetGalley***
*** this post contains affiliate links ***
Review: What a book! The Summer I Met Jack will have you doing research on the side, to read more about the fascinating Kennedy family. When I first read the synopsis for this book, I knew it was a title that I had to read. A forbidden romance, politicians, a cover up, and celebrities?! I was immediately intrigued! And this book, for the most part, did not disappoint.
The Summer I Met Jack takes us to Hyannisport, Massachusetts where our main character, Alicia, meets Jack Kennedy one night. Alicia and Jack immediately have a connection, and I found their romance believable and real. Alicia is very aware of Jack’s faults, but she falls for him hard and fast regardless. There are some sexy scenes here, nothing too terribly graphic, and a bit of language as well.
Alicia was an interesting main character, in that she lived a very exciting, memorable life, but unfortunately, I never truly was invested in her character. The characters that just leapt off the page for me were the characters of Jack, and the rest of the Kennedy family, specifically Eunice (Jack’s sister) and Joe (Jack’s father). So, by comparison, Alicia felt very bland, perhaps I should just describe her as ordinary, and also like she kept the reader at arm’s length. There was a distance there, so even though the story is about her, I never felt like I truly knew her.
The most interesting thing about The Summer I Met Jack is the story of Jack Kennedy, his rise to power, and his family. I was constantly looking items up online while I was reading this, and funnily enough, in the acknowledgments at the end of the book, the author states that she hopes “the story has you googling for days”. Well, I most certainly did that, and am still doing that, and I’m truly fascinated with the Kennedy family. From the possible mob connections, to the arranged marriages, to the family drama, to murder and mayhem, it is absolutely fascinating.
The Summer I Met Jack was gossipy and a bit trashy, but I mean that in the best possible way. This was an enormously entertaining book, and is a wonderful summer read! Oh, and Katherine Hepburn, who is a good friend of Alicia’s later on, is also in the book, and I just love her, so that was a fun addition to this book!
Bottom Line: An intriguing summer read that is a lot of fun and full of fascinating detail!
7 thoughts on “ARC Review: The Summer I Met Jack by Michelle Gable”
This sounds so great! I love the Kennedy’s and all of the rumors surrounding their family. I’m definitely going to have to check this out!
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You’ll definitely enjoy this book then! It is full of interesting rumors and tidbits about the Kennedy’s. They are so fascinating!!
This is a dumb question, but is the book supposed to be fairly realistic? Or is there a lot of liberty taken with the facts?
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There are no dumb questions! 🙂 I’m probably not the best person to answer that question however, because I just don’t know a lot about the Kennedy’s to know what is fact vs fiction. I got the feeling that this dealt a lot more with all of the sensational rumors and conspiracy theories that are out there rather than strict fact. But then again, there are SO many rumors that some are bound to be true! I kind of got the feeling like I was reading a totally engrossing article in the National Enquirer at times, so whether or not there is truth there, who really knows! But it sure was fascinating, and it certainly made some things seem plausible.
Please tell me there was a weird alien baby from outer space 😂
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Ha ha! At times it seemed there was everything but that! 🙂