Book Review: "The Day John Died;" Author: Christopher Anderson; Publisher: Andersen Productions (Kindle Edition).
He was beloved.
He was adored by his doting parents, Jacqueline Lee Kennedy (Onassis) and John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the 36th President of the United States.
He was America's son.
He was hope, a continued legacy, a dynamic addition to the famous Kennedy clan.
He IS John F. Kennedy Jr... beloved Prince of Camelot... and although he is not with us in body, his striking memory will continue to live on for many years to come.
After reading the first chapter of the #1 New York Times bestseller, "The Day John Died," penned by renowned author, Christopher Andersen, I immediately noted that I was on my way to reading a huge rendition of the history of the Kennedys as pertaining to John Kennedy Jr. and his family before he was born, leading up to the poignant moments of his tragic, untimely death. The book also details John's aspirations, his love life, relationships with those that graced his life and his inner struggles being a famed Kennedy. The book's title, "The Day John Died," had nothing to do with the inner contents of the book. Yes, it did expound on circumstances of John Jr.'s death- at the very end of the book. The entire, meaty portion of the book expounded on his family and upbringing. I am not sure why such a boxed-in title was chosen for a book that included a sweeping, historical rendition which was the main focus of the book.
It is very obvious that the author conducted massive research behind the writing scene, re-enacting a very detailed world that revolved around John Kennedy Jr. For someone like me, who was not born during the "Kennedy" era, this was a one-stop read for all things regarding this legendary family. I praise the author for his intense research which served well to create a strongly detailed book.
What really struck me as being tragic was that many people mentioned in the book feared John flying a plane and told him so, but ultimately, he did not heed their concerns. His mother was extremely protective of John Jr., having endured bad premonitions of John dying in a plane crash. Her fear was palpable as tragically stated in the book: "in the latter years of her life, Jackie had a recurring premonition that John would be killed piloting his own plane."
It is no secret that the Kennedys are thought to be a cursed clan, fraught with untimely death, the name carrying a legacy of tragedy that breaks anyone's heart who learns of it. Besides John Jr.'s mother, his wife, Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy, who tragically perished in the fatal plane crash along with her sister, was deeply anxious about John Jr. flying.
John Jr.'s sister, Caroline, other Kennedy family members and friends, who knew John Jr. were not confident about him flying a plane. His friend, Bailey, had ominously stated: "John is going to kill himself in that airplane," Bailey told his parents a few weeks earlier. "The Piper Saratoga is a faster, more complex plane than he was used to. Sometimes I got the feeling that he didn't fully appreciate that. In some ways, he was like a little kid playing with a shiny new toy."
The famed Kennedy tragedies were too much for anyone connected to them to feel confident about John Jr. flying. Add to that John's daredevil antics, fear of nothing and unwavering determination in the face of danger to the mix and that became an explosive recipe and perhaps contributed to his death as well as that of his wife and sister-in-law.
As stated in the book: "There had already been widespread criticism in the media of John's decision to fly that night, and charges that a congenital streak of Kennedy recklessness had cost John not only his life but the lives of his two innocent passengers. It was pointed out that John not only took off under questionable conditions and without an instrument rating, but that he also did so with a severely injured foot that may have made it difficult for him to operate the rudder and the brakes."
John Jr. was definitely rash, bold and perhaps over-confident but he and his passengers did not deserve such a tragic, untimely death. No one deserves that. His death brings into questions a lot of "what ifs?" What if he heeded everyone's warnings not to fly a plane? What if he was more careful and less bold when it came to decision-making? What if he had immediately set the plane on autopilot by punching the two switches to enable that? Would the plane have landed safely? Was he destined to die so young, no matter what he did in life, even if he avoided this particular disaster?
I cried reading about the crash and the frantic search that ensued after everyone learned John Jr. was missing. He and his passengers were found still strapped in their seats five days after the tragic crash in the frigid Atlantic ocean. The world knew intense "Kennedy" loss once again. The Camelot Prince had tragically slipped away into eternal sleep.
This book was very well written, details stream-lined from year to year to reflect the full, impressionable effect that was John Kennedy Jr. and his dynamic family. I give it a 4.5/5 as the title conveying that the book was just about "the day John died" was an understatement; however, I rounded that rating up to 5/5 as the book is deliciously detailed and although not what I expected in depth, it was an excellent, informative read I walked away from intellectually gratified.
(Opinion/views are all my own).
You can learn more about author Christopher Andersen and his other successful titles by clicking HERE.
I was not requested to do this review. I did it of my own volition, volunteering my views in an effort to bring the author and potential readers together.
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Book Reviewed: "The Day John Died" Author: Christopher Anderson; Kindle Edition. Also available in print.
Book Blog Copyright (C) 2021 Mary-Lisa Russo
You have stumbled into the writing world of Mary-Lisa Russo, an avid storyteller observing the universe around her and her humble place amongst the stars. “Excerpts From The Wandering Mind” is Mary-Lisa’s first collection of poems and she is currently working on her next book, a compilation of romantic poetry. She is a university graduate having majored in English Literature and continues to nurture her ongoing writing education at a local college and other educational avenues. She is a member of the Ontario Poetry Society and various writers’ groups. She enjoys reading and giving a voice to fellow authors.