Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Publishers Weekly Reviews Mrs. Kennedy and Me

The reviews are beginning to come in.  Here's what the notoriously critical Publishers Weekly writes about Mrs. Kennedy and Me.
Mrs. Kennedy and Me:
An Intimate Memoir
In November 1960, Hill, who had been on President Eisenhower’s Secret Service detail, wasn’t looking forward to his new assignment—which he viewed as a demotion—of protecting Jacqueline Kennedy. But a disappointed Hill soon realized he was actually serving the president “by protecting the things that were most important to him, personally—his wife and his children.” Hill was completely won over by the first lady’s spontaneity, curiosity, sincerity, and joie de vivre. He accompanied her to Greece twice; on the first trip, in 1961, he was under strict if baffling instructions from JFK to keep his wife away from Aristotle Onassis. Hill was with Mrs. Kennedy on a Virginia hunt where she flew headfirst over her horse and a rail fence, through the death of infant Patrick and in Dallas when the president was assassinated. Hill is close-mouthed about JFK’s infidelities. His book is most valuable for his perceptive recall of the daily routine and problems faced by the Secret Service detail. This is a worshipful, competent insider’s glimpse of a matchless first lady whose diplomatic skills and glamour enabled her to do the unthinkable: briefly wrest the Mona Lisa from France. Photos. (Apr.)

Monday, February 13, 2012

Mrs. Kennedy and Me Gets Kirkus Star Review

Kirkus Star

The Kirkus Star

Awarded to books of remarkable merit

"Of the many words written about Jacqueline Kennedy, these are among the best."

Evocative memoir of guarding First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy through the young and sparkling years of the Kennedy presidency and the dark days following the assassination.

Secret Service Special Agent Hill had not looked forward to guarding Mrs. Kennedy. The action was with the president. But duty trumped preference, and he first met a young and pregnant soon-to-be First Lady in November 1960. For the next four years Hill would seldom leave her side. Theirs would be an odd relationship of always-proper formality combined with deep intimacy crafted through close proximity and mutual trust and respect. Hill was soon captivated, as was the rest of the world, by Mrs. Kennedy’s beauty and grace, but he saw beyond such glamour a woman of fierce intelligence and determination—to raise her children as normally as possible, to serve the president and country, to preserve for herself a playful love of life. Hill became a part of the privileged and vigorous life that went with being a Kennedy, and in which Jacqueline held her own. He traveled the world with her, marveling at the adulation she received, but he also shared the quiet, offstage times with her: sneaking a cigarette in the back of a limousine, becoming her unwilling and inept tennis partner. When the bullet ripped into the president’s brain with Hill not five feet away, he remained with her, through the public and private mourning, “when the laughter and hope had been washed away.” Soon after, both would go on with their lives, but Hill would never stop loving Mrs. Kennedy and never stop feeling he could have done more to save the president. With clear and honest prose free of salaciousness and gossip, Hill (ably assisted by McCubbin) evokes not only a personality both beautiful and brilliant, poised and playful, but also a time when the White House was filled with youth and promise.

Of the many words written about Jacqueline Kennedy, these are among the best.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Book of the Month Club Selection

Exciting news!  Mrs. Kennedy and Me by Clint Hill and Lisa McCubbin has been selected by Book of the Month Club/Quality Paperbacks as a featured alternate in their early April 2012 catalog—and also a featured alternate of the Doubleday Book Club, the Literary Guild, and the History Book Club! 

But don't worry, if you're not a Book of the Month Club member, you can pre-order your copy now at:
Simon and Schuster
Barnes and Noble  or support my favorite independent booksellers: 
Anderson's Bookshop Naperville, IL 
Rainy Day Books