Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Review -- November 22, 1963

November 22, 1963
By Adam Braver
Published by Tin House Books, 2008
203 pages

Summary: November 22, 1963 is a historical fiction novel about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. The story is partly told through First Lady Jackie Kennedy's experiences and partly through witnesses, White House staff, and medical personnel.

Review: Adam Braver's portrayal of Jackie Kennedy is elegant and engaging. His words make you grieve along with Jackie as she tries to make sense of what has happened to her husband and ultimately her life. I loved the parts of the story with Jackie, but was disappointed by some of the other individual stories in the book. At times, they seemed sporadically placed and I had trouble understanding the connection between some of the stories. Maybe I am looking too deep to find a connection, maybe the connection is love -- love for their country, love for their president. Or maybe it is grief, the collective way the country grieved for John F. Kennedy. During these breaks in the story, it felt more like a history lesson at times -- how they preformed the autopsy, how the coffin was paid for in Dallas, how the limo was cleaned and used again. Yet, both the fiction and the lessons together made for an interesting novel about a part of American history I knew very little about. Rating: *** out of 5


Alexia said...

I love historical fiction - I like to read the "behind the scenes" stuff...even if it may not have happened that way. It's a fun way to get a little more history in me! I'll have to save this at the library.

Iliana said...

I'd never heard of this book but it sounds interesting. And, I see that the publisher is Tin House Books... Is Tin House magazine also publishing books? Interesting!