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What Remains: A Memoir of Fate, Friendship, and Love

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"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, one of a long line of Polish royals and nephew of President John F. Kennedy. Carole Radziwill's story is part fairy tale, part tragedy. She tells both with great candor and wit.Carole grew up in a "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, one of a long line of Polish royals and nephew of President John F. Kennedy. Carole Radziwill's story is part fairy tale, part tragedy. She tells both with great candor and wit.Carole grew up in a small suburb with a large, eccentric cast of characters. She spent her childhood summers with her grandparents and an odd assortment of aunts and uncles in their poorly plumbed A-frame on the banks of a muddy creek in upstate New York. At the age of nineteen, Carole 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, 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 Kennedy, Anthony's cousin, and Carolyn Bessette Kennedy, Carole's closest friend. Three weeks later Anthony dies of cancer. The summer of the plane crash, the four friends were meant to be cherishing Anthony's last days. Instead, Carole and Anthony mourned John and Carolyn, even as Carole planned her husband's memorial. Carole Radziwill has an anthropologist's sensibility and a journalist's eye. She writes about families--their customs, their secrets, and their tangled intimacies-- with remarkable acuity and humanity. She explores the complexities of marriage, the importance of friendship, and the challenges of self-invention with unflinching honesty. This is acompelling story of love, loss, and, ultimately, resilience.


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"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, one of a long line of Polish royals and nephew of President John F. Kennedy. Carole Radziwill's story is part fairy tale, part tragedy. She tells both with great candor and wit.Carole grew up in a "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, one of a long line of Polish royals and nephew of President John F. Kennedy. Carole Radziwill's story is part fairy tale, part tragedy. She tells both with great candor and wit.Carole grew up in a small suburb with a large, eccentric cast of characters. She spent her childhood summers with her grandparents and an odd assortment of aunts and uncles in their poorly plumbed A-frame on the banks of a muddy creek in upstate New York. At the age of nineteen, Carole 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, 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 Kennedy, Anthony's cousin, and Carolyn Bessette Kennedy, Carole's closest friend. Three weeks later Anthony dies of cancer. The summer of the plane crash, the four friends were meant to be cherishing Anthony's last days. Instead, Carole and Anthony mourned John and Carolyn, even as Carole planned her husband's memorial. Carole Radziwill has an anthropologist's sensibility and a journalist's eye. She writes about families--their customs, their secrets, and their tangled intimacies-- with remarkable acuity and humanity. She explores the complexities of marriage, the importance of friendship, and the challenges of self-invention with unflinching honesty. This is acompelling story of love, loss, and, ultimately, resilience.

30 review for What Remains: A Memoir of Fate, Friendship, and Love

  1. 4 out of 5

    christa

    Carole Radziwill is Bravo TV bait, but only on paper: She’s a 40-something woman with a title, relatively few facial creases, a famous last name and has a limb-by-marriage on the Kennedy family tree. But the new addition to Season 5 of “The Real Housewives of New York” has little in common with her castmates. When it comes to manicured talons and wine screeches, Radziwill’s signature move is no move at all. A surprised blink, an incredulous “Is this really happening” as a shitshow explodes Carole Radziwill is Bravo TV bait, but only on paper: She’s a 40-something woman with a title, relatively few facial creases, a famous last name and has a limb-by-marriage on the Kennedy family tree. But the new addition to Season 5 of “The Real Housewives of New York” has little in common with her castmates. When it comes to manicured talons and wine screeches, Radziwill’s signature move is no move at all. A surprised blink, an incredulous “Is this really happening” as a shitshow explodes around her and she ducks for safety behind one of the husbands. She’s the anti-Housewife, actually: Smart, non-judgemental, laid back. No vanity or hubris. She wears crooked pigtails and serves inscribed M&Ms at a lunch in her unassuming apartment. She’s surprised when no one wants to eat the pizza she planned to order. Radziwill is as foreign to the rest of the troop as they are to her with her mastery of Downtown, semi-formal leather short shorts and super casual kinda relationship with one of the Rolling Stones. In a show famous for posturing, air kisses and one-upmanship, she is the cool girl with a nonchalant shrug. She’s the best thing to happen to the show. Radziwill’s 2005 bestseller “What Remains: A Memoir of Fate, Friendship & Love” is the heart-squeezing story of her life before Ramona Singer. She grew up in a small town and regularly visited hard-partying relatives and a grandmother who stuffed stolen groceries into various folds of her body. She saw her exit plan on TV news: Instead of being an observer to life events, she wanted to be at the life events. Radziwill went from an intern to an award-winning career at ABC News. She meets Polish prince Anthony Radziwill, nephew of John F. Kennedy, while working on pieces about the Menendez Brothers in Los Angeles and they eventually get married. Then there is the cancer. Radziwill’s story centers on the terrible summer when they had to stop pretending Anthony was going to beat the disease. He’s spent five years in and out of the best cancer treatment facilities in the world. In moments of reprieve they carry on as usual -- life, work, travel -- with the disease looming over everything. Radziwill becomes close friends with Carolyn Bessette, John Kennedy Jr.’s wife. It’s the tall blonde beauty who holds her hand through the bad times and critiques her wardrobe during the good. They are adorable as besties, cooing into the phone about their dreams for the future, dinner parties and world travel and buying matching rings. Then, while Radziwill is preparing for her husband’s death -- John Kennedy has actually begun writing the eulogy -- the celebrity couple dies in a plane crash off Martha’s Vineyard. “I had prepared for an approaching sorrow, but not, as it turned out, for the one that was nearest,” Radziwill writes. She’s still disoriented from the loss of the people who were going to comfort her after Anthony’s death when, not much later, he dies. This one is a gut-puncher, friends. One minute you’re cruising through Radziwill’s unique foray into royalty and her journalistic itch, and then next minute you’re crying so hard you’re nose clogs shut, you’re Googling the iconic photograph of JFK Jr. saluting his father’s casket, and you wonder if this heavy sadness will ever go away. This book must have been like throwing meat in a cage when it was released seven years ago. So many people hungry for any kind of Camelot-themed anything. Not to mention Radziwill was also a target for paparazzi bulbs. It’s enough of a story and a gawking lure to bury the fact that Radziwill is smart and a good, honest writer. Now, in the Housewives part of her life, the book explains a lot about how she can handle the erupting personalities that surround her and how she became the most likable personality in the history of Bravo TV.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Kimber

