Read Jackie's Girl: My Life with the Kennedy Family by Kathy Mckeon Online


New York Times Bestseller An endearing coming-of-age memoir by a young woman who spent thirteen years as Jackie Kennedy’s personal assistant and occasional nanny—and the lessons about life and love she learned from the glamorous first lady.In 1964, Kathy McKeon was just nineteen years old and newly arrived from Ireland when she was hired as the personal assistant to formerNew York Times Bestseller An endearing coming-of-age memoir by a young woman who spent thirteen years as Jackie Kennedy’s personal assistant and occasional nanny—and the lessons about life and love she learned from the glamorous first lady.In 1964, Kathy McKeon was just nineteen years old and newly arrived from Ireland when she was hired as the personal assistant to former first lady Jackie Kennedy. The next thirteen years of her life were spent in Jackie's service, during which Kathy not only played a crucial role in raising young Caroline and John Jr., but also had a front-row seat to some of the twentieth century’s most significant events. Because Kathy was always at Jackie’s side, Rose Kennedy deemed her “Jackie’s girl.” And although Kathy called Jackie “Madam,” she considered her employer more like a big sister who, in many ways, mentored her on how to be a lady. Kathy was there during Jackie and Aristotle Onassis’s courtship and marriage and Robert Kennedy’s assassination, dutifully supporting Jackie and the children during these tumultuous times in history. A rare and engrossing look at the private life of one of the most famous women of the twentieth century, Jackie’s Girl is also a moving personal story of a young woman finding her identity and footing in a new country, along with the help of the most elegant woman in America....

Title : Jackie's Girl: My Life with the Kennedy Family
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781501158940
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 309 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Jackie's Girl: My Life with the Kennedy Family Reviews

  • Julie
    2019-04-18 02:23

    Jackie’s Girl by Kathy McKeon is a 2017 Gallery Books publication. Where were you when it happened? This question lingered for five years, then ten, then fifty…This is a memoir, so up front you should know this book is about Kathy McKeon’s life first and foremost, and what an interesting life it has been. I usually approach books like this one with extreme caution. A famous person's name attached to a personal memoir could be nothing more than a way to quickly cash in, and those sorts of books are often shallow and poorly written. However, I had a good feeling about this one, and of course, like many other people out there I loved and admired Jackie Kennedy, and was pulled in by the opportunity to witness a side of her few were privy to.Kathy immigrated to the United States from Ireland and while still a very young woman, landed a job working for the former first lady of the United States. I really enjoyed this insider look at Jackie's life behind closed doors, which only solidified her image of grace and dignity, but also shows her remarkable kindness and patience. Kathy has a very funny, upbeat, and personable voice, often filled with wry wit and humor. Her personal life outside of work is detailed along with her working relationship with other members of Jackie’s staff, and Jackie’s children, with whom she kept a long running relationship. There are hilarious anecdotes, poignant moments of tragedy, all told with heartfelt honesty. Kathy regales us with stories from her childhood, her adjustment to a new country, a few rare moments of rebelliousness and minor rule breaking, and how she juggled a home life with her very demanding occupation. There is a tiny ‘upstairs/downstairs’ atmosphere present, but the lines are often blurred. I picked up on a real and honest admiration that Kathy had for Jackie and think Jackie felt the same way about Kathy. The pair had a bond that went beyond employer and employee that was truly special. It was no wonder that friends and relatives of Jackie referred to her as ‘Jackie’s Girl”. Kathy’s job was demanding and on occasion she complained or mentioned a few moments of personal sacrifice she had to endure because her duties to Jackie took precedence.Just reading over the vast history Kathy witnessed up close and personal is fascinating, to see first hand the reactions and emotions to these events as experienced by the Kennedy family is enlightening. Kathy lived through some amazing times, met some of the most powerful, wealthy, and influential people in the country, as well a few celebrities. She traveled, and experienced life from an incredible viewpoint. But, what sticks out most in my mind were the light hearted moments where Kathy brings Jackie to life again and paints her in a whole new light. I wish I could have seen Jackie laughing out loud, letting her hair down, and enjoying a few moments of genuine pleasure, and I think Kathy played a big role in that. By the same token, Jackie took Kathy under her wing, smoothing out her rougher edges, sharing and passing on her polish and grace to Kathy, who blossomed and matured into an incredibly loyal companion, confidante and close personal friend of the Kennedy family. This is a very unique and interesting memoir, told with class, tinged with both sadness and humor, but mostly it’s wrapped in warm heartfelt memories.

