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Kick: The True Story of JFK's Sister and the Heir to Chatsworth
(Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read)

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"Paula Byrne brings J.F.K.'s adored little sister, Kick, back to life." —Vanity Fair

From celebrated biographer Paula Byrne, the remarkable life of the vivacious, unconventional—and nearly forgotten—young Kennedy sister who charmed American society and the English aristocracy, and would break with her family for love.

Encouraged to be "winners" from a young age, Rose and Joe Kennedy's children were the embodiment of ambitious, wholesome Americanism. Yet even within this ebullient group of overachievers, the fourth Kennedy child, the irrepressible Kathleen, stood out. Lively, charismatic, extremely clever, and blessed with graceful athleticism and a sunny disposition, the alluring socialite fondly known as Kick was a firecracker who effortlessly made friends and stole hearts.

Moving across the Atlantic when her father was appointed as the ambassador to Great Britain in 1938, Kick—the "nicest Kennedy"—quickly became the family's star. Despite making little effort to fit into British high society, she charmed everyone from the beau monde to Fleet Street with her unconventional attitude and easygoing humor. Growing increasingly independent, Kick would also shock and alienate her devout family by falling in love and marrying the scion of a virulently anti-Catholic family— William Cavendish, the heir apparent of the Duke of Devonshire and Chatsworth. But the marriage would last only a few months; Billy was killed in combat in 1944, just four years before Kick's own unexpected death in an airplane crash at twenty-eight.

Byrne recounts this remarkable young woman's life in detail as never before, from her work at the Washington Times-Herald and volunteerism for the Red Cross in wartime England; to her love of politics and astute, opinionated observations; to her decision to renounce her faith for the man she loved. Sympathetic and compelling, Kick shines a spotlight on this feisty and unique Kennedy long relegated to the shadows of her legendary family's history.

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Street Date:
07/05/2016
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780062296290
ASIN:
B019C3812O
Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Paula Byrne. (2016). Kick: The True Story of JFK's Sister and the Heir to Chatsworth. Harper.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Paula Byrne. 2016. Kick: The True Story of JFK's Sister and the Heir to Chatsworth. Harper.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Paula Byrne, Kick: The True Story of JFK's Sister and the Heir to Chatsworth. Harper, 2016.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Paula Byrne. Kick: The True Story of JFK's Sister and the Heir to Chatsworth. Harper, 2016. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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        Paula Byrne is the critically acclaimed author of five biographies, including Belle: The Slave Daughter and the Lord Chief Justice, The Real Jane Austen, and Mad World: Evelyn Waugh and the Secrets of Brideshead. She lives in Oxford, England, with her husband, the academic and biographer Jonathan Bate.

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"Paula Byrne brings J.F.K.'s adored little sister, Kick, back to life." —Vanity Fair

From celebrated biographer Paula Byrne, the remarkable life of the vivacious, unconventional—and nearly forgotten—young Kennedy sister who charmed American society and the English aristocracy, and would break with her family for love.

Encouraged to be "winners" from a young age, Rose and Joe Kennedy's children were the embodiment of ambitious, wholesome Americanism. Yet even within this ebullient group of overachievers, the fourth Kennedy child, the irrepressible Kathleen, stood out. Lively, charismatic, extremely clever, and blessed with graceful athleticism and a sunny disposition, the alluring socialite fondly known as Kick was a firecracker who effortlessly made friends and stole hearts.

Moving across the Atlantic when her father was appointed as the ambassador to Great Britain in 1938,...

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fullDescription

"Paula Byrne brings J.F.K.'s adored little sister, Kick, back to life." —Vanity Fair

From celebrated biographer Paula Byrne, the remarkable life of the vivacious, unconventional—and nearly forgotten—young Kennedy sister who charmed American society and the English aristocracy, and would break with her family for love.

Encouraged to be "winners" from a young age, Rose and Joe Kennedy's children were the embodiment of ambitious, wholesome Americanism. Yet even within this ebullient group of overachievers, the fourth Kennedy child, the irrepressible Kathleen, stood out. Lively, charismatic, extremely clever, and blessed with graceful athleticism and a sunny disposition, the alluring socialite fondly known as Kick was a firecracker who effortlessly made friends and stole hearts.

Moving across the Atlantic when her father was appointed as the ambassador to Great Britain in 1938, Kick—the "nicest Kennedy"—quickly became the family's star. Despite making little effort to fit into British high society, she charmed everyone from the beau monde to Fleet Street with her unconventional attitude and easygoing humor. Growing increasingly independent, Kick would also shock and alienate her devout family by falling in love and marrying the scion of a virulently anti-Catholic family— William Cavendish, the heir apparent of the Duke of Devonshire and Chatsworth. But the marriage would last only a few months; Billy was killed in combat in 1944, just four years before Kick's own unexpected death in an airplane crash at twenty-eight.

Byrne recounts this remarkable young woman's life in detail as never before, from her work at the Washington Times-Herald and volunteerism for the Red Cross in wartime England; to her love of politics and astute, opinionated observations; to her decision to renounce her faith for the man she loved. Sympathetic and compelling, Kick shines a spotlight on this feisty and unique Kennedy long relegated to the shadows of her legendary family's history.

