• Once Upon a Secret

  • My Affair with President John F. Kennedy and Its Aftermath
  • By: Mimi Alford
  • Narrated by: Susan Denaker
  • Length: 6 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 02-08-12
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Random House Audio
  • 4 out of 5 stars 3.9 (198 ratings)

Regular price: $21.00

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Publisher's Summary

In the summer of 1962, 19-year-old Mimi Beardsley arrived by train in Washington, D.C., to begin an internship in the White House press office. The Kennedy Administration had reinvigorated the capital and the country - and Mimi was eager to contribute. For a young woman from a privileged but sheltered upbringing, the job was the chance of a lifetime. Although she started as a lowly intern, Mimi made an impression on Kennedy's inner circle and, after just three days at the White House, she was presented to the President himself.
Almost immediately, the two began an affair that would continue for the next 18 months.
In an era when women in the workplace were still considered "girls", Mimi was literally a girl herself - naive, innocent, emotionally unprepared for the thrill that came when the President's charisma and power were turned on her full-force. She was also unprepared for the feelings of isolation that would follow as she fell into the double life of a college student who was also the secret lover of the most powerful man in the world.
Then, after the President's tragic death in Dallas, she grieved in private, locked her secret away, and tried to start her life anew, only to find that her past would cast a long shadow and ultimately destroy her relationship with the man she married.
In 2003, a Kennedy biographer mentioned "a tall, slender, beautiful 19-year-old college sophomore and White House intern, who worked in the press office" in reference to one of the President's affairs. The disclosure set off a tabloid frenzy and soon exposed Mimi and the secret that she had kept for 41 years. Because her past had been revealed in such a shocking, public way, she was forced, for the first time, to examine the choices she'd made. She came to understand that shutting down one part of her life so completely had closed her off from so much more.
No longer defined by silence or shame, Mimi Alford has finally unburdened herself with this searingly honest account of her life and her extremely private moments with a very public man. Once Upon a Secret offers a new and personal depiction of one of our most iconic leaders and a powerful, moving story of a woman coming to terms with her past and moving out of the shadows to reclaim the truth.
©2012 Mimi Alford (P)2012 Random House
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By faye on 03-06-12


What did you love best about Once Upon a Secret?

I found the book to be a little disturbing due to I was 7 at the time President Kennedy was killed. I looked up to him then and did until I read the book. I think everyone knew he had affairs but for him to do this to Jacklyn and with a 19 year old girl, I find it shocking.
It has changed my view of him completely.....I feel very sad for his family.

Have you listened to any of Susan Denaker’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No, but I really liked listening to her. She draws you in.

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8 of 8 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Mary on 03-13-12


I am old enough to remember the Kennedy "Camelot" story and where I was when I heard that Kennedy had been shot. I have heard rumors and stories about what a womanizer he was alleged to be but this book makes it all so much more real.
I guess we all need to draw our own conclusions about Jack Kennedy. I enjoyed listening to the story but it almost seemed like a fairy tale - so bold!!
Good to hear that Ms. Alford has come through intact and she can now tell her story. Fortunately, I think she is a good and thoughtful writer.

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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