  • Erin
    2019-04-20 04:22

    I'm going to start with a disclaimer: This book is not about Jackie Kennedy. She is just a featured player. I wasn't sure if I would like Jackie's Girl, I knew going in that this was not a Kennedy-centric book. Jackie's Girl is more of a coming of age story about a young Irish immigrant. Find herself in 1960's New York. Kathy grew up in a tiny very rural Irish town that barely had running water. She and her sister moved to New York in 1964 shortly after the assassination of President Kennedy and soon found work as domestics(house keepers,cooks, nannies, ...) Kathy soon hits the jackpot and is hired to with as Jackie Kennedy's personal assistant. During her 13 years of service with Mrs. Kennedy ( later Mrs. Onassis) she is exposed to a life of great wealth and important people. She also gets a front row seat to history witness the aftermath of the assassination of Robert Kennedy, Chappaquiddick, the marriages of Caroline and John Jr, the death of Jackie and the tragic death of John Jr. I ended up liking it more than I thought I would but I didn't love it. I actually ended up wanting to know more about Kathy. She didn't spend a lot of time talking about her life post-Jackie. I wanted to know more about Kathy's marriage, her kids, and grandkids. All and all I liked it and would recommend it.

  • Cheryl
    2019-04-09 05:27

    With unreserved honesty, Kathy McKeon’s memoir recounts her hardscrabble life on a remote farm in Ireland as the middle child in a family of eight children. The family lived in a three room house with no running water or electricity. Despite their meager existence, they were a close knit and loving family. However, when an opportunity to go to New York to find employment was offered, Kathy and her older sister decided to take a chance. Through a series of lucky breaks, Kathy, at the age of nineteen in 1964, landed a job as personal assistant and sometime nanny for Jacqueline Kennedy and her children. Kathy provides the reader with a glimpse of everyday life in the Kennedy household. The challenges of being a live-in employee while trying to maintain a separate personal life were often difficult. Away from the spotlight and public eye, we see the ups and downs in the household relationships. We also see a very personal side of Jacqueline, John Jr., and Caroline Kennedy.Throughout the years, Kathy became close to Mrs. Kennedy, and their friendship continued long after Kathy’s marriage. Kathy viewed Jacqueline as a mentor and example of ladylike grace. Her intimate relationship with the Kennedy’s also provided Kathy an opportunity to witness some of the most notable events in history. Jackie’s Girl is a fascinating and poignant account of a young woman’s coming of age, and a remarkable, unlikely friendship that will appeal to anyone interested in Kennedy family history.

  • Joyce
    2019-04-01 06:26

    I'm not much of a fan of memoirs, but I found this charming account of a young Irish girl's Cinderella-style rise to be Jackie Kennedy's personal assistant to be delightful. She recounts her years growing up in a terrifyingly impoverished Irish household and being sent to America with her sister to find work in NYC in the 1960s. She got the interview for this position through a friend of a cousin but was given the job without an interview after Jackie watched her (unawares) interacting with young John. Not a tell-all nor a white-wash job, this is an honest account of those years and of Jackie's kindness, loyalty, and generosity toward her staff but also her frequent demands (posed as requests but ones hard to refuse). Told with humor and candor this intimate coming-of-age memoir reveals personal and family details while protecting the Kennedy family's privacy. Mckeon remained close to John over the years, and she was particularly hard hit by his death. For fans of Kennedy lore and those who appreciate true stories along the lines of Toibin's Brooklyn.

