“[Larson] succeeds in providing a well-rounded portrait of a woman who, until now, has never been viewed in full.”—Boston Globe
“A biography that chronicles her life with fresh details . . . By making Rosemary the central character, [Larson] has produced a valuable account of a mental health tragedy and an influential circle of relatives’s belated efforts to make amends.” — New York Times Book Review
Joe and Rose Kennedy’s strikingly beautiful daughter Rosemary attended exclusive schools, was once presented as a debutante to the queen of England, and traveled the world with her high-spirited sisters. Yet Rosemary was once intellectually disabled, a secret fiercely guarded by her powerful and glamorous circle of relatives.
In Rosemary, Kate Clifford Larson uses newly uncovered sources to bring Rosemary Kennedy’s story to light. Young Rosemary comes alive as a sweet, full of life girl adored by her siblings. But Larson also reveals the steadily desperate and duplicitous arrangements the Kennedys made to keep her away from home as she became increasingly more difficult in her early twenties, culminating in Joe’s decision to have Rosemary lobotomized at age twenty-three and the circle of relatives’s complicity in keeping the name of the game. Only years later did the Kennedy siblings start to keep in mind what had happened to Rosemary, which inspired them to direct government attention and resources to the plight of the developmentally and mentally disabled, transforming the lives of millions.
“The forgotten Kennedy is forgotten no longer. Rosemary is a rare thing, a book in regards to the Kennedys that has something new to say.” — Laurence Leamer, creator of The Kennedy Women
“Heartbreaking.” — Wall Street Journal