Rosemary: The Hidden Kennedy Daughter

I’ve made it a goal to read more nonfiction this year. I don’t know how well I’ve succeeded, but I did just finish Rosemary: The Hidden Kennedy Daughter by Kate Clifford Larson.

Rosemary’s story was sad in many ways: She was intellectually disabled, something that her family went to great lengths to hide. At the young age of twenty-three, Rosemary was lobotomized. She was very isolated, even learning about her brother’s assassination on TV, like the rest of the country!

This books shows that, even though her family kept her hidden away, she had an integral role: as her siblings came to grips with what had been done to Rosemary, they became invested in bettering the treatment and lives of those living with disabilities.

Kate Clifford Larson put a lot of time and research into her book and it shows. It’s quite obvious throughout the book that she took her burden of giving an honest and complete look at Rosemary’s life very seriously.

The book is fascinating, but dry (I told my husband that and he said it should have been basted every hour. Ba-dum tish!). While it’s full of information and photos, it feels more like an essay than a book. That being said, I’m glad that Rosemary’s story was told respectfully and wasn’t sensationalized.

If you’ve read this book, what was your opinion? What other biographies should I read?


2 thoughts on “Rosemary: The Hidden Kennedy Daughter

  1. One of favorite books is Flags of Our Fathers, the full length version. I read it back in high school. It was a tough read because the full version shares the gruesome details of the invasion on Iwo Jima, and tells the story of the men who raised the flag. I think what I liked so much about it was that I had never before read something like that about our military, so it gave me insight and respect.


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