JACKIE & ME: A NOVEL by Louis Bayard, Algonquin, 352 pages, $28
There’s a reason marriage is such a preoccupation of fiction. In the real world, we can never see inside the black box of another couple’s shared life. Thank goodness for novels, which allow us to imagine our way inside instead, to explore the apparent contradictions and wonder how the pair came to be — and how they endured.
Take the Kennedy marriage. On the one hand was the glittering glamour and idealized Camelot of it all. On the other was the president’s well-known, highly public affairs. What explains it? And how did Jackie, a woman of such dignity and poise, come to tolerate this reality?