Welcome to the

Random words, pictures and thoughts of one who always wishes to be on the mind's road to discovery!

About Me

My photo
Connecticut River Valley, New England, United States

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Kick--Another Kennedy Tale

Kick: The True Story of JFK's Sister and the Heir to ChatsworthKick: The True Story of JFK's Sister and the Heir to Chatsworth by Paula Byrne
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A fast read and interesting. Probably because she died at 26 without making many waves in world affairs, Kathleen Kennedy is as much an unknown in the Kennedy saga as her older sister Rosemary and her heir-apparent brother, Joe.

This copy of the book is an uncorrected proof so the fact that the redundancy of the comment of how everyone, males especially, fell immediately in love with this spritely girl is very irritating will be edited somewhat. Also we Catholics take Missals, not Bibles, with our rosaries to Sunday Mass and usually not the Rosary since it isn't part of Mass. It is true, however, that it is not unusual to take our Rosaries with us in pocket or purse as a matter of course. Also we usually capitalize the word Mass. Those few minor things aside the Irish Catholic upbringing of the time is not exaggerated and the stigma of marrying outside the Church was very real, though with the right connections and enough money, almost anything can earn a dispensation--see Henry VIII and divorce as an example. I'm amazed Cardinal Spellman was unable to get Kathleen the freedom to marry her Duke in the Church. Of course, the children would have had to be Catholic too and that was yet another sticking point.

The decadence of the life of these affluent young people with their parties and lack of any real direction is life was rather appalling . The incidence of Jack's telling his friend, Lem, about the "Ross Kennedy " alliance he and the Earl of Rosslyn had formed to" seduce as many women as they could find" rather than form a serious relationship as others were doing with the threat of war imminent brought to mind the recent Phillips Exeter scandal of the Senior Salute. Guess things haven't changed much in those circles. And it certainly made clear that Jack and, through other examples, Joe were apples that had not fallen too far from the tree that was Papa Joe.

Kick's dabbling in public service with the Red Cross in Europe so that she could circumvent her parents' efforts to keep her in America and away from Billy was yet another example of the noblesse oblige drilled into her by the nuns in her convent schools. And yet, there was little nobility in it--she didn't really like her work with the GIs--and was more self-serving that obligatory because of her nobility. I remember the nuns at my school using the same motto and, at the time, I thought there was an arrogance and snobbery in such a stance. Had to laugh when she was impatient the other Red Cross girls' staying up 'til 1:30 since she like an early night. Yet many examples showed she much preferred to be out much later in the early morning hours if there were dancing and dining and clubbing going on.

Rose and Joe's hypocrisy when stressed over the blot on the Kennedy reputation should Kick marry outside the Church was incredibly laughable also when one considers the philandering of the males of the family and, in Joe,Sr's case at the time, the adultery which was a flagrant violation of the Sixth Commandment!

In summary, if you are looking for anything new about the sainted Kennedy's you won't find it here. If you want to know how Kathleen fit the mold of the more well known siblings, you could do worse than to read this book. While it is more of the same old same old, it is a well written fast read.
If you don't know what the story was about Joe's early demise, Rosemary's frontal lobotomy and a bit more about PT 109, that is here as well. Actually, if you read this little volume you won't need to read any of the thicker tomes about this family.

View all my reviews

No comments:

Post a Comment