When non-fiction is written so wonderfully that readers get so firmly gripped by the flow of words that they don’t even remember they know the end of the story, that’s when you know the writer is brilliant. This same amazing phenomenon can be captured in “Mrs. Kennedy and Me” written by Clint Hill (Jackie’s ex-bodyguard), a book which shows all the required aspects of memoir writing, especially that of a public figure. The aspects of accuracy, what goes on behind the scenes and a sensitive detail in the storytelling are all present in the book, ready to catch readers into its grip without disgracing any of the characters.
An important side of this brilliant piece that makes it a wonderful read is the way the writer expresses about Mrs. Kennedy and her children without tainting her dignity or those of the agents who were providing security to the President.
There were few incidents in the book where readers were given some unpleasant facts, such as Mrs. Eisenhower’s refusal to let Mrs. Kennedy use a pre-arranged wheelchair for a tour of the White House a few days before the President’s inauguration, when Jackie needed it badly because she had had a Caesarean a day before. Another example is the President’s order to Hill to keep Jacqueline away from Aristotle Onassis on her diplomatic trip to Greece. These incidents are not provided with much detail, just small pieces, to let the readers understand that things were not exactly the same as they were presented in Camelot.
The excellence of the book lies in its intense details of the days after the President’s assassination, which are not to be found on anything ever written on the Kennedys. Although the role of the media and of the rumors about the event must have been exhausting, Hill provides a deep and respectful insight into the havoc this incident brought on his life and of the President’s family. Everything is presented in magnetic and intense detail. From the arrangement of the casket which Hill did in person, to removing the President’s body from the hospital and further to his firm stand in favor of Mrs. Kennedy when demureness provided that she met Vice-president John and accompanied him to Washington, when all she wished was to be with her husband; everything is presented with intensity in the book.
The most heartrending of all is the intense and sad account of the days which followed the president’s assassination, when Mrs. Kennedy was no longer the first lady. She and her family simply tried to vanish from the public, but even after her removal from Public Office she was followed everywhere by the media and the photographers; that is why a Secret Service detail was assigned to her for one more year. Afterwards, the day came when Hill had to leave the security of Mrs. Kennedy and was no longer her agent.
The amazing memoir ‘Mrs. Kennedy and Me’ was released in print and digital format, available at numerous ebook retailers.