PETALUMA, Calif., March 19, 2013 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- If you're old enough to remember black and white TVs, party line telephones, Burma Shave signs, bouffant hairdos and the Camelot years of the 1960s, Wanting to Be Jackie Kennedy is a novel you might enjoy.
The story chronicles three tumultuous years in the life of Chicago teenager Ellie Manikowski. Ellie's admiration for Jackie Kennedy begins in a Chicago subway station where She studies a billboard of Jackie on the wall. Jackie's wearing coral lipstick, her eyebrows are impeccably tweezed, and she's wearing an ivory outfit tailored from expensive wool, that even Ellie knows, doesn't itch. Ellie looks down at her own worn winter jacket and scarf pilled with little yarn balls that looked like cooked tapioca. At that moment she knows that she wants more from life than her old Polish neighborhood can provide.
Ellie first romance, career plans, church and family life spin wildly out of control after her role model, her widowed Aunt Nina, runs into a bit of trouble with the local parish priest. Ellie can't reveal what she knows about their tragic affair, and in desperation she turns to Jackie Kennedy for guidance. Sometimes Jackie's advice is profound, other times it's hysterical.
In Wanting to Be Jackie Kennedy, Kern juxtaposes the down-to-earth lives of the Manikowskis with the privileged lives of the Kennedys, and points out that in times of tragedy, close-knit families are all alike—and a certain indomitable grace can pull us through.
"I chose the 60s as the setting of my novel because those years were so rich in idealism and hope for this country. To create the atmosphere I relied on my own background as a kid growing up above my father's funeral home in a close-knit Polish family where everyone knew everyone else's business," Kern said. "But that's where the similarities end."
Wanting to Be Jackie Kennedy (330 pp., $14.95), published by HillHouse Books, was a semi-finalist in the 2010 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Competition.
Elizabeth Kern grew up in the Chicago neighborhood she writes about. She received a B.S. degree in Communications from the University of Illinois. After a thirty-year corporate career where she managed employee communications at Apple in Cupertino, California, she received a Masters of Liberal Arts degree at Stanford University. She is the mother of two grown children. She and her husband, Lee, live in the gentle hills of Sonoma County, California.
Kern's passion for Chicago's history and people has led her to begin another novel that is set in the Windy City in the 1950s.
Wanting to Be Jackie Kennedy is available on Amazon (paperback and Kindle versions), for e-readers including Kindle, i-Pad, Nook, Kobo and others. Bookstores are invited to order the book from Ingram or Baker & Taylor.
To arrange a book signing or an interview with Elizabeth Kern, please contact:
For more information on Elizabeth Kern, or to read the first chapter of Wanting to Be Jackie Kennedy, check out www.elizabethkern.com.
SOURCE Elizabeth Kern