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The Fabulous Bouvier Sisters

The Tragic and Glamorous Lives of Jackie and Lee
Narrated by: Bernadette Dunne
Length: 10 hrs and 40 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (8 ratings)

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Summary

A poignant, evocative, and wonderfully gossipy account of the two sisters who represented style and class above all else - Jackie Kennedy Onassis and Lee Radziwill - from the authors of Furious Love.

When 64-year-old Jackie Kennedy Onassis died in her Fifth Avenue apartment, her younger sister Lee wept inconsolably. Then Jackie’s 38-page will was read. Lee discovered that substantial cash bequests were left to family members, friends, and employees - but nothing to her. "I have made no provision in this my Will for my sister, Lee B. Radziwill, for whom I have great affection, because I have already done so during my lifetime", read Jackie’s final testament. Drawing on the authors’ candid interviews with Lee Radziwill, The Fabulous Bouvier Sisters explores their complicated relationship, placing them at the center of 20th-century fashion, design, and style.

In life, Jackie and Lee were alike in so many ways. Both women had a keen eye for beauty - in fashion, design, painting, music, dance, sculpture, poetry - and both were talented artists. Both loved pre-revolutionary Russian culture, and the blinding sunlight, calm seas, and ancient olive groves of Greece. Both loved the siren call of the Atlantic, sharing sweet, early memories of swimming with the rakish father they adored, Jack Vernou Bouvier, at his East Hampton retreat. But Jackie was her father’s favorite, and Lee, her mother’s. One would grow to become the most iconic woman of her time, while the other lived in her shadow. As they grew up, the two sisters developed an extremely close relationship threaded with rivalry, jealousy, and competition. Yet it was probably the most important relationship of their lives.

For the first time, Vanity Fair contributing editor Sam Kashner and acclaimed biographer Nancy Schoenberger tell the complete story of these larger-than-life sisters. Drawing on new information and extensive interviews with Lee, now 84, this dual biography sheds light on the public and private lives of two extraordinary women who lived through immense tragedy in enormous glamour.

©2018 Sam Kashner and Nancy Schoenberger (P)2018 HarperCollins Publishers

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

An informative listen

I enjoyed this book as I enjoy knowing more about figures who have become iconic in my lifetime. The human side between the 2 sisters was revealing and believable. I also enjoyed a look into the privileged lifestyle of super rich lives which still have to deal with the emotional life of being human with all the .decisions , as well as the good and bad thing s which we all ,as human beings on earth for our allotted time have to deal with.

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Not exciting

This turned out to be a very boring listen. Narrator has a strange robotic voice to my ear. I regret the credit used.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 12-12-18

Not so fabulous

4 stars is stretching it a bit, but I couldn’t get the stars to cooperate. It’s good, but somewhat biased . Wondered if Carol aka daughter-in-law (ny housewife) didn’t have a big hand in this tribute to Lee. Maybe deserved, who knows??? I was expecting more for some reason. Interesting but I kept listening for the oh wow this is great moment. A solid 31/2 ⭐️. Not a total waste of time, but not a juicy book. If you know what I mean.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Heidi Peyrefitte
  • 07-08-19

Disappointing

This book is somewhat shallow and a bit of a bore. I was expecting a more in-depth analysis and real insight into the Bouvier Sisters. This is my first book on tape so maybe the narration was a factor of my disappointment.

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  • inwitinthemidwest
  • 24-07-19

Trashy & Fantastic

I enjoyed this a lot. Bargeloads of familiar gossip, very cleverly configured around the relationship between these two sisters and their differing experiences of their emotionally deprived & materially privileged lives. As a result of this cleverness, many new and quite believable insights are offered here. That JKO was the jock & LR the culture vulture (who schooled JKO on many points) is to me the most significant insight. It carries through everything and explains circumstances, choices, scenarios. LR'ss experiences with Truman Capote, Gore Vidal and Baryshnikov add much knowledge about the time period and its travails. LR's long, well-loved life has made a book like this possible-- we're all indebted to her graciousness. A bit too much drumrolling over the "deathbed scene," but thanks, Sam & Co, for taking all the Kennedy-Radziwill road warriors on this freedom ride.

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  • Raul Sanchez Jr.
  • 14-05-19

Incredible

This book was so incredible. I listen to it while I was training for a marathon. This book is filled with so much delicious store that is captivated me once I hit the 30 minute to an hour to two hour running mark.

The first paragraph scared me, because they were a couple sentences that repeated themselves but the novel turns into something that should be cherished and celebrated.

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  • Michaele Frederick
  • 15-04-19

So boring (the reader) I couldn’t make it past ....

The reader was so boring I couldn’t even make it past the first chapter. I want my money back.

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  • Linda Zumpf
  • 25-03-19

2 Sisters

I found the book to be very whiny about how two sisters were always in competition with each other and were never happy with their lot in life. At my ripe old age of 70, money, clothes, etc., aren’t important. Relationships and character are. I wasn’t impressed with the poor little rich girl scenario.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-03-19

A wonderful story

This was a wonderful story. I feel that I know Lee Radziwill and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis on a personal level. Thank you!

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  • Freckles
  • 06-02-19

Fascinated from start to finish!

I was so naive. I had no idea about all of this! I think my mouth was gaping open during most of my listening. This book opened my eyes and kept me riveted from start to finish. I became instantly obsessed with learning more and moved on to listening to Janet, Jackie & Lee immediately upon finishing this. I also had to watch Grey Gardens right away. I very much enjoyed this book. Totally worth the time and the credit. I learned so much.

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  • Laura Ellis
  • 22-01-19

Fascinating and Sad

Lee Radziwell should love this book. Really highlights her career achievements and personal influence on Jackie and others. She may not like all of the book and its parts on her personal life but a good life is full of flaws and flourishes - shes had them all,. Narration was a little mechanical but good.

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  • Nancy
  • 05-01-19

Insightful, interesting, well done

This book was not only interesting but so informative. The 60s thru 80s were portrayed so well by the author. The depth of the personalities of the sisters was very insightful. Loved the poignant ending.