Once Upon A Secret by Mimi Alford

76%

11 Critic Reviews

She is surprisingly kind and forgiving toward those she now realizes took terrible advantage of an innocent young girl.
-Washington Times

Synopsis

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
 
In the summer of 1962, nineteen-year-old Mimi Beardsley arrived in Washington, D.C., to begin an internship in the White House press office. After just three days on the job, the privileged but sheltered young woman was presented to the President himself. Almost immediately, the two began an affair that would continue for the next eighteen months. Emotionally unprepared to counter the President’s charisma and power, Mimi was also ill-equipped to handle 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. After the President’s assassination in Dallas, she grieved alone, locked her secret away, and tried to start a new life, only to be blindsided by her past.
 
Now, no longer defined by silence or shame, Mimi Alford finally unburdens herself with this unflinchingly honest account of her life and her extremely private moments with a very public man. This paperback edition includes a special Q&A, in which the author reflects on the intense media attention surrounding the book’s initial release. Once Upon a Secret is a moving story of a woman emerging from the shadows to reclaim the truth.
 
“With the benefit of hindsight and good old-fashioned maturity, [Mimi Alford] writes not just about the secret, but the corrosive effect of keeping that secret. . . . You can’t help liking her, or her elegant and thoroughly good-natured book.”—The Spectator

“What [Alford] sacrificed in lucre she has more than recovered in credibility and dignity.”—The Washington Times
 
“Compelling . . . a polished voice telling a credible story you can take to the bank.”—Seattle Post-Intelligencer
 
“Explosive . . . searingly candid.”—New York Post

Look for special features inside. Join the Circle for author chats and more.

 

About Mimi Alford

See more books from this Author
Mimi Alford lives in western Massachusetts with her husband, Dick. Together they have seven grandchildren. This is her first book.
 
Published February 8, 2012 by Random House. 210 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Self Help, Parenting & Relationships, Health, Fitness & Dieting, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction
Bestseller Status:
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Peak Rank on Feb 26 2012
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Weeks as Bestseller
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Critic reviews for Once Upon A Secret
All: 11 | Positive: 8 | Negative: 3

Kirkus

Excellent
Apr 01 2012

The first half, which unpacks her affair, is far more compelling than the second, which tracks the author's life after JFK’s assassination.

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NY Times

Good
Reviewed by Janet Maslin on Feb 08 2012

President Kennedy gave her a terrible secret that became a great blessing that became a miraculous redeeming force, a gift that now warrants public celebrating.

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Guardian

Below average
Reviewed by Robert McCrum on Feb 10 2012

. . . less an act of independent self-possession, more the helpless revelation of a woman as a victim.

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Washington Times

Excellent
Reviewed by Martin Rubin on Mar 09 2012

She is surprisingly kind and forgiving toward those she now realizes took terrible advantage of an innocent young girl.

Read Full Review of Once Upon A Secret | See more reviews from Washington Times

Entertainment Weekly

Below average
Reviewed by Tina Jordan on Feb 08 2012

. . .even though Alford doesn't seem to entirely grasp the full extent of what happened to her during the whole sordid affair, any compassionate reader certainly will.

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Independent.ie

Excellent
Reviewed by Debbie McGoldrick on Feb 18 2012

Alford's story is completely credible, and it's easy to see how she became swept away by the handsome, powerful and persuasive JFK.

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Boston.com

Below average
Reviewed by Bella English on Feb 16 2012

Alford offers little insight into the affair and its aftermath.

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St. Louis Today

Excellent
Reviewed by Jane Henderson on Feb 09 2012

. . .some readers are. . .likely to be concerned with. . .how truly revolting it was when powerful men used. . .women as sex workers and journalists not only turned a blind eye, but even glorified myths such as a White House "Camelot."

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History News Network

Excellent
Reviewed by Vaughn Bornet on Mar 05 2012

. . .a very good read, meticulously framed and carefully written, apparently beyond reproach in its general story and numbers of small details. . .marks the beginning of the end of mythology about. . .John F. Kennedy.

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CTpost.com

Excellent
Reviewed by Joe Myers on Mar 04 2012

The biggest “shock” in Mimi Alford’s recently published memoir. . .is how well-written and thoughtful the book turns out to be.

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New York Post

Excellent
Reviewed by Cynthia Fagen on Feb 05 2012

Alford. . .sets the record straight in searingly candid detail.

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Shelby Johnson

Shelby Johnson 5 Sep 2013

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