Review: Jackie and Maria: A Novel of Jackie Kennedy and Maria Callas

Title: Jackie and Maria: A Novel of Jackie Kennedy and Maria Callas
Author: Gill Paul
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: William Morrow
Source: Purchased
Format: Paperback
Release Date: July 22, 2020
Rating: ★★★★★


Goodreads Synopsis:

From the #1 bestselling author of The Secret Wife comes a story of love, passion, and tragedy as the lives of Jackie Kennedy and Maria Callas are intertwined―and they become the ultimate rivals, in love with the same man.

The President’s Wife; a Glamorous Superstar; the rivalry that shook the world…

Jackie Kennedy was beautiful, sophisticated, and contemplating leaving her ambitious young senator husband. Life in the public eye with an overly ambitious–and unfaithful―man who could hardly be coaxed to return from a vacation after the birth of a stillborn child was breaking her spirit. So when she’s offered a holiday on the luxurious yacht owned by billionaire Ari Onassis, she says yes…to a meeting that will ultimately change her life.

Maria Callas is at the height of her operatic career and widely considered to be the finest soprano in the world. And then she’s introduced to Aristotle Onassis, the world’s richest man and her fellow Greek. Stuck in a childless, sexless marriage, and with pressures on all sides from opera house managers and a hostile press, she finds her life being turned upside down by this hyper-intelligent and impeccably charming man…

Little by little, Maria’s and Jackie’s lives begin to overlap, and they come closer and closer until everything they know about the world changes on a dime. 


Jackie Kennedy was the beautiful, sophisticated husband of the senator Jack Kennedy. She knew he was unfaithful, and after the still birth of her son, she needed a break from him. Jackie traveled to her friend Ari Onassis’s yacht, which changed the course of her life. Maria Callas was a world famous opera singer. She was introduced to Ari and they began a love affair. However, Maria wanted to have a family and marry Ari but he didn’t want to commit. Jackie and Maria are two powerful women who both love the same man.

I didn’t know much about the Kennedys before reading this book and I had never heard of Maria Callas. I usually look up the real people while I read historical fiction to find out which events really happened, but I resisted this time so I was surprised at what happened in the story. I tend to read historical fiction about real people I am familiar with, so this was a different read for me. I learned a lot about the Kennedys, Ari Onassis, and Maria Callas.

This story was intense and tragic. There were some tough situations, such as stillborn babies, suicide, murder, and affairs. What makes these things even more tragic in the story is that they are based on real events. Even though there were some upsetting scenes, I couldn’t put this book down. I had to keep reading to find out what would happen next. I was also quite surprised at the twists since I didn’t know what would really happen with the characters.

This is an amazing, well written story.

What to read next:

The Woman Before Wallis by Bryn Turnbull

The Secret Affair by Gill Paul

Have you read Jackie and Maria? What did you think of it?

Author: jilljemmett

Jill lives in Toronto, Canada. She has studied English, Creative Writing, and Publishing. Jill is the creator and content producer of Jill’s Book Blog, where she has published a blog post every day for the last four years, including 5-7 book reviews a week. She can usually be found with her nose in a book.

3 thoughts on “Review: Jackie and Maria: A Novel of Jackie Kennedy and Maria Callas”

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