Cover Image: Jackie and Maria

Jackie and Maria

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Member Reviews

I received an ARC from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Jackie and Maria made me rage…in the best possible way. I knew all of the major historical figures involved, some more than others, so I got very invested in the scandalous affairs, getting a little too upset at the hypocrisy of people who were cheated on and actively called out others for it engaging in affairs with married people themselves. 

But, adding historical context to both Jackie and Maria’s respective positions, and how women’s rights were only still a point of contention in the 60s and 70s, I could understand where both were coming from. Maria is depicted as the one consistently good person throughout, losing her heart to Aristotle Onassis, and continually going back to him in spite of his pattern of disrespecting her. 

It’s often noted that Jackie wanted security for herself and her children after both JFK and RFK were assassinated, but I love the irony that she went from enduring JFK’s infidelities, to being the primary reason Onassis’ long-standing relationship with Maria ended, especially since Onassis also slept with her sister, Lee, while with Maria, proving he is also known to be unfaithful (and was, still stringing Maria along).

Ultimately, while there are some twists, particularly toward the end, that are obviously not historically accurate, I like that it doesn’t let Jackie and Maria end their stories as foes over a man who didn’t deserve them. Even if much of his behavior in the book was dramatized for the sake of artistic license, I still say Onassis seeing both of them simultaneously makes him a dick. 

That said, if you’re looking for a book that sticks heavily to the historical record, maybe this is not for you. But if you love stories that speculate about the lives of the rich and famous that take a little leeway with the facts in favor of a more emotional reaction, then I strongly recommend this one.
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Great book about the lives of Jackie, Maria and Ari.  Felt more like a historical book than fiction!

The author did a great job of making you feel that you were reading Jackie's and Maria's own thoughts and words.  I had to keep reminding myself that it was fiction!  

Thank you for this book.
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I want to thank NetGalley, the publisher, and author Gill Paul for providing me with an ARC of this novel.

I love anything Jackie/Kennedy related, so when I saw her on this cover, I knew I had to read it. I loved reading about her life after JFK; usually it’s all about their relationship, the scandal, etc. I also enjoyed learning about Maria Callas, whom I previously knew nothing about. The author did a wonderful job with both women, and this was a treat of a historical fiction novel. I absolutely loved this and look forward to reading more of the author’s work.
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Great historical novel about two women in the world in a time of both private and public scandals for both.  So rich in details about these women.
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I have loved every Gill Paul book I have ever read. I loved Jackie and Maria even more.. Ms. Paul tells the story of Jackie Kennedy, how her upbringing influenced the woman she would become. her life as a political wife in the public spotlight and a widow and mother fighting for privacy. I was excited to read this book as I love reading about Jackie Kennedy. I was thoroughly surprised at how much I enjoyed learning about Maria Callas, her childhood with an unkind mother, her immense talent and her search for happiness. These two women seemly have very little in common and yet life brings them to not only the same place, but also to the same man. Good historical fiction should make you want to learn more about a certain period or event. Gill Paul is a master at this as her research shines through the stories of Jackie and Maria. I found myself googling events, places and people. I watched documentaries and I am now somewhat obsessed with Maria Callas, a woman I had only heard of before. Gill Paul's writing and characters really stay with me and I find myself thinking about them months and years after reading her books. Historical fiction at it's finest.
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Wow. Generally, books written about Jackie Kennedy are just that - written about her life as a Kennedy. I enjoyed reading something different, about her time after JFK. From one cheating husband to the next, fame, power, and money seemed to be a fuel for her.

Gill Paul does a fabulous job in this historical fiction novel, allowing the reader to take a behind the scenes look at not only a famous First Lady's life after the white house, but that of Maria and the world's richest man.

Thank you Netgalley for allowing me to read this and give my honest opinion.
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This is historical fiction done right!
This novel is imagined glimpses into the lives of Jackie Kennedy and Greek opera singer Maris Callas (who I previously knew nothing about.) They are both involved with Greek billionaire Aristotle Onassis and are perfect foils for each other in this book (and assumedly, in life.) I have read a bunch of books about Jackie Kennedy but never one about her time with Onassis or about his other romantic entanglements. It was so interesting!

If you like Jackie, rich people problems, love triangles, commentary on celebrity, appearances, their safety, and legacies this book is for you. It's fascinating and well-written. The two dual perspectives reveal the characters thoughts and happenings in an exciting way and it's a fast read. I would highly recommend this one.

