Mainstreem/Commercial/LiteraryTitle: O! JackieAuthor – Mercedes KingDate to be Published: 12/29/2012
My husband’s faithfulness to being unfaithful tortured our marriage. The relationship never seemed about just the two of us. I suffered a great deal, both publicly and privately, but few people knew. Those who did know could not comfort me.
Ours was a complicated history. We were both so complex, so set in our ways, and worst of all, we were the product of our parents, though we vowed not to resemble them. And when two strong and independent people are united¾ with domineering and opinionated parents behind them¾ such a couple may spend their lives trying not to tear each other apart.
Despite everything that’s happened, I feel no regrets. Yet there are times when the enormity of one’s choices is difficult to bear. You struggle to hold on to a shred of sanity. Sometimes you pacify yourself. Other times you live in delusion. Sometimes you simply fail to hold it all together.
Since becoming the senator’s wife, Jackie had faced a difficult adjustment. Jack traveled extensively, but the loneliness was tolerable. He regularly brought home a parade of friends and aides, unannounced, but she grew accustomed to the in-house crowd. Frequent moves were taxing but doable, the whirlwind lifestyle demanding but manageable. What drained and anguished her most was Jack’s family.
The Kennedy clan was loud, rambunctious and numerous. They preferred heated debates at the dinner table and rough games afterward. Jack thrived on his family’s presence and basked in their company.
Jackie’s quiet nature and polished manners made her transition into the family awkward. An introvert, she received lackluster attention from Jack’s sisters. Some Kennedy women interpreted her shyness as a snub.
Somehow, the couple would need to create a balance as they meshed their different worlds.
For now, she dismissed thoughts of her in-laws and picked up her pace. After all, she could be spontaneous. Jack would be pleased, she reminded herself. That made Jackie all the more eager to see her husband.
After working her way through the Senate Office Building toward Jack’s office, Jackie found that his secretary was away from her desk. As she glanced around, she suddenly heard giggles from behind office door No. 326. Puzzled, she decided to let herself in, with only a gentle knock to broadcast her entry.
“Surprise, darling…,” she began.
And was he ever.
Jack sat in his chair behind the desk. A beautiful young woman was between Jack and his desk, buttoning her blouse. Her cheeks flushed, and she fumbled as strands of her blond hair kept falling in her way.
Jack nearly sent sparks flying as he zipped his pants.
The young woman hopped off the desk and straightened her skirt. She avoided looking at Jackie as she made a beeline for the door. Then she paused, as if her escape was interrupted by programming, and asked Jack, “Is there anything I can get you?” An obnoxious wave of her perfume stung Jackie’s nose.
Jack shook his head and scowled at her. He stood and went to his wife, who had not taken her eyes off him since entering the room.
“Jackie. Wh-What are you doing here?” He forced a weak grin.
Jackie didn’t answer. Didn’t blink.
Jack’s smile widened and he reached to embrace her. He was stopped by a gloved but sharp slap on the cheek.
Jackie gasped, bewildered by her own action. Jack stared at her, his face awash with disbelief. As the shock slowly faded, he gave her a look that warned her not to do it again.
“Jackie, it’s not what you think,” he lied. His natural, winsome smile appeared and he batted those heavily-lidded eyes. “She’s just some intern or aide. Meaningless.”
“Meaningless to you, perhaps. But if you found me tangled in the arms of another man, would that be meaningless to you, Jack Kennedy?”
Jack sidestepped that verbal trap.
“Don’t be upset, Jackie. You should’ve telephoned and let me know you were coming.”
Jack held his wife in his gaze. He expected his charm to put her at ease. It was one of the best weapons in his manly arsenal, and it served him well with the ladies.
Shouldering the shame that should have been her husband’s, Jackie averted her eyes. She huffed and turned to leave.
Jack held the door shut as she grabbed for the handle.
“Don’t leave like this,” he said. “There’s no need for a scene. Just calm down a minute. Let me take you to lunch.”
Jackie flashed him a look of disgust. Would she ever be able to eat again?
He placed his hand on her arm, but Jackie swiped it away as if his palm was laced with disease. Surprised, Jack rocked back on his heels and lost his hold of the door.
“Don’t touch me!” Jackie snapped before darting out of the room. She fought back the tears swelling in her eyes.
I was offered this book in exchange for a free and honest review. When asked I said ‘I’m from Massachusetts and voted for Ted Kennedy.’ I grew up in the district that voted for Jack, though not alive, the love of the family still exists there. I also stated if I hated this novel, I will write that. This is political and love that so many people growing up shared for me. And on a personal note, Ted Kennedy was a smart man, always taking notes on his yellow pad of paper and his wife I met ‘Victoria‘ was a classy woman. I was so excited that despite this, they asked me to read this anyhow.
Now onto the review, I didn’t hate it. The fact is that Jack cheated on Jackie, and I’ll be honest the names confused me while reading. (Sidenoting to myself to ensure the characters do not have similar names. Can’t change history though.) Jack’s sex addiction comes alive when Jackie goes to visit him at his office and sees him having sex with his secretary. I don’t remember that part of the story in my history, so this was fictionalized.
Emotionally I wasn’t ever enamored, but I certainly didn’t hate it like I feared. I enjoyed the story, though on my own, I might not have read this one. If you are curious about this novel though, please, please check it out and decide for yourself. Not everyone is from Charlestown, like I am.