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BuckeyeAngel

BuckeyeAngel

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The Summer I Met Jack - Michelle Gable

April 2016   Alicia wouldn’t get deported she didn’t think. Alicia had emigrated to the U S under somewhat of a ill-begotten circumstances. But she was no longer a citizen of Poland and they couldn’t return her to the German camp. To be deported you had to have a home. Risky to bet it all on a maid from Poland. But she had no other options on Cape Cod. At least she had this job -her part time job at the Center Theater. The theater reminded Alicia at home. Alicia was a painter and got permission to display her art at the theater. Alicia was behind the counter when she heard a man’s voice ask if she was still selling he was handsome and tanned and said his name was Jack Kennedy. Jack.  Alicia realized he was from the family her friend Irenka picked up after as her job. The family Alicia hoped would employ her too. A year ago Alicia and Irenka were put together at the YMCA in Oklahoma City, due to their shared circumstances : Polish, unattached, and young although Irenka and several years on Alicia. But at heart the females were nothing alike. In her childhood in Lodz a prosperous city in central Poland and known for its culture and industry. Alicia had attended the opera. studied music, and was good at art.Alicia dreamed of seeing her art in famous galleries all over the world. Irenka had lived im Linterlands near Russia and her people were farmers. She had a meager education and had never learned to read. Irenka had learned of the job with the Kennedys and went right to Mass as fast as she could to get the job and she did. Alicia saw the outside of the house needed a fresh coat of paint as did the walls on the inside, the furniture was on the shabby side of worn the floors needed a good polish and there was no art on the walls. Alicia did get a job working part time for the Kennedy’s . Alicia examined the Kennedys; recording their physical characteristics, their speech patterns and myriad quirks. The Kennedy’s personalities were large in its form and after a few days Alicia was well schooled in each which showed the family’s relentless need to show the world who they were.  One day Alicia is told by the landlady she can no longer stay in the apartment with Irenka as the Fire Marshal said there were too many people living there even though there was only four. Alicia couldn’t find a place and was afraid she would end up on the streets but the film projectionist a quirky little guy named George said Alicia could stay with him and his mother and sleep in his sisters old room. Alicia had no choice but to accept. Then Alicia had a day off and watched a couple movies with George at the Central but then she wanted to be outside and paused to watch a street entertainer that she knew and then Jack called her name when he seen her and introduced Alicia to his friends. He asked Alicia to his mother's Labor Day party and she laughed at the. After a while Alicia and Jack get involved and then engaged but then Joe found out Alicia was jewish and demanded Jack break off the engagement and not see Alicia anymore as Joe had aspiration for Jack to become the President of the U S and Alicia wouldn’t make a good women to stand by Jack’s side. Alicia leaves Mass and goes to Hollywood meeting many famous people but especially men. Alicia eventually marries Alfred Corning Clark who was a Singer Sewing Machine heir.

I liked this book. I like that it showed  a more human/realistic portrayal of the Kennedys and their strengths, their shortcomings. I like the author portrayed numerous celebrity affairs.  I felt this was well written. I also liked the twists and turns a lot. I had never heard of Alicia Corning Clark and her engagement to Jack Kennedy before reading this now I need to do some research to sate my curiosity. Also I wonder if Ethel was racist toward emigrants as the book shows. Also would Joe really have sex with his assistant right over his wife's head? What does that say about Rose if this is true?  Why was this Kennedy home so not kept up with and shabby when so rich? This did drag for me at times, I found myself wondering what was truth and what was fiction in this book. I do wish Alicia had found happiness in the end but unfortunately she really didn’t. She definitely paid for loving Jack Kennedy. I liked the characters and the ins and outs of this book and I recommend.