Thank you to NetGalley for the advance review copy.
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Maria Callas, a famous Greek opera singer, leaves her husband after meeting and falling for Aristotle Onassis.  The world's richest man, Aristotle lives a life of glamour and fun aboard his yacht.  In America, Jackie Kennedy makes the decision to stand by her cheating husband, as he gains political notoriety, and eventually the White House.  After the death of her husband, Jackie falls into a deep depression.  While still maintaining his relationship with Maria, Aristotle sweeps into her life, offering her security and money.   

This was an absolutely fascinating book.  The story was well paced and the characters were well developed and multi dimensional.  My heart broke for Maria, as she tried to hold onto her love, career, and herself.  Jackie, was tougher to like, but I understood her point of view and why she was seeking security through Aristotle's wealth. I look forward to reading more from this author.
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Fantastic novel of 2 amazing, strong women. I didn't know very much about Maria Callas but oh my goodness what a lady! and Jackie was always a curious figure in history. I love Gill Paul and how the author portrays historical characters. I could give this book definitely more stars!
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I love all of Gill Paul's books. This one was looooong but also really good and full of juicy tidbits. There was a lot to cover in the lives of Maria Callas, opera star, and Jackie Kennedy, former First Lady of the US, and how their lives eventually intertwined. I had no idea about much of Jackie Kennedy's post White House life nor did I realize all the scandal that followed her second husband. This book was full of love and lust on every page. I liked how the book changed perspectives between the women and was presented in a straight timeline.
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I throughly enjoyed this book!   I’ve read so many stories about Jackie, but this was an entirely different side of the story.  So well told and I felt like I was there.
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Extremely interesting fictional account of Jacqueline Kennedy's and Maria Callas' path to Aristotle Onassis. Even though it's fiction, my impression of John Kennedy has steadily changed for the worse.  I knew nothing of Maria Callas other than she was an opera singer and Onassis' mistress. I'd love to learn more about her.
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There's nothing I love more than non-fiction that reads like fiction...and this book absolutely delivers.

JACKIE AND MARIA is the story of how the lives of two prominent women wove together around a less-than-deserving man.  On the American side, we learn how Jacqueline Bouvier became Jackie Kennedy, and then over in Europe, we see the origins of opera superstar Maria Callas.  Both these women are famous for different reasons, but they are linked both through tragic events of their lives and through Aristotle Onassis - an insanely wealthy shipping magnate.  

Maria is Aristotle's lover, and is desperate for their years-long relationship to be legitimized through marriage.  But Aristotle loves nothing more than collecting famous trophies, and when a grief-stricken Jackie Kennedy needs support after the death of her husband, Aristotle sets his sights on acquiring a more famous wife. 

These stories are beautifully told, and while parts are fictionalized for convenience/entertainment, the true events seem almost unbelievable at times.  (At several points, I stopped to look up old articles and pictures of the characters and their stories - and it truly enhanced my reading.)

If I had to pick one thing I disliked, it was nothing of the author's fault - I kept rooting for these two women to become friends and bond together rather than feel like rivals over an unworthy man.  The similarity of their lives, their tragedies, and their infamy were unmistakable, and I wanted to shake them both to recognize that they were worth more than the divided attentions of a philanderer.  

