Book Review – Rosemary: The Hidden Kennedy Daughter

Rosemary: The Hidden Kennedy Daughter

Book Club’s November pick was another non-fiction. I wasn’t jumping at the gun for another non-fiction, myself, but I can’t say I was disappointed necessarily…

Book 46:
Rosemary: The Hidden Kennedy Daughter
by Kate Clifford Larson

Nonfiction, Historical, Biography

October 2015

Synopsis According to Mandi:
Without spoilers, Rosemary: The Hidden Kennedy Daughter tells the story of Joe and Rose Kennedy’s reaction to having an intellectually disabled daughter in the early/mid 1900s. Born into the rich and famous Kennedy family, the beautiful Rosemary had everything going for her… except her disability. At a time when disabilities as such were not well dealt with by society, the Kennedys did what they could to keep Rosemary hidden away for public relations purposes as they sought political power, even stooping to the level of having her undergo a lobotomy in hopes of “curing” her. However, they could not predict the outcome her life would have on their family. It’s possible her plight was not in conjunction with the “Kennedy Curse”, but rather a blessing to their family and to society as a whole.

Favorite Quote(s):

“None of us can understand the ways of Almighty God—the crosses which he sends us, the sacrifices which he demands of us. But he loves us and He has a particular plan in this life for each of us.”

– Kate Clifford Larson, Rosemary: The Hidden Kennedy Daughter

Awards (based upon my brief research):
Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for History & Biography (2015)


My Overall Rating:
3.5 – Ok, so this book made me cry. Rosemary’s story is so tragic. But also, I think I just read a 320 page research paper. I mean, I did. That’s exactly what it was. I struggled with the writing style, but the story was incredibly interesting.

Despite my 3.5, slightly above average rating, I would recommend this book because it challenges what you might believe about people with special needs. How are we to react to them? What is their role in society? What would this look like in my family? The Kennedys had the world at their fingertips and they still didn’t know how to deal with the cards they were dealt.

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