  • Chris C
    2019-03-21 01:33

    I felt a little uncomfortable at first reading this book. It seems disloyal for an ex-employee to write about the family they worked for. But, I'm very Irish, and I kept checking it in at the library I work for. I loved the book, and I didn't want it to end! The Kennedy family was such a big part of her life, and so many are gone now. I didn't feel that the book disrespected the family, maybe Caroline would feel differently. It was a great coming of age story. I was reminded of how many young Irish girls came over to this country to work as servants. It couldn't have been easy for some of these poor souls. I felt that Jackie Kennedy was good to work for, and she had a lot of affection for the family. I'm glad to see that Kathy has had a pretty good life. By the end of the book, I felt like I had made a new friend.

  • Linda
    2019-04-04 08:35

    Imagine you're 19 years old and a poor Irish immigrant girl, who goes on a job interview at a big Fifth Avenue apartment. Imagine you're hired on the spot by a young glamorous widow with two small children to be her personal assistant and occasional nanny. Now imagine your new boss is Jackie Kennedy. That's exactly what happened to Kathy in this engaging story. Her memoir offers a rare insight into the Kennedy family and into the immigrant experience. Kathy grew very close to the family and felt Jackie was like an older sister in some ways and she was certainly a mentor to her. They stayed in touch long after she left service. What great memories Kathy has of Camelot. What a touching story.

  • Kelli
    2019-03-28 06:16

    Perfect for someone like me who is obsessed with Jackie and family and who is extremely curious about their lives. I will never tire of reading about this fascinating family. I also enjoyed learning about "Jackie's Girl", Kathy McKeon, her native Ireland, her family, and her continued relationship with the Kennedys. I think this is the first book that really showed how generous Jackie really was.

  • Jennifer
    2019-04-03 03:40

    Received through FirstReads...This was a pleasure to read from start to finish, and I would recommend it to anyone who has an interest in Jackie O, or just likes a good memoir. Though the Kennedy family feature prominently, the author never fade into the background, which I thought was quite impressive. Especially enjoyed the stories of her childhood/youth growing up in Ireland. Well done.

  • Denise Lew
    2019-04-15 03:42

    Loved this book! A very interesting perspective of the private side of Jackie. Made me appreciate her even more!

  • Mary
    2019-04-16 03:17

    This is such a heartfelt, loving memoir. You could tell just how much Jackie Kennedy and her family meant to Ms. McKeon. I loved being a part of the little moments in a family that we all loved. I loved that this wasn't just another tell-all with all the secret nastiness. There were some very funny moments, some very touching moments. I enjoyed it very much.I received a copy of this book from Goodreads and the opinion is humbly my own.

  • Kimberly V
    2019-03-21 07:37

    If you read the People magazine article on this, you pretty much read the few juicy details included in this book. I was a little taken aback by how the author seemed to put down and complain about her fellow employees all while attempting to show how much better she was. I was also surprised about how large the print was in this book. It seems to me that they increased it so that the book would appear longer.

  • Erin
    2019-04-13 01:38

    If you're a Jackie fan, this is a great read to add to your list.

  • Mallory
    2019-03-25 06:43

    Kathy McKeon came to America from Ireland and with a little bit of luck and some handy connections, found herself working for one of the world's most famous women. I wasn't familiar with the Kennedy family, so it was fascinating to read the intimate details of daily life at Jackie's home in New York. Kathy came to work for her and the family about a year after the assassination. She was deeply involved in "Madam's" and the children's lives, traveling with them and taking care of many details. Kathy's breezy anecdotes and funny stories make the book a quick read and also reveal how very ordinary they were, or tried to be, amidst all the fame and lore surrounding them. However, don't expect much commentary in the way of history and what was happening in this volatile time. Whether it's because Kathy was an immigrant and therefore not as in tune with American politics and history or because she lived inside the Kennedy bubble (likely a combination of both), the focus is not often on outside events. Kathy said it best herself: "I spent my summers in the privileged world of yacht clubs and private beaches, never knowing that race riots were erupting in major cities across the country at the same time, worse with each passing year. I wasn't in college, signing petitions, or rallying for a protest march, nor was I spending my day in an office building then going to happy hour with my coworkers come five o'clock to talk about what was going on in America. My days revolved around Madam's wants and needs, never mine. I didn't have a life that was wholly my own." Overall, an intriguing glimpse inside a family that continues to fascinate Americans to this day.

