Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Fairy Tale Interrupted: A Memoir of Life, Love and Loss; Rose Marie Terenzio

Author:  Rose Marie Terenzio
Publication Year: 2012
Publisher: Gallery Books
Edition: eBook / Kindle
Source: Purchase
Date Completed: 2/13/2012
Rating: 1/5
Recommend: no

I'm one of those people who has long been fascinated by the Kennedy mystique.  Remembering vividly where I was when I learned that President Kennedy was assassinated in 1963, and where I was when I learned that JFK Jr's plane en route to Hyannis had disappeared on the fateful day in July of 1999.  Since I haven't read much about JFK Jr's adult life, I couldn't wait to read this memoir, written by his executive assistant, who worked for him during the last (5) years of his life.

I had a hard time writing this review because, I was very disappointed by this book.  It was very boring, lacked any real depth or insight into the lives JFK Jr or his wife Carolyn Bessette.  The book did not even have any photographs of people, just a few photos with some hand-scratched notes.  I wondered as I read why the author waited over (12 Years) since the couple's death to write this book as well.

The author, Rose Marie Terenzio, had been working for a PR firm in NYC when her boss began a new business venture with JFK Jr, hence, how she landed the job as his executive assistant.  She shares day to day experiences about screening John's calls, keeping his appointments straight and the secrecy required working for such a high-profile individual, and the launching of George magazine.  She writes about when he began dating Carolyn, shortly after his mother died, and how he asked Carolyn to marry him while out on a boat fishing on Martha's Vineyard the following year.  We learn very little about their very small and private wedding on an island in Cumberland, GA, the planning which all had to kept a secret.  The reader does learn that John was a fly by the seat of his pants sort of guy, often disorganized, and known for springing plans last minute on his wife and others.

I guess what annoyed me about this book was the fact that while I was lead to believe, it was about lessons that Rosie might have learned from working for John, but what I was really left with after reading this book was a feeling of a lot of self-promoting by the author. She tells how she was envied because of her job.  How she was included in all of the special functions, getting the best seat to concerts, and how Carolyn took her under her wing, gave her a sense of style and often picked up the tab as well.  Rosie shared Carolyn's unhappiness about being badgered by the media, and photographers trying to snap shots of her every time she walked the dog or went for coffee. To me, those were things that most people already knew about Carolyn already.

Very disappointed I bought this book -- There really wasn't anything interesting or new to be learned about John or Carolyn.

Has anyone else read this book?  I'd love to hear your thoughts.


  1. Sorry this one failed to live up to your expectations! Thanks for your honest review.

  2. Ouch - the title really made me want to pick this one up. Thanks for steering me the right way!

  3. That's too bad this was such a disappointment!

  4. It does sound like the author is trying to cash in on her brush with celebrity. That's such a shame.

  5. It sounds like this one was full of self promotion, and not as well defined as it should have been. I probably would have been mad if I went into this book hoping for more info about a celebrity that I loved, and found out it was more about the author who wrote it! I am sorry that this one was not a good read for you, but your review highlights your perspective on it quite nicely.

  6. Good review! I had hesitated to try this one because I didn't want a book that would tell secrets he wouldn't want us to know, or one that really didn't tell anything. Looks like the book is the latter.

  7. Well, I won't be reading it. It sounds like she didn't really have too much to say and is cashing in on who she worked for.

  8. That totally stinks!! I can't believe its been 12 years since they died! It does some across like she's trying to elevate her status. I'm sorry that this one was a stinker!

  9. I was curious about this book when you mentioned it in my comments, but it sounds like a total waste of time. Perhaps the author needed some quick cash? Otherwise, I agree what was the point of writing this bio?

  10. Too bad that this one was such a flop, and from your description of what the book didn't contain, I can understand why you were left so disappointed. Thanks for the heads up on this one...


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