Blanche Wolf Publishers (2019)
Reviewed by Carol Hoyer for Reader Views (04/19)
“Kick Kennedy’s Secret Diary” by Susan Braudy gives readers an intimate look inside the Kennedy family and the rebellious lifestyle of John Kennedy’s younger sister.
Kick was a favorite of all with her outspoken and sometimes brash behavior. Helping her brother John’s political career, she introduces him to all who could further his career including Winston Churchill. The person she could not please was her staunchly Catholic mother Rose, who takes every opportunity to criticize her in every way possible. I have to say after reading about Rose Kennedy she appears arrogant and self-centered and in love with her lavish lifestyle of being Mrs. Joseph Kennedy. Father Joe Kennedy was no match for his wife, and his flagrant affairs did not help his relationship with her. Joe Kennedy had his style of dress and manner and usually just did what he wanted which makes Kick laugh and Rose fume.
This historical fiction set during World War II gives great insight into how the Kennedys viewed Hitler and their manipulation of others so the sons would not have to go to war. I was somewhat surprised that not much was mentioned about Rosemary Kennedy, the daughter who had Down Syndrome, other than she seemed like an embarrassment to Rose Kennedy and the fact that Joe Kennedy permitted her to have a lobotomy without anyone knowing.
Kick later writes for the Washington Times-Herald and marries outside the Catholic faith which further enrages her mother. Kick’s marriage to William (Billy) Cavendish, a powerful heir in England is short lived as he dies during battle in the war. Even though it seems Kick was frivolous, wild and out of control, she does her part to brighten soldiers moral at a London Red Cross.
The author’s writing was intense, with well-researched information but at the same time, hilarious events occurred which lightened the deep parts. This 237-page read will keep one on their toes and engrossed for hours. “Kick Kennedy’s Secret Diary” is factual, entertaining and full of some surprises about the family. The author has done an excellent job of research while at the same time providing great insight into some of the major players during the war. I highly recommend this read by Susan Braudy.