  • Cindy
    2019-03-21 08:21

    I am not a big fan of memoirs. However I did win this book in a Mother's Day giveaway so I needed to read and review. This book is a memoir of the life of Kathy McKeon an Irish girl who emigrated to America and became the personal assistant to Jackie Kennedy. Told in a very thoughtful down-to-earth manner we learn of Kathy's life growing up in Ireland, her travel to the US, her struggle to fit in, and then eventually her relationship with "Madam". I actually liked this book as it not only focused on Kathys life but it was also a behind the scenes personal look at one of the most admired woman in history. 3.5 stars

  • Kathy Jackson
    2019-04-03 06:43

    Different perspective I really enjoyed this book! It gave a different perspective into the lives of the Kennedy family. I felt it showed a whole different side that looked at them as people rather than celebrities. What a wonderful friend Kathy was to them!

  • Brenda
    2019-03-21 03:46

    I read this book in one day because I had some construction going on in the house and really couldn't get much else done. It was a very good read. Kathy paints a bleak but beautiful picture of her life growing up in a tiny town in Ireland. She was one of 8 kids, raised in a tiny farmhouse with no running water or electricity and a stove for heat in the 1940s-1960s. We went to Ireland, Northern Ireland and Scotland on a trip and the sad thing to me was how the young people leave when they get through with school. It's a terrible drain on the countries, but I can see why they would if things were that backward not long ago. Her story of her time working for Jacqueline Kennedy for years is very interesting and told with a lot of humor and insight into the terrible blows to the Kennedy Family. She started working for Jackie about a year after JFK was assassinated, and was there through the assassination of Bobby Kennedy,Martin Luther King and the Chappaquiddick controversy with Ted Kennedy and her marriage to Aristotle Onassis. I had just recently read two books by Jackie's Secret Service Officer, Clint Hill, so it was interesting to read a lot of this from a woman's point of view.

  • Kate SouthernBelleSimple
    2019-04-19 03:24

    This is one of the best books I've encountered in a long, long time. Granted, my fascination with the Kennedy family probably drove me to read it, but even if you didn't feel any sort of wonder or fondness for them, you couldn't help but fall in love with the author Kathy. Her adventure from a rural farm in Ireland to being Jacqueline Kennedy's personal assistant is something of a fairy tale in its own right...although not your typical fairy tale with ballgowns or glass slippers. Jackie's Girl opened up a world I've always wondered about and made it seem so real, and almost everyday. The Kennedys were lucky to have had Kathy and she has captured their stories in such a heartwarming way. And if you get a chance, you MUST experience this as an audiobook because the reader really captures so much of the accents and voices that bring these characters to life. I just can't say enough good things about this book!

  • Sharon Huether
    2019-04-12 00:30

    I won this Free book from Goodreads First-Reads.Jackie's girl was an Irish girl that came to the US in 1964 at 19 years old. Kathy McKeon.She was Jackie's Kennedy's personal assistant . She really did more; watching the children and helping Jackie arrange and rearrange her home.The book brought out things about Jackie Kennedy, that I never knew. She had a great sense of humor. She and Kathy would often had a good laugh.As the years passed by Jackie was always so kind and generous with Kathy. Kathy was always loyal to her employer. A very enjoyable read.

  • Helen Yoest
    2019-04-16 00:16

    I loved every word and turn of the page. While I did hope/think it would be more about Jackie O, I'm very glad it wasn't some sooty tell-all. It was funny, kind, sweet, and loving. How lucky Kathy was to be able to be her own person, yet within the sancutary of Jackie Kennedy O. The tales of Ireland were charming and telling, as were the other happenings in our world outside the protective bubble of the secrete service.I would love for Kathy Mckeon to write another book about her Ireland, and I'm not even Irish!

