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Once Upon a Secret
by Mimi Alford Judith Newman

RRP €17.95

Once Upon a Secret
by Author Name Mimi Alford, Judith Newman

Book details for title
List Price:17.95
Format: Paperback, 231 x 148 x 16mm, 208pp
Publication date: 09 Feb 2012
Publisher: Hutchinson
ISBN-13: 9780091936563

Description

In 1963, Mimi Beardsley was a naive young American girl, very much a product of her class and time - she had attended the same exclusive girls' school as Jackie Bouvier, now installed in the White House as the president's wife, which is also where Mimi found herself, as an 18-years-old intern. The JFK White House was a place for which she was not remotely prepared, dominated by the charismatic and sexually rapacious figure of the president. Within days, they had started a relationship. There are several extraordinary things about Mimi's story. One is that she has evaded notice from any of the biographers of JFK and other chroniclers of the heady days and sexual shenanigans of Camelot. Only by chance did a reporter in 2006 follow up a mention of her name in a book about JFK, and doorstep her - now a married grandmother living quietly in New York - to find out whether she was the Mimi Beardsely mentioned in a passing reference. This is all the more surprising given the length of time the affair continued - 18 months - and the fact that it was ended only by his assassination. Mimi Beardsley Alford has decided, after 40 years of silence and deep reflection, to tell her story.But this is not just a personal memoir of a young woman of her generation and class coming of age in the 1960s, and her relationship with JFK. She also examines the significant impact it had on her life and relationships since, why she has chosen to remain silent for so long, and why she feels that this is the moment to speak out.

Reviews

"With the benefit of hindsight and good old-fashioned maturity, she does not judge her young self, or indeed JFK, too harshly. She writes not just about the secret, but about the corrosive effect of keeping that secret ... In short, she's a wise old bird, and you can't help liking her, or her elegant and thoroughly good-natured book." Spectator "Her memoir rings true: now approaching her 70th birthday, Mimi Alford has no reason to dissemble, and her confessions of complicity are sufficiently candid to allow her professions of innocence to be taken at face value ... Much of her vivid, soul-searching memoir is about living with her secret." Daily Mail "A likeable book by a likeable woman, who seems entirely trustworthy." -- Lynn Barber Sunday Times