Thursday, February 16, 2023

Friday Focus: The Friday 56 and Book Beginnings



It's Friday . . . time to share book excerpts with:
  • Book Beginnings on Fridays hosted by Rose City Reader, where bloggers share the first sentence or more of a current read, as well as initial thoughts about the sentence(s), impressions of the book, or anything else that the opening inspires.  
  • The Friday 56 hosted by Freda's Voice, where you grab a book and turn to page 56 (or 56% of an eBook), find one or more interesting sentences (no spoilers), and post them.

Today I'm featuring Jackie & Me by Louis Bayard. The excerpts shared are from a hardcover edition borrowed from the library.



Beginning:  Of all places, the East Village. Miles from the Upper East Side, and there she was, sauntering down Avenue A in a linen skirt and black blouse.


Page 56:  "Let's say for every question I ask you, you get to ask me one."


My thoughts:  The allure of Jackie Kennedy is eternal, and I, for one still enjoy glimpses into her life. This account from someone with personal insight into the relationship between Jackie and JFK promises to be a fascinating read.    


From GoodReads:  Master storyteller Louis Bayard delivers a surprising portrait of a young Jackie Kennedy as we've never seen her before.
In 1951, former debutante Jacqueline Bouvier is hard at work as the Inquiring Camera Girl for a Washington newspaper. Her mission in life is “not to be a housewife,” but when she meets the charismatic congressman Jack Kennedy at a Georgetown party, her resolution begins to falter. Soon the two are flirting over secret phone calls, cocktails, and dinner dates, and as Jackie is drawn deeper into the Kennedy orbit, and as Jack himself grows increasingly elusive and absent, she begins to question what life at his side would mean. For answers, she turns to his best friend and confidant, Lem Billings, a closeted gay man who has made the Kennedy family his own, and who has been instructed by them to seal the deal with Jack’s new girl. But as he gets to know her, a deep and touching friendship emerges, leaving him with painfully divided alliances and a troubling dilemma: Is this the marriage she deserves?
Narrated by an older Lem as he looks back at his own role in a complicated alliance, this is a courtship story full of longing and of suspense, of what-ifs and possible wrong turns. It is a surprising look at Jackie before she was that Jackie. And in best-selling author Louis Bayard’s witty and deeply empathetic telling,
Jackie & Me is a page-turning story of friendship, love, sacrifice, and betrayal— and a fresh take on two iconic American figures.


This Friday Focus: The Friday 56 & Book Beginnings post was originally composed and/or compiled and published by Catherine for the blog,  It cannot be republished without attribution.


  1. I like the beginning for how the writing is succinct with just enough detail to hook me. It's a really good opening. Have a great weekend!

  2. Nice beginning. I hope you enjoy this one.

  3. I've never heard of this book, though I know the author's name. It sounds very interesting - hope you enjoy. Have a terrific week.
    Terrie @ Bookshelf Journeys

  4. Sounds like it will be a lovely read! Happy weekend!

  5. I bet my mom would like this one. She has always been interested in Jackie Kennedy and her life. Thank you for sharing! I hope you have a great weekend, Catherine!

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