  • Carolyn
    2019-04-03 00:46

    The author was a very innocent 19yo Irish immigrant when she had an amazing stroke of good luck; through friends of her family, she was hired as Jacqueline Kennedy's personal assistant and sometimes nanny for Caroline and John Jr., less than a year after the JFK assassination. She became very much a member of the family and fairly indispensable to Jackie, to the point where there was some friction when Kathy wanted a life of her own. There are no scandals here, but there are some funny and touching stories about the Kennedys as Kathy looks back 50 years later. She was with Jackie when they found out about the RFK assassination; she witnessed Jackie's second wedding; and grieved with the family over Chappaquiddick.

  • Linda Marie Marsh
    2019-04-12 07:46

    Kathy Mckeon has written an unusually honest, and open book about her years as a member of the Kennedy household. Because of her unique position as the kids quasi-governess and Jackie's assistant she has an insight that others never had.....and if they did they were not willing to tell truths both good and not so good....This is her memoir- starting with her life in Ireland, followed by immigration to the U.S. with her sister, and ultimately the many years spent as queen of camelots right hand girl!

  • Susie
    2019-03-30 02:31

    Listened to this book by a reader with a delightful Irish lilt to her voice. That may have been the best part of the book. The author really shares more of her life than the life of the Kennedy family. Way too much time spent on wonder bread sandwiches. Some of the stories were a bit amusing, but boring. I also got a little annoyed at Jackie when she continually made Kathy stay after her hours without realizing the day or the time. Kathy, originally from Ireland, did have a fantastic experience despite the demands.

  • Donna
    2019-03-29 04:36

    Four and a half stars. If you are looking for a gossipy, tell all this is not the right book for you. This is a wonderful story of a young Irish girl who just so happened to work as a domestic for Jackie Kennedy. It turned into a lovely relationship through the years. Kathy's stories about the Kennedy clan showed nothing but respect and admiration for them. It is also the story of Kath, as Jackie came to call her, and a fabulous story it was! I highly recommend it.

  • Nicole
    2019-03-21 05:38

    Definitely a good read. It gives into the life of immigrants in the 60s. It gives into the life of Jackie O that probably hasn't been out before. Jackie O was normal but at the same time not. Her personal assistant had hardly any life outside of the house.

  • Linda
    2019-04-19 02:40

    Kathy McKeon was a young Irish immigrant working as a Nanny for a New York City divorceé and her children. Feeling abused by her employer, she jumps at the chance for a new job she was alerted to by a friend.Unknown to Kathy, her interaction with the young male child is watched by the child's mother. The child was John Kennedy Jr. The way Kathy related to him was enough for Jackie Kennedy to decide to hire the young girl.Kathy's life in and out of the Kennedy family is related in this book from early 1964 to the summer of 1999. Kathy loved the Kennedys and they love(d) her.

  • Jody Ogle schardin hallonquist
    2019-04-18 02:16

    Great read. What a gem Jackie got with hiring Kathy. Such wonderful loyalty. Was a bit shocked at how Jackie asked so much of Kathy without any overtime pay or added pay when Jackie took so long to hire a governess . Their trip to Ireland was suppose to give Kathy some time with her family. She got a day and a half with more promised but it didn't work for Jackie in the end. It's a different kind of life.

  • Deborah
    2019-03-23 00:30

    I have been fascinated by all things Jackie since 1962 and her famous tour of the White House was televised. I have devoured all about her and thought there wasn't much I didn't know. But then I read this book, not only insightful about Jackie, but an equally fascinating story of the authors life and family. A must read if you too are a Jackie fanatic.

  • Pam
    2019-04-05 07:18

    The narrator of the audio book has a high pitched Irish accent that I found difficult to understand. I did not finish the book.

  • Sharon
    2019-04-11 06:37

    Found it very interesting on what went on behind the scenes of the Kennedy family.

  • Melissa
    2019-04-12 02:25

    A sweet story of friendship. I really enjoyed learning about Jackie from this point of view, and the narrator was a gem too.