3 out of 4 stars
Share This Review
I Was a VIP on 11/22/63 by Dr. Diane Holloway Cheney is a novel based on true-life events. This book is about a presidential assassin, Leigh, whose father had died two months before his birth. Hence, Leigh grew up with his mother and two older brothers. Leigh was a truant, and a psychologist recommended treatment for him when he was fifteen. In 1956, he joined the United States Marine Corps (USMC) at the age of seventeen and served for three years.
Leigh was a self-acclaimed communist and Marxist, so he left the United States for the USSR in 1959. He even tried to renounce his American citizenship while in Russia and vowed never to return to America. After Leigh married a Russian woman, he wanted to be back in the United States. And after reading this book, I wished he was never allowed to set foot in America again. Leigh craved attention so much that he didn't mind being on the wrong side of history to get it. He wanted to be a VIP by all means. Did he get what he wanted? You will have to read the book to find out.
After reading this book, the first thing I did was to do a little research on the events in it. I must say that I commend the author for a job well done! This novel is no doubt a product of thorough research and impeccable narrating skills. The author uses the first-person point of view (Leigh's perspective) to tell most of the story, but the highlight for me is the author's creative use of diary entries and letters to help the reader understand Leigh's mindset.
My favorite aspect of this book is its suspenseful narrations. Despite the foreword that informed me of the events depicted in the book, I was surprised that I was still uncertain about the things that would happen. Prospective readers should be aware that this book is hard to put down once you start reading it.
Though this novel is based on actual events, I liked how Leigh's character was well developed. And while there are many fictional books about the events depicted, this author tells her story from the assassin's perspective in this book. Hence, I thoroughly enjoyed this author's different approach. More so, Dr. Diane Holloway Cheney is a brilliant storyteller whose talent is evident in her ability to turn a well-known historical event into a page-turner.
While there's nothing I really disliked about this novel, I am not proud of the many errors I found in it. I counted more than ten of them. As a result, I am deducting a star from the book's rating and awarding it three out of four stars. I struggled to hold back my tears after reading this book but enjoyed its effect on me. Therefore, I highly recommend it to readers who love historical fiction books based on true-life events. Nevertheless, some readers might find the gory details of people being gunned down off-putting, so skip this book if you fall into that category. Otherwise, happy reading!
I Was a VIP on 11/22/63
View: on Bookshelves