Laurie Graham's new novel is set in wartime London, and follows Kick Kennedy, sister of future US President JFK, as she takes London society by storm.
The story is told from the viewpoint of fictional Kennedy nursemaid Norah Maguire, who has been with the family since 1915 and witnessed every moment, public and private. When Mr Kennedy brings home his 'business associate' Gloria Swanson, star-struck Norah sees all. While Mrs Kennedy shops,prays and takes to her childbed once a year, Norah is in charge. She makes the annual migration between Hyannis Port and Palm Beach. She sees the boys -- Joe, Jack, Robert and Teddy -- coached at their father's knee to believe that everything they'll ever want in life -- girls, influence, high office -- can be bought. She seeks Kick and her sisters trained to say their rosaries and prepare for advantageous marriages. And Norah knows precisely what happened to Rosemary, the once child even Joe Kennedy couldn't bully into shape.
The Second World War changes the lives of both Norah and her favourite, Kick, in unforeseen ways. When America joins the war in 1941, Kick volunteers, escapes the confines of the family and goes to London, with Norah as her chaperone. Kick is 21 and London adores her. it's in London that Norah finds unexpected mid-life love and it's from London that Kick stages her first act of rebellion.
Norah Maguire's story follows her through her wartime marriage, her widowing and her eventual emergence from grief to lob an even bigger hand grenade into the Kennedy compound: a passionate love affair with another Protestant, and a married one to boot.