In this evocative and affectionate memoir, Ambassador Jean Kennedy Smith, the last surviving child of Joe and Rose Kennedy, offers an intimate and illuminating look at a time long ago when she and her siblings, guided by their parents, laughed and learned a great deal under one roof.
Prompted by interesting tidbits in the newspaper, Rose and Joe Kennedy would pose questions to their nine children at the dinner table. "Where could Amelia Earhart have gone?" "How would you address this horrible drought?" "What would you do about the troop movements in Europe?" It was a nightly custom that helped shape the Kennedys into who they would become.
Before Joe and Rose's children emerged as leaders on the world stage, they were a loving circle of brothers and sisters who played football, swam, read, and pursued their interests. They were children inspired by parents who instilled in them a strong work ethic, a deep love of country, and an intense appreciation for the sacrifices their ancestors made to come to America. "No whining in this house!" was their father's regular refrain. It was his way of reminding them not to complain, to be grateful for what they had, and to give back.
In her remarkable memoir, Kennedy Smith - the last surviving sibling - revisits this singular time in their lives. Filled with fascinating anecdotes and vignettes, The Nine of Us vividly depicts this large, close-knit family during a different time in American history. Kennedy Smith offers indelible, elegantly rendered portraits of her larger-than-life siblings and her parents. "They knew how to cure our hurts, bind our wounds, listen to our woes, and help us enjoy life," she writes. "We were lucky children indeed."
©2016 Jean Kennedy Smith (P)2016 HarperCollins Publishers
PLOT: the last remaining of the 9 Kennedy Children tells the inside scoop.
Jean Kennedy is the 8th of 9 children. At 89 she wrote this book. She gives us a glimpse into the inner circle of the family. This starts with a young Jean talking about each Kennedy family member from the oldest to the youngest. She also reviews the family history. Most interesting is Rose Kennedy the mother. Added is HUMOR. The time "out" was a closet. Today this would not be considered good parenting but Jean and Teddy got time out at the 'same' time and ended up having a great time trying on Rose's hats and shoes. When the Pope visited the Kennedy home the sofa he sat on became a place of honor including a PLAQUE to honor the visit. This book is excellent. Jean has a remarkable memory and shares both the funny and tragic times. The details of life inside the large catholic family are fascinating. When Rose brings a tour bus group... inside the house for a rare look at the home and she stops at the "sofa where the pope sat" was beyond hysterical. This book is excellent. It moves along very well. The reader Lorna Raver is first rate and has the perfect inflections to keep the story flowing. I give it 5 STARS all the way. The Best book of 2016 I have listened too.
Inspirational and up lifting. A great book to read to your children. It gives us hope.
I am an avid eclectic reader.
Like most people, I have had a curiosity about the Kennedys. JKS was the eighth child of nine born to Joseph P. Kennedy and Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy. At 88 she is the last surviving member of the family.
JKS primarily focuses on her youth and growing up in a large family. She says her childhood was happy and full of laughter. I was most interested in her discussion about her mother, Rose. She said she was the disciplinarian and was extremely organized. Her mother advocated education to the children and included music, art and languages, whereas, her father pushed sports on the children. Smith says her family played lots of quizzes about what the child would do if confronted by—the parent would present a problem sometimes the problem would be political. The time frame of the story is the 1920, 30s, and 40s. She says Rose was a devout catholic and went to church daily. Smith tells of the visit to their home by Cardinal Eugenio Pucelli who became Pope Pius XII. Smith was the Ambassador to Ireland from 1993 to 1998.
I read this as an audiobook, but I understand that the book format has photographs. The book is short but well worth the read and presents a simpler and gentler time in family life.
Loma Raver does a great job narrating the book. Raver is an actress and multi-award winning audiobook narrator. Raver is an older woman which the perfect voice for this book.
This is a nice book that does not mention any of the negative stories of the Kennedys we are used to hearing. A bit of a fairy tale about America's royal family.
The part of the book that moved me the most was when Jean described how her parents always had a way of lifting the children up and never raised their voices. Other moving moments were Jean described the loss of her siblings. Very touching.
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