Jackie and Maria: the lives of Jackie Kennedy and Maria Callas

Jackie and Maria by Gill Paul
Format: 
ARC provided by HCC Frenzy
Pages: 480
Top 3 Genres: 
Historical, Fiction, Adult
My rating: 
Set it on fire/ If you have nothing else to read/ you need to read it/Run and buy it.
To buy the book: 
CAUS• FR• Bookdep
Add to: Goodreads

Hey everyone! Finally having some time inside to write down this review of Jackie and Maria;) My second historical fiction of the Summer who am I even??

The President’s Wife; a Glamorous Superstar; the rivalry that shook the world…
Jackie Kennedy was beautiful, sophisticated, and contemplating leaving her ambitious young senator husband. Life in the public eye with an overly ambitious–and unfaithful―man who could hardly be coaxed to return from a vacation after the birth of a stillborn child was breaking her spirit. So when she’s offered a holiday on the luxurious yacht owned by billionaire Ari Onassis, she says yes…to a meeting that will ultimately change her life.
Maria Callas is at the height of her operatic career and widely considered to be the finest soprano in the world. And then she’s introduced to Aristotle Onassis, the world’s richest man and her fellow Greek. Stuck in a childless, sexless marriage, and with pressures on all sides from opera house managers and a hostile press, she finds her life being turned upside down by this hyper-intelligent and impeccably charming man…
Little by little, Maria’s and Jackie’s lives begin to overlap, and they come closer and closer until everything they know about the world changes on a dime.

Let me start with saying that I went into this book with the idea that it would be a Jackie Kenny and Maria Callas romance! Well…not at all! Actually, they even just meet twice, briefly, through the entire book!

This is actually the (fictive) history of their lives, in parallel, only intersecting through Onassis. We have on one side Jackie, being married to Jack Kennedy and having to deal with difficult pregnancies and his numerous infidelities. I loved her character and to see what she was thinking vs is she was perceived. It was also really heartbreaking to live Kennedy’s death through her eyes.

On the other hand, we have Maria, the rising star of operas, having to deal with being a woman in that time and age, all of her actions dissected and transformed through the press. She also married a man way older than her and realises she is missing passion in her life….that is until she meets Ari Onassis and start a very very passionate affair that will last for year. But will he give her what she wants? A marriage and a child?

And so we see what happens over years to these two powerful and incredible women. Once my disappointment of not seeing a romance gone, I did enjoy the history mixed with fiction of their lives. But one thing bothered me still, that these two incredible stories women were giving everything to the men of their lives, no matter how undeserving they were. They stay (and I think that’s also because of the time they live in) and endure and hope for a change. And though I can understand how historical times can explain some of it, the way it was explained in the book did not satisfy me and I left it with the feeling that we just saw in the end two women fighting with different weapons for the same man.

In a few words

An interesting historical fiction, even if I did not fully appreciate the portray of Jackie and Maria. It definitely got me curious about Jackie ‘s life and now I have a lot of books and documentaries I want to try on her!

See you for a cup

Elise

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