The Nine of Us

The Nine of Us

Growing up Kennedy

Book - 2016
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In this evocative and affectionate memoir, Ambassador Jean Kennedy Smith, the last surviving child of Joe and Rose Kennedy, offers an intimate and illuminating look at a time long ago when she and her siblings, guided by their parents, laughed and learned a great deal under one roof.

Prompted by interesting tidbits in the newspaper, Rose and Joe Kennedy would pose questions to their nine children at the dinner table. "Where could Amelia Earhart have gone?" "How would you address this horrible drought?" "What would you do about the troop movements in Europe?" It was a nightly custom that helped shape the Kennedys into who they would become.

Before Joe and Rose's children emerged as leaders on the world stage, they were a loving circle of brothers and sisters who played football, swam, read, and pursued their interests. They were children inspired by parents who instilled in them a strong work ethic, deep love of country, and intense appreciation for the sacrifices their ancestors made to come to America. "No whining in this house!" was their father's regular refrain. It was his way of reminding them not to complain, to be grateful for what they had, and to give back.

In her remarkable memoir, Kennedy Smith--the last surviving sibling--revisits this singular time in their lives. Filled with fascinating anecdotes and vignettes, and illustrated with dozens of family pictures, The Nine of Us vividly depicts this large, close-knit family during a different time in American history. Kennedy Smith offers indelible, elegantly rendered portraits of her larger-than-life siblings and her parents. "They knew how to cure our hurts, bind our wounds, listen to our woes, and help us enjoy life," she writes. "We were lucky children indeed."

Publisher: New York : Harper, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, ©2016.
ISBN: 9780062444226
Characteristics: 262 pages :,illustrations (some colour), portraits ;,22 cm.


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JCLHeatherM Jun 07, 2019

Jean Kennedy Smith writes an affectionate and deeply moving memoir about her storied family - their ups, their downs, their successes, and the occasional misstep that kept them close together. Jean was sandwiched in the second half of her family, with a slew of older brothers and sisters, and her little brother Teddy right behind her. Kennedy Smith captures the beauty in the little moments - walks on the beach, reading on the porch, the famed touch football games - knowing that there is a welcoming peace in the oft overlooked memories.

Apr 09, 2019

Jean Kennedy Smith looks back at her childhood through rose colored glasses.

Jun 29, 2018

I read the book because I'd purchased a watercolor painting signed by a Kennedy, perhaps Teddy? I learned that he was an avid painter and loved sailing. More research will be pursued, but I love the painting anyway and will continue admiring it.

Mayflower94 Jun 07, 2018

Light and sweet read. Very rose colored recounting of growing up as a Kennedy. Would be perfect for a children's book, even a picture book.

Mar 21, 2018

This book is based on the memories of Jean Kennedy as a child: full of happy memories. If you’ve read about the Kennedys, you need not read this book. Little of it is based on the actual realities of this complex family.

Jun 27, 2017

This was an interesting book. I learned many things about the family. It is a good book to read to receive a good over-all history. An individual can then read the many other books written about the Kennedys to gain a more in-depth look at the family.

Apr 02, 2017

This was not the best Kennedy book, but people give Jean Smith a break. She is not an author. I found it interesting to read the perspective from a younger person in the family. I enjoyed the book. Was not expecting a lot since she is not an author, but learned some additional things about this family

Dec 17, 2016

This book was a huge disappointment. All the fluff but none of the grit. The boys, including daddy Joe, were all horrid womanizers but it seems little sis was blind to it all. The least she could have done was described the houses they shared. Or something. And I am/was a person who campaigned for JFK as a high school student. Advantage, the book is such a fluff read I finished it in 2 evenings. Kept hoping for something I didn't know.

Dec 09, 2016

This was the sappiest Kennedy book I have ever read! It painted a picture of one big happy loving family...minus the alcohol abuse, womanizing, mental issues, squabbles, and scandals. There are some very interesting stories from Jean Kennedy Smith's life she could have added, but everything was swept under the carpet!

ArapahoeKati Nov 14, 2016

Wow, this was fascinating; it's filled with so many anecdotes about the Kennedys I had never heard of. Read this in a single sitting because it was so personable.

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