Ambassador of Books ~ Book Club Madam ~ Blogger Gal

Friday, September 26, 2008

One Special Summer

How could I have not read this book before now?! It is so lovely, so fun, and so simple! Its just fabulous!

Oh, did I not tell you what book I’m raving about? Sorry - it’s One Special Summer, by Lee and Jacqueline Bouvier. Yes, that’s the same Jacqueline who later married John Kennedy.

It’s 1951 and Lee, age 17, has just graduated from high school. After months of begging and pleading, her mother has agreed to allow her to go to Europe for the summer, with big sister Jacqueline as her traveling companion. Upon their return the girls create a scrapbook for their mother as a thank you for the trip. Their mother was thrilled, and counted the book as one of her most treasured possession.

Fast forward to the early 1970s. Lee is planning to write a book that will include many family letters and other documents. She and her mother sort through boxes of papers and come across the scrapbook. Too big to be included in her book, Lee decides to publish it separately. The first edition came out in 1974; it was republished in 2005.

This book is simply fabulous! Both girls contributed to the scrapbook, writing stories and poems, adding sketches and photos. It’s printed in their handwriting, giving it a very personal touch – which was the point, since it was a gift to their mother. Jacqueline’s drawings are so much fun! She packs tons of expressions into such simple little sketches - many of them had me laughing out loud. And the stories were just as much fun. I read it in one sitting, in part because it was rather short but more because I simply couldn’t put it down.

How did I find this book, you ask? It's certainly not one I'd ever heard of before. You see, this month my book club is doing something different. Rather than reading one book, we’re reading on one topic: Jackie Kennedy. The plan is to read any biography of her that appeals to us (there are TONS). At our meeting we’ll discuss the various takes on her life, the image the author was trying to portray, and what was left out of each book. While browsing my library’s online catalog I found about 20 book about Jackie O, including this one. I ordered it not knowing what it was, and I’m so glad that I did! I’ll be reading a biography as well but this was a great intro to her life.

Have you read One Special Summer? Heard of it? Tell me, tell me! If not, you simply must read it. This book is a real treasure.


Anonymous said...

I have to admit that I've never heard of it, but it looks wonderful.

Rebecca said...

Hi! I was referred to you by Dianne and I'm so glad she recommended you. I posted today how my son bought me a book to read at a book fair and so he and I are going to have our own little book club. Dianne mentioned you're doing the same thing -- and thought I should check you out.

PLUS, I love reading, and since reading The Kite Runner - that book has ruined me for all others. I have zero interest in reading something at the moment because so many books have sort of left me feeling like "eh, it was just okay". So now, I've got a great site to refer to for reviews. :)

Nice to "meet" you!

Anonymous said...

The book sounds great and so does your book club's idea to read about Jackie O. Wish I could be there!

Kristen at

Nicole (Linus's Blanket) said...

I haven' read it and I haven't heard of it until now, but it looks good. How did that work out with your book club (if you had it already)? I have ben thinking of doing something similar with my book club.

Amanda said...

What a cool book! I've never heard of it and will check it out. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Please mention to Ophelia that her Mom (a Jackie O fan) has a birthday fast approaching.

Ophelia's Mom

Jill said...

I've never head of this one either, but it sounds fabulous! Thanks for the excellent review.

Anonymous said...

What a fun, effusive review. I've added it to my TBR list on your recommendation alone. I'll come back once I've read it.

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