Book Review | Dear Mrs. Kennedy
Author: Paul De Angelis
I’m not sure what I expected Dear Mrs. Kennedy: The World Shares Its Grief to be like, but I can tell you that it is many things. It’s a snapshot of a period of intense mourning and shock. It’s an insider’s look at the grieving process that took place behind the scenes. But, most importantly, Dear Mrs. Kennedy is a wonderful account of a tragic period.
There are letters from school children, expressions of sympathy from men and women from all over this country, and condolences in various forms from dignitaries and heads of state from around the world. It was so touching and such an eye-opener…a perfect book for an individual who was not a witness to the assassination of President Kennedy but also for those who do remember where they were at that fateful moment.
If you’re still not sure, wait until you read portions from a letter written by a fourth grader.
Dear Mrs. Kennedy, I was terribly shocked when I heard of the cowardly deed some, well, it must been a maniac, performed….I was in art when the news came. One girl started crying. I couldn’t bring myself to my senses enough to comfort her, as I was immediately heartsick. I am still heartsick…When we went to the library and tried to get a drink, I could only splash water up my nose. I couldn’t read, and I didn’t hear the teacher when she read a book. I can’t express my grief in words. I give you my deepest sympathy, which I know will not help much, but you may have all I have to give. This may not be a very good letter but it’s the best I can do because I’m still heartsick and I’ve been writing for almost an hour. As you can see, I still haven’t filled the page. I don’t think I can.
Wow. That knocked the wind out of my sails.
Many times I found myself crying — not teary-eyed, mind you, but full-on crying — over the expressions of sympathy, the raw emotion that is unlike anything I’ve ever witnessed.
Dear Mrs. Kennedy is powerfully moving, an unforgettable collection of a nation’s expression of sadness, distress, and horror over a senseless event that rocked the world.
*I received a copy of this book to review but I was not financially compensated in any way. The opinions expressed are my own and are based on my observations while reading this novel.*