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The Importance of Being Kennedy by [Graham, Laurie]
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The Importance of Being Kennedy Kindle Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 44 customer reviews

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Review

"Bitter and sweet as well as affecting...tender." -- New York Daily News

"Entertaining...delves into the Kennedy family legend, with energetic pace, witty dialogue and vividly drawn characters."--The Observer

"Chatty and insightful...perceptive....Graham blends accurate historical detail with Nora's outspoken and gossipy vernacular in this highly entertaining read."--Booklist

"A convincing and often moving version of the private realities behind America's most public family."--Daily Mail (London)

"Lush....The tart observations of lives of privilege may take the shine off the Camelot myth, but Graham's book is marked not by ridicule but rather by an elegant, forthright poignancy. A refreshingly nostalgia-free portrayal that breathes life into the Kennedy story."--Kirkus Reviews

"A titillating and amusing...book, because it walks such a fragile line between what is known fact and what the author has embellished and concocted....Ms. Graham's Nora is the personification of the immortal nanny who knew everything and said nothing - but took notes."--Washington Times

"Bitter and sweet as well as affecting...tender."--New York Daily News

"Tightknit, ambitious and out to prove a point to the world, this is the fictionalised tale of the Kennedys from below the stairs....This simple yet enthralling narrative kept my interest the whole way....A lovely tale, this is another well-written offering from Laurie Graham."--Daily News (New Plymouth, New Zealand)

"Mingling history and fiction puts Graham in good literary company...romance and dry humor keep things moving.... The chance to watch Nora's employers swan in and out of view will draw readers, and Graham will keep as many as she can charm."--New York Times Book Review

Entertaining...delves into the Kennedy family legend, with energetic pace, witty dialogue and vividly drawn characters. --The Observer"

Lush....The tart observations of lives of privilege may take the shine off the Camelot myth, but Graham s book is marked not by ridicule but rather by an elegant, forthright poignancy. A refreshingly nostalgia-free portrayal that breathes life into the Kennedy story. --Kirkus Reviews"

Tightknit, ambitious and out to prove a point to the world, this is the fictionalised tale of the Kennedys from below the stairs....This simple yet enthralling narrative kept my interest the whole way....A lovely tale, this is another well-written offering from Laurie Graham. --Daily News (New Plymouth, New Zealand)"

Chatty and insightful...perceptive....Graham blends accurate historical detail with Nora s outspoken and gossipy vernacular in this highly entertaining read. --Booklist"

Mingling history and fiction puts Graham in good literary company romance and dry humor keep things moving . The chance to watch Nora s employers swan in and out of view will draw readers, and Graham will keep as many as she can charm. --New York Times Book Review"

Bitter and sweet as well as affecting...tender. --New York Daily News"

A titillating and amusing...book, because it walks such a fragile line between what is known fact and what the author has embellished and concocted....Ms. Graham s Nora is the personification of the immortal nanny who knew everything and said nothing - but took notes. --Washington Times"

A convincing and often moving version of the private realities behind America s most public family. --Daily Mail (London)"

Sunday Times

`entertaining...through Nora's exuberant Irish brogue, Graham pays as much attention to the less well-known siblings'.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 714 KB
  • Print Length: 339 pages
  • Publisher: Fourth Estate (3 April 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002RI91C6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 44 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #98,747 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I didn't want this book to end. My first foray into the works of Laurie Graham (but assuredly not my last...) was a delight from start to finish - and I confess I eked out the last few pages so as to make the enjoyment last. I suppose one might describe this unusual book as a 'non-fiction novel'.
I was nineteen years old when my hero JFK was murdered and I guess it was on the cards that this story of his and his eight siblings' Boston childhood and young adulthood would grab me from page one. Nora Brennan, a young Irish immigrant to America is employed as nursemaid when millionaire bootlegger and Hollywood entrepreneur Joseph Kennedy and his young wife Rose produce the first of their brood, and she stays with the ever-increasing family for many years.
The book is told from Nora's point of view and Ms Graham captures beautifully Nora's special Irish outlook on life, her sense of humour and her wonderful turn of phrase. Nora's opinions on Mrs Kennedy alone are worth the price of admission.....
As someone who has read her fair share of books about the Kennedy family, I take my hat off to Ms Graham's meticulous research. Interestingly, the book does not dwell too much on Jack, which would, perhaps have been the obvious road to take. No, it focuses largely on Kathleen the second daughter, known to her family as 'Kick' - and on her elder sister, Rosemary. The stories of these two girls would, I think, bring a tear to the driest eye.
As I said, I really didn't want the book to end, and the ending, when it came, was poignant and bitter-sweet and the final sentence stayed with me for days.
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Format: Paperback
This is Laurie Graham's best book to date, with a great ear for the Irish sense of humour, and turns of phrase. The Kennedys are seen through the eyes of their Irish staff, who have a less than reverential view of the embryonic American First Family. Joe and Rose Kennedy are shown to be distant to their children, even while they push all of them to succeed, with the well-known disastrous consequences. I've read many non-fiction books about the Kennedy family, and none seemed to give such a genuine insight into their collective psyche.
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Format: Paperback
After the ghastly Gone with the Windsors this book is a terrific return to form. Nora (the narrator) is hired as nursemaid to Joe and Rose Kennedy's ever increasing brood and her irreverent comments on the family are wonderful. It's worth reading, however, for that final sad sentence which stuck with me long after I'd closed the book.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was such a good book. I have not read a really engrossing story that has kept me hooked for a long time. It has been my little treat and one I have looked forward to reading at the end of a busy working day for the past few weeks. Now that I have finished it I am going to feel a bit lost.

Let's rewind. I have never read a Laurie Graham book before and came about this one by accident when I was looking for general books on the Kennedys after having read the story of Rosemary (and also visiting Chatsworth and the Kick Kennedy connection there). I was intrigued and wondered how a fictional character could believably tell the story - how that could possibly work - but work it does. I laughed out loud at Nora's put downs and comments, loved the way the saga began right at the start of the Kennedy childrens' lives and how she spent her whole life with them. The section in the latter part of the book about Nora's involvement in World War 2 was also very informative and could have made an interesting story of its own even without the Kennedys playing a part.

It has made me want to read more about the family but I know I will want to find out more about Nora because the character was so real and you want to believe that she actually was the family nurse maid! As others have said, the ending was very poignant and as I put the book down on completion I had a little cry. Not done that over a book for a long, long time.
I look forward to reading more of her books if they are as good as this.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As with Laurie Graham's book about the widsor/ simpson alliance, this is well-researched but the fictional detail adds an extra dimension to the historical fact.

as a result, I shall go on to explore the life of kick kennedy in greater depth .Also, I'm not entirely certain that I would have known about Rose's lobotomy oherwise than through reading this book

also gave an excellent feel for what it must have been like to be in service and for ordinary life in world war 2.

excllent book- highly recommended
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I haven't been able to put this book down, Laurie Graham describes a fascinating inside look at the Kennedy family from the point of view of their nurserymaid, who had far more to do with bringing up all nine children than their parents ever did. I think this character is fictional, but there must have been a real-life equivalent who would have known all the family secrets. You can understand why so much was never allowed out due to two very controlling parents who used their children as pawns to further their own ambitions..
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is the best book I have read yet about the Kennedy Family. It is about the life of a nursery maid looking after the large Kennedy Family. She has an amazing sense of humour which you would need to work for Matriarch Rose Kennedy in particular and a lot of her sayings I used to hear many years ago when I was a child and had me laughing. I can thoroughly recommend this book - I had a job putting the it down once I had started reading it.
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