Jack's Widow

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 08 July, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 08 July, 2007, 12:00am

Jack's Widow

by Eve Pollard

Avon, HK$112

It's hard to know what to make of Jack's Widow, a fictional account of Jackie Kennedy's post-JFK life. Were it completely made up, the novel would read like chick-lit set in high-society circles, where powerful men and beautiful women put in polished performances while engaging in highly improbable adventures. But written by Eve Pollard, one of the former US first lady's biographers, it contains much that's factual, albeit wrapped in flimflam that boggles the mind. Despite a legal disclaimer that the work is the product of the author's imagination, it's hard to read it like a novel, although the author obviously indulged in artistic licence: in the book John F. Kennedy was US president for 33/4 years (instead of 23/4) and Marilyn Monroe overdosed on the anniversary of JFK's death (instead of two years earlier in 1962). On a different level, Jackie becomes a spy and helps the CIA by holding parties to which suspect bigwigs are invited. And Lyndon Johnson schemes to have her marry Aristotle Onassis so his island of Skorpios can be used as a secret US base. Then there's the episode in which she's raped by a waiter. Jack's Widow will enrage Jackie fans. But others who know nothing about her might find entertainment within its covers.