Filled with a wealth of revealing new material and insight, the biography of the vivacious, unconventional - and nearly forgotten - young Kennedy sister who charmed American society and the English aristocracy and would break with her family for love.
Encouraged to be "winners" from a young age, Rose and Joe Kennedy's children were the embodiment of ambitious, wholesome Americanism. Yet even within this ebullient group of overachievers, the fourth Kennedy child, the irrepressible Kathleen, stood out. Lively, charismatic, extremely clever, and blessed with graceful athleticism and a sunny disposition, the alluring socialite fondly known as Kick was a firecracker who effortlessly made friends and stole hearts.
Moving across the Atlantic when her father was appointed as the ambassador to Great Britain in 1938, Kick - the "nicest Kennedy" - quickly became the family's star. Despite making little effort to fit in to British high society, she charmed everyone from the beau monde to Fleet Street with her unconventional attitude and easygoing humor. Growing increasingly independent, Kick would also shock and alienate her devout family by falling in love and marrying the scion of a virulently anti-Catholic family - William Cavendish, the heir apparent of the Duke of Devonshire and Chatsworth. But the marriage would last only a few months; Billy was killed in combat in 1944, just four years before Kick's own unexpected death in an airplane crash at 28.
Paula Byrne recounts this remarkable young woman's life in detail as never before, from her work at the Washington Times-Herald and volunteerism for the Red Cross in wartime England to her love of politics and astute, opinionated observations to her decision to renounce her faith for the man she loved. Sympathetic and compelling, Kick shines a spotlight on this feisty and unique Kennedy long relegated to the shadows of her legendary family's history.
©2016 Paula Byrne (P)2016 HarperCollins Publishers
Firstly, the book is well written and uses good source material. The author does a nice job of focusing on Kick and not getting us lost down the whole Kennedy rabbit hole. Tough to do but she nailed the right balance. I felt as if Kick told the story herself. I connected with her in 2016 as she was in the 1930s and 1940s. She did enjoy a life of privilege but also lived that life grounded in reality. She is someone that I would love to have called my friend.
Secondly, the narrator does a great job. She made the book more enjoyable.
I highly recommend this Audible selection. It is a great biography steeped in history with genuine interpersonal conflict.
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