Fairy Tale Interrupted

A Memoir of Life, Love, and Loss

Fairy Tale Interrupted

Working Girl meets What Remains, this is the 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.

The Kennedys have captured the American imagination for fifty years, and the public’s enduring fascination with Camelot continues to this day. Now, former personal assistant and dear friend of JFK, Jr. and Carolyn Bessette Kennedy, RoseMarie Terenzio has waited for more than a decade to share her unique, intimate, and extraordinary perspective of life behind the Kennedy curtain.

Upon first meeting, RoseMarie was not immediately impressed with JFK, Jr. In an awkward yet comedic encounter, she walked into her office to find that John had begun dismissively boxing up her personal belongings and moving them to a smaller office, including her prized, autographed Howard Stern photo. As she gave him a piece of her mind, people stood around gaping that she would dare speak to JFK, Jr. that way. But John loved her moxie and eventually asked her to become his personal assistant and publicist—and years later she would become one of his closest confidantes, as well as Carolyn’s.   For five years RoseMarie witnessed John’s dating, politics, his marriage to Carolyn, and his untimely death. In her memoir, she blends her own story of a young woman who rose from an embattled childhood to follow her dream with amazing revelations about the man who has been the subject of unparalleled attention, sensationalism, adoration, and speculation. Offering readers a rare access to the epicenter of American royalty, this funny, moving, and truthful work is a breath of fresh air in the legacy of writing about the Kennedys.


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.