The young love life of John F. Kennedy, Jr. – what a topic for a book. When I saw Christina Haag interviewed on a morning talk show, I was hooked, and wanted to read her memoir – “Come to the Edge.” The promise of an insider’s view of the young prince was enticing, since anyone else who knew Kennedy is either dead or not talking.
In a clever prologue, Haag remembers her first real kiss with JFK,Jr. After that, it’s bait and switch. This is Christina Haag’s memoir – her life, her parents, her friends.
Amazingly, she recalls where John John got his hair cut as a child, and because she traveled in the same elite private school circle as a teenager in New York City, she had invitations to parties and gatherings where she witnessed and sometimes participated in JFK, Jr.’s young adult transgressions. When they met again at Brown, they became housemates.
Later, a play about Irish lovers sparks the romance – the rehearsed kisses for their roles become real. Haag recalls their passion, moonlit walks, exciting adventures, and John’s terrifying recklessness (“…don’t tell Mommy, he repeated like a mantra.”). She could be writing a romance novel with sleepovers at Jackie O’s 5th Avenue apartment, the Kennedy Compound, Jackie’s house in New Jersey – magnificent backdrops as Haag vividly describes the settings (not the romps) in detail.
Jackie approved; Ethel didn’t; Rose would like to see him settled. Haag never reveals why they separated. She hints at her acting career, movie star Daryl Hannah, his inability to commit to marriage -to her, but in the end, just calls it bad timing.
Although the prose is flowery and the action self-serving, nothing shocking or new is revealed. Some of Haag’s insider experiences actually bring back the Camelot mystique, and she says nothing to dispel the aura of the former First Lady’s graciousness.
Great way to jump start a career? Haag reveals her reason for writing her story now; life is short for everyone, after all. And now her name will be forever linked with his.