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reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: Library Journal
      • content: "Byrne successfully fuses letters, diary entries, and anecdotes from family and friends to animate Kick's personality and the pivotal points of her short life. . . . [Kick] will especially attract readers with an interest in American and English political dynasties and will have widespread appeal to fans of biographies."
      • premium: False
      • source: Vanity Fair
      • content: "Paula Byrne brings J.F.K.'s adored little sister, Kick, back to life."
      • premium: False
      • source: Kirkus
      • content: "Heartrending. . . . An exciting, heartbreakingly tense love story."
      • premium: False
      • source: The Guardian
      • content: "[A] brilliant and sympathetic biography. . . sentence by sentence, the book is a joy: a fresh take on the exceedingly well-worn theme of the Kennedy family...Byrne recounts the dramas of the end of [Kick's] life with great pace and a poignancy that is all the more affecting for not being overdone."
      • premium: False
      • source: Washington Post
      • content: "A story involving youth, wealth, fame, soaring possibilities and wrenching heartbreak. . . . Readers. . . will learn much about an extraordinarily appealing young Irish Catholic woman. . . Kick, Kennedy's charismatic second daughter, [who] quickly took a charmed circle of British aristocrats by storm."
      • premium: False
      • source: The Reading Nook, blog review
      • content: "This is a great, thorough look into a not-often discussed member of the Kennedy family, and should absolutely be on your list as you kick-off summer reading!"
      • premium: False
      • source: New York Post
      • content: "An engrossing read."
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        May 9, 2016
        Kathleen “Kick” Kennedy (1920–1948) was as intelligent, vivacious, and attractive as her older and better known brother, John. Unfortunately, this account from British biographer Byrne (Belle: The Slave Daughter and the Lord Chief Justice) is neither gossipy enough to be a satisfying celebrity profile nor contextual enough to work as an illuminating woman-of-the-times story. In 1938, at age 18, Kennedy became a celebrity when her father was named ambassador to Great Britain and moved the family to London. That year, she met William Cavendish, Marquess of Hartington, and they fell in love. Religious differences and the outbreak of WWII kept them apart for a while, though Byrne glosses over the tumultuous European events of 1938–1939. Back in the U.S., Kennedy worked as a reporter for the Washington Times-Herald until she signed on with the Red Cross in 1943 during WWII and went back to England. Kennedy and Hartington married in 1944; she became a marchioness, but her fairy tale life didn’t have a happy ending. Byrne’s story lacks the texture necessary to make this an absorbing read, repeatedly falling into the trap of telling rather than showing. Moreover, she hasn’t convincingly demonstrated why Kennedy is worthy of a full-length biography. Illus.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        May 15, 2016

        Featuring newly uncovered material on the illustrious Kennedy family, Byrne's (Mad World: Evelyn Waugh and the Secrets of Brideshead) account weaves the story of Kathleen "Kick" Kennedy (1920-48), the fourth of Rose and Joseph Kennedy Sr.'s nine children. This biography details Kick's life from her religious and politically centered upbringing to her contentious marriage to the heir apparent to the Duke of Devonshire, shedding light on a Kennedy whose story, heretofore, has been largely eclipsed by the fame of her relatives. Byrne successfully fuses letters, diary entries, and anecdotes from family and friends to animate Kick's personality and the pivotal points of her short life, such as her close relationship with brother John, years spent in Catholic boarding schools, her time as a reporter for the Washington Times-Herald, volunteer efforts in wartime England for the Red Cross, the renouncement of her faith preceding her marriage into a Protestant family, the death of her husband in combat, and her own death at 28 in a plane crash alongside the married eighth Earl Fitzwilliam. VERDICT This title will especially attract readers with an interest in American and English political dynasties and will have widespread appeal to fans of biographies.--Mattie Cook, River Grove P.L., IL

        Copyright 2016 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        May 1, 2016
        The Kennedys all kept journals, and Byrne (Belle: The Slave Daughter and the Lord Chief Justice, 2014, etc.) uses them to the fullest in this biography of Kathleen, aka Kick (1920-1948). In the first half of the book, the author relies heavily on those journals, and the narrative occasionally gets bogged down in Kick's lists of people she met, what she wore, and where she went. Thankfully for readers, she met the most famous people, wore the most beautiful clothes, and went to all the best parties. Byrne highlights the importance of Kick's close attachment and similar character to her brother, Jack, nearest to her in age. Her father, Joseph, was named ambassador to the Court of St. James, mostly to get him out of Franklin Roosevelt's hair. He and his family were loved and celebrated all over England, and the English men adored Kick. She encouraged them all without any intention of forming a deeper relationship--until she met Billy Cavendish, heir to the dukedom of Devonshire, which included Chatsworth and castles in Ireland, Scotland, Yorkshire, and Sussex. Joe Kennedy's statement that the British Empire was at an end and could never withstand Hitler put an end to his ambassadorship as well as his career. The story gets most interesting as Kick and Billy fall in love and face their insurmountable religious differences. The original Duke of Devonshire set the familial pattern of hatred of Catholics. The author follows the war years in which the couple searched for loopholes. She could never give up her faith, and Billy had the responsibility of many Church of England parish benefices. The story is heartrending as Kick returns to the U.S., Billy gets engaged to another, and the war rages on. At first, the book is less a biography and more a society report of England's upper class, but it evolves into an exciting, heartbreakingly tense love story.

        COPYRIGHT(2016) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

subtitle
The True Story of JFK's Sister and the Heir to Chatsworth
popularity
172
publisher
Harper
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