Overall, this is a great read and a fun jumping off point to learn more about a fascinating collection of infamous historical figures.
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Thank you NetGalley for the chance to read Jackie and Maria in exchange for a fair and honest review.
I knew Jackie had married Ari Onassis, I knew she was John Kennedy's widow. I did not know how their marriage came about and I did not know anything really about Maria Callas. This book, told in alternating viewpoints, tells the story of how each woman came to be involved with Onassis and their lives before and after meeting him. I enjoyed the viewpoint of the two women and the background of each one. This wonderfully weaves together the lives of these two women and I couldn't stop reading. Great book and if you enjoy historical fiction, this one is a winner.
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I will start this review with a disclaimer that I thought I knew about President Kennedy and Jackie’s life, based upon that I’d read several books about the Kennedys, well I was sure wrong, I didn’t, this book just blew me away. The writing is excellent, the story never drags, and we go back and forth between Maria and Jackie’s experiences, feelings, and challenges with Aristotle Onassis. This is a 5-star book, and rarely do I find a story that is so good, but the content is rather disturbing and made me rather uncomfortable but I couldn’t put it down. 
Of all the stories, news articles or movies I’ve seen covering the assassination of President Kennedy, I never thought about how Jackie would have felt as she went through the experience or how she intimately would have handled the changes and challenges that followed. 
I found this to be an eye-opening display of love, loss, power, greed, lust, sex, and the life of the rich and famous. I am so glad I do not fit that mold. I had no opinion of Aristotle before, I do now, a despicable controlling narcissistic man. I didn’t find the language intolerable but beware, there are quite a few sex scenes.
I want to thank HarperCollins Publishers and NetGalley allowing me the opportunity to read and review this book for my honest unbiased opinion. This is a 5***** read.
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Jackie Kennedy, as we all know, married a Jack Kennedy as his political star was rising—and while they look perfect on the outside, Jackie quickly becomes aware of his indiscretions and realizes he can’t always give her the emotional support she needs. So when Aristotle Onassis offers her a vacation on her private yacht to grieve the death of her child away from the American press, she jumps at the opportunity. All the while, Maria Callas is a famous opera singer and begins a years-long affair with Aristotle Onassis. Little by little, Jackie’s and Maria’s lives become more intertwined.

Would I recommend it? Yes, especially if you’re a fan of Jackie Kennedy like I am—this gave me a great look at a part of her life I admittedly don’t know as much about, and gave me a great opportunity to learn more about Maria Callas. It comes out August 18!

* Thank you Harper Collins for the free read.
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Gill Paul books are life for me. I love how you spend the first part of the book learning about the characters and trying to figure out how they will eventually fit together. She draws you in with an intriguing story and paints the picture so well that I feel deeply for the characters. It’s like bringing history to life with a could have been story. Maria and Jackie were real people not long ago that circled near each other but never overlapped. They had similar life experiences with losing children and maybe in another life could have been friends that helped each other. I had a general idea of who Jackie Kennedy was but this book brought her to life for me. I hadn't even heard of Maria Callas but I can tell you with a quick internet search she was beautiful and her voice was amazing. It's more than just an interesting story in a Gill Paul book, it's the historical aspect that makes you stop, research, and learn something. Always 5 out of 5 stars!
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Thank you to Net Galley and HarperCollins Publishers for the chance to read and review this book. I enjoyed this book. I am old enough that I remember when Jackie married Onassis-I just didn't know all of the details described in this book. I also was not familiar with Maria Callas so I learned a lot about her. It was amazing to me how so many women were so attracted to Aristotle Onassis. I guess it was his power and money. This book was very readable and I learned a lot about the characters and their pain. I plan to read other books by this author. Highly recommend to all Historical Fiction fans!
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Thanks to Netgalley and HarperCollins Publishers for the ARC.  Loved it and such an amazing story. The author did an outstanding job telling Jackie and Maria's story in her words.  A must read for those who like to read historical fiction.
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Some days, a gossipy novel of a few well known historical personalities fits the bill for a summer read. Gill Paul gives us Jackie and Maria in parallel, tied together not by a couple of brief meetings, but by Aristotle Onassis, who draws their lives together until their cataclysmic overlap.    Most of America knows who Jackie and Maria are, and we've heard the rumors that swirl about their glamorous but difficult personalities, their tragedies, and their fierce relationship with the press and the paparazzi, and their bitter rivalry, so when Paul imagines their inner thoughts and feelings, their conversations and their relationships, particularly with tycoon Onassis, it isn't so much new information as it is a chance to re-experience history, and to be immersed in a fairy tale.  
Paul introduces us to Jackie and Maria at the beginning of their public lives when Jackie meets and marries John Kennedy, and when Maria, married to her friend and business manager Battista meets Aristotle Onassis and begins a years long affair.  Both women share a deep desire for children and both lose their newborns.  They both despise the press and photographers, valuing privacy over fame, yet know how to use them to their advantage.  And, both share an affair with Onassis.
Jackie and Maria was a quick read, and a novel I just could not put down.  I was completely seduced by their personalities and their rivalry, delving in head first.  This novel could be about two completely imagined women and would be juicy women's fiction, but the readers' knowledge of these ladies and their star studded supporting characters, makes Gill Paul's novel all the better.
Thank you NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for my honest review.
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