November 03, 2003 12:00 PM

by Christopher Andersen


She has “shunned the spotlight,” notes Andersen of Caroline Kennedy. Yet he aims to pull her into its glare with this book—his fourth about her immediate family—which mainly retells familiar Kennedy episodes from the perspective of the girl whom the Secret Service called “Lyric.” “Who’s the pretty lady singing to Daddy?” he tells us young Caroline asked on seeing Marilyn Monroe purr “Happy Birthday” to JFK. There are a few revelations. Before slimming down to a size 4 before her wedding, Caroline drew criticism about her weight from mother Jackie. Caroline’s husband, artist Edwin Schlossberg, occasionally picks her clothes. Lacking real insight, Andersen (a former PEOPLE editor) pads his text with events (cousin William Smith’s rape trial, for instance) in which Caroline figures only tangentially. Even under a biographer’s eye, this least examined Kennedy remains just that.


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