The Importance of Being Kennedy

I think one of the biggest problems with being rich and famous would be all the servants who know far, far too much about the family.  See, here at Casa Rosenbaum, we have all sorts of funny little secrets, which I would tell you but then they wouldn’t be secrets anymore.  If we had lots of servants, we’d be screwed, because then they could start blogs spilling all the beans.

Fortunately, we don’t have eight kids and a dog, because if we did, we’d need nursery staff.  And nursery staff is privy to the deepest, darkest secrets about a family – relationships.

So, what would happen if the most famous family in American politics had a nanny who, at the end of her life, left behind a memoir?  That’s the premise behind Laurie Graham’s The Importance of Being Kennedy.  Nora is nanny to all eight little Kennedys, including Jack, the understudy for his favored older brother; Rose, whose mental problems only got unmanageable when she was subjected to a lobotomy; and Kick, the loyal daughter who up and marries a Protestant.

Nora doesn’t intend for her memoir to become public, as she considers herself a part of the family and subject to all taboos that constrain the rest of the clan.  So, the story isn’t bitter and angry – just matter-of-fact in its bare critique of the family and its ways.  The book is very funny and well-written, but it is also pointed.  The takeaway may be that loving our own egos more than our children is a recipe for disaster.  Or it may be that even the rich feel left out of cliques of other rich people.  Or it may be about appreciating what we have, as humble Nora is a hell of a lot happier than her wealthy employers.

Or, maybe the takeaway message is that, should you have eight children and a dog, thereby requiring nursery staff, you probably want to make them sign a non-disclosure agreement.

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