RaveThe Minneapolis Star TribuneDan Barry's gifts lie in meting out the horror in small doses, though, never giving us more than we can handle, interweaving the hard stuff with moments of levity and grace. It would be easy to present a story such as this one in black-and-white terms, all villains and heroes, pain and redemption. Barry skillfully manages to resist this trap, painting the book's characters with all of the nuance and gradation of the human experience ... The prose itself is at times luminous; hard-hitting journalism shot through with flourishes of the best literary nonfiction.
RaveThe Minneapolis Star TribuneLouisa’s development as a writer is one of the book’s quieter but most compelling story lines. Bolstered by a largely epistolary courtship with John Quincy, and then the necessity of letter writing as a way to maintain contact with a family from whom she was often separated, Louisa moves over time from a shy and intellectually uncertain writer to a confident and prolific wordsmith ... There are thrilling passages to read in Louisa, such as those describing her journey by carriage from St. Petersburg to Paris to reconnect with her husband, who’d moved on ahead of her.
Kate Clifford Lawson
PositiveMinneapolis Star TribuneWhat begins as a fairly straightforward chronological account of the Kennedy family history quickly becomes something much more personal and compelling, the tale of a young woman whose increasingly volatile behavior became a liability to her politically ambitious father.