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