Fairy Tale Interrupted

A Memoir of Life, Love, and Loss

Fairy Tale Interrupted

Working Girl meets What Remains in this New York Times bestselling, behind-the-scenes story of an unlikely friendship between America’s favorite First Son, John F. Kennedy Jr. and his personal assistant, a blue-collar girl from the Bronx. Featured in the documentary I Am JFK Jr.!

From the moment RoseMarie Terenzio unleashed her Italian temper on the entitled nuisance commandeering her office in a downtown New York PR firm, an unlikely friendship bloomed between the blue-collar girl from the Bronx and John F. Kennedy Jr.

Many books have sought to capture John F. Kennedy Jr.’s life. None has been as intimate or as honest as Fairy Tale Interrupted. Recalling the adventure of working as his executive assistant for five years, RoseMarie portrays the man behind the icon—patient, protective, surprisingly goofy, occasionally thoughtless and self-involved, yet capable of extraordinary generosity and kindness. She reveals how he dealt with dating, politics, and the paparazzi, and describes life behind the scenes at George magazine. Captured here are her memories of Carolyn Bessette, how she orchestrated the ultra-secretive planning of John and Carolyn’s wedding on Cumberland Island—and the heartbreak of their deaths on July 16, 1999, after which RoseMarie’s whole world came crashing down around her. Only now does she feel she can tell her story in a book that stands as “a fitting personal tribute to a unique boss . . . deliriously fun and entertaining” (Kirkus Reviews).

Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for Fairy Tale Interrupted includes an introduction, discussion questions, and ideas for enhancing your book club. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.


RoseMarie Terenzio was just a typical Italian girl from the Bronx. She grew up, went to college, got a job, and moved into an affordable apartment in Manhattan. That alone could be considered any girl’s dream, and the fact that her job involved daily contact with one of the most famous men in the world certainly put it over the top. As the assistant to John F. Kennedy, Jr., RoseMarie was in the unique position of knowing John as a boss and a friend. She kept his calendar, sorted his mail, sat courtside with him at Knicks games, and provided advice. With fondness and respect, RoseMarie gives a glimpse into the work, marriage, and daily life of JFK Jr., and recounts what it was like to be in the inner circle of America’s most famous couple. Of course there were amazing perks—the best one being John and Carolyn’s friendship—but on that devastating day in July 1999, it all came to a tragic end.

Topics & Questions for Discussion

1. How do you interpret the title Fairy Tale Interrupted? W see more

About the Author

RoseMarie Terenzio
Photograph by Christian Lucidi

RoseMarie Terenzio

RoseMarie Terenzio was born in the Bronx and served as personal assistant, publicist, and confidante to John F. Kennedy, Jr.