by Mercedes King
Encounter is a piece of flash fiction, more just a scene really, about the first chance encounter on a train between a young JFK and the Jackie Bouvier. From the outset I should say that while I study and enjoy history, especially presidential history, I'm not part of the group that's fascinated with Camelot. Anyway, the scene, told from JFK's perspective, is well written and makes the reader want to know more about the future president's life. I thought that the letter included from Jackie to her parents about the flirtatious young man she met on the train was I nice touch. I assume the letter was real correspondence, but it could be fictitious.
The problem with this piece is substance. It's length prevents any real plot from forming, and I think a lot of reader's will dislike that. But plot isn't the author's intention. Encounter is meant to be just a snapshot in the life of the future Mrs. Kennedy. This installment is part of King's series about the Kennedy's relationship, The Kennedy Chronicles, and I looked on Amazon and found that the other works in this series, while being short stories also, they are not nearly as short so perhaps they have a little bit better development. It should also be said that King has also authored a novel about an older Jackie Kennedy's role as the wife of an unfaithful husband entitled O! Jackie. Despite its shortcomings as a short story, Encounter does succeed in piquing the reader's interest, and I think it will prompt some to check out King's novel.