Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, from Tuesday/First Chapter/Intros, hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by A Daily Rhythm.

Today’s featured book is a memoir by Carole Radziwill:  What Remains.





Intro: (Prologue)

Friday, July 16, 1999

Three weeks before my husband died a young couple smashed their plane into the Atlantic Ocean, off the Massachusetts shoreline, well after the mid-July sun had set.  It was reported in the news as 9:41, but I knew the general time, because I had spoken to the woman less than an hour before.  The pilot was my husband’s cousin, John Kennedy.  His wife, Carolyn Bessette, was my closest friend.  She was sitting behind him next to the only other passenger, her sister, Lauren.  A still, hot summer day had melted into a warm and sticky night.  A quiet night, unremarkable except for the fog, which rolls in and out of New England like a deep sigh.

While we were still making plans, before they took off from Caldwell, New Jersey, she called me from the plane.

“We’ll fly to the Vineyard tomorrow, after the wedding.  We can be there before dinner.”


Teaser:  There are three places that define my early life, and you can drive to all of them in half a day.  The city, where I live now; the Rockland County suburb where I grew up; and another small town about an hour’s drive upstate. (p. 21).


Blurb:  What Remains is a vivid and haunting memoir about a girl from a working-class town who becomes an award-winning television producer and marries a prince, Anthony Radziwill. Carole grew up in a small suburb with a large, eccentric cast of characters. At nineteen, she struck out for New York City to find a different life. Her career at ABC News led her to the refugee camps of Cambodia, to a bunker in Tel Aviv, and to the scene of the Menendez murders. Her marriage led her into the old world of European nobility and the newer world of American aristocracy.

What Remains begins with loss and returns to loss. A small plane plunges into the ocean carrying John F. Kennedy Jr., Anthony’s cousin, and Carolyn Bessette Kennedy, Carole’s closest friend. Three weeks later Anthony dies of cancer. With unflinching honesty and a journalist’s keen eye, Carole Radziwill explores the enduring ties of family, the complexities of marriage, the importance of friendship, and the challenges of self-invention. Beautifully written, What Remains “gets at the essence of what matters,” wrote Oprah Winfrey. “Friendship, compassion, destiny.”


I have had this book for a while…and now, for some reason, it seems to be clamoring to be read.  What do you think?


57 thoughts on “CURL UP WITH “WHAT REMAINS”

  1. Suzie Quint

    What is it about the Kennedys (and everyone near them) that compels us to read everything about them? They do seem like a family with a curse on them.


    1. They are (were) like our version of royalty, ever since JFK’s presidency and the hint of Camelot. I know I’m compelled to read what I can, and haven’t read enough about John, Jr. He was definitely like a prince to some of us. Thanks for stopping by, Suzie.


  2. I love how the blurb makes this book sound very grand and almost a bit too much but then the intro and teaser are beautiful and really speak to the reader! Although I’m not the biggest memoir fan, this sounds like a good book! Thanks for sharing 🙂 I hope you have a great week!
    My Tuesday post
    Juli @ Universe in Words


  3. Diane

    I would definitely read more. Loved the Kennedys and all they did for people of Massachusetts. We were on a boat in Baltimore when we heard the SAD news about this crash. Some events you never forget where you were when you heard the news.


    1. Oh, I know what you mean, Diane, and I still look back on the “brief shining moments” of the Kennedy years (JFK) and I loved learning about the other Kennedys, too. John, Jr., was so unforgettable saluting at his father’s funeral…and then in the later years, seeing how he had become so handsome…sigh, with his elegant wife. Very sad.


  4. At first glance the cover appealed to me, then I read the author’s name. I always was drawn to the connections of the Kennedy’s and Carole Radziwill. After all she married a prince and that makes her interesting. Thanks for introducing me to this book, I did not know about it. I’ll go looking.


  5. sherry fundin

    The Kennedy’s have always been interesting to me. I think because I read a book by John, can’t even remember the name, when I was very young. I am also very familiar with the Cape Cod area and love anything to do with the beaches there. I have seen their compound. Thanks for sharing!

    sherry @ fundinmental My TT


  6. Thank you so much for this! I’d seen the title, but hadn’t read what it was about. Like a lot of posters here, I’m fascinated by the Kennedys. I even read Stephen King’s 11/22/63, lol. I was in college when JFK was assassinated.

    Mine this week is one of Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse books:


  7. Reblogged this on Ms M's Bookshelf and commented:
    I have been following this blog for a short while and find it quite captivating. (I love the cat with the turquoise tam.) I hadn’t heard of the book What Remains but it sounds like a good fit for me. Maybe it will interest you as well.


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