    Carole Radziwell's recounting of the tragic deaths of her husband, Anthony Radziwill, his cousin John Kennedy and wife, Carolyn, all within three weeks of each other. Of course, John and Carolyn went down in that horrific plane crash. Here she reflects on life & death, and fate & fortune, as she recalls her memories of this time with beauty and eloquence. It is her non-linear approach that gives this book its multi-dimensional quality. Like the layers of an onion, the story unfolds Carole Radziwell's recounting of the tragic deaths of her husband, Anthony Radziwill, his cousin John Kennedy and wife, Carolyn, all within three weeks of each other. Of course, John and Carolyn went down in that horrific plane crash. Here she reflects on life & death, and fate & fortune, as she recalls her memories of this time with beauty and eloquence. It is her non-linear approach that gives this book its multi-dimensional quality. Like the layers of an onion, the story unfolds itself. I felt immersed in this story; it haunted me. As she shares her memories with her husband, the agony, the constant stress, the avoidance of reality, the sweet moments between a husband and wife. One of my favorite moments was when Anthony (who affectionately has given her the nickname of Peanut, or Nut to be short) was going into one of his many treatments for cancer: "He holds my hand tight. Tighter the closer we get to the big double doors. 'I love you, Nut,' he mumbles. 'I love you more.' He smiles; this is our thing. 'I love you mostly.' I am determined to be casual, smile, not say good-bye. 'Okay, see you later, Sweetie.' Never good-bye. Then he disappears. The big blue double doors swing shut behind him. It's quick, this whole scene. No lingering, no second or two longer. A brisk walk and swoosh and the doors swinging shut. Then it is completely quiet." At first reading, I appreciated her ability to detach from her emotions in order to present a factual narrative. But on subsequent readings, these parts seem cold and emotionally detached, contradictory. Much of this memoir is about her unwillingness to come to terms with what is happening and not being much help to Anthony. Their relationship dynamic seems off balance. Carole comes across as being passive except in regards to organizing appointments. They also didn't seem to talk very much about his sickness. She just seemed to go along with things without much complaint, and without dealing with his cancer that was killing him. They both did not want to deal with it--but that is part of their story. Carole seems to prefer to be at a distance, and to intellectualize her experience because she doesn't feel safe with her emotions. She also shared on The Real Housewives Of New York City reunion that she is just very cold, and rational and that her brain scan revealed that she has a "ginormous" hippocampus. I think her best writing is in the beginning part, about her childhood in upstate New York. She has a remarkable memory (hence, the hippocampus) and ability to evoke images of that time. This is excellently written, and hard to put down. I also appreciated the memories of the Kennedys. You get a feel for the character of John and Carolyn, and they seemed like truly great and loving people. I look forward to Carole's next memoir.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Stacey

    I started this book less than 24 hours ago, and had to fight myself to not stay up all night and finish it. The writing is incredible. The story flows so easily, it feels like fiction. If only it were... I am, I believe, near the end, and have to save it for later. I can't bring myself to finish it now.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Anne R

    This book is almost too painful to read. Most Americans remember JFK,Jr crashing the plane and that his wife, Carolyn and her sister, Lauren were on board and maybe some people remember just three week letter his cousin died of cancer. However, I suspect very few people were aware that his cousin's wife was best friends with Carolyn. Within three weeks time, Carole Radiwill (actually Princess Radiwill since her husand, Anthony, was Prince Radiwill of Poland) lost her husband and her best friend. This book is almost too painful to read. Most Americans remember JFK,Jr crashing the plane and that his wife, Carolyn and her sister, Lauren were on board and maybe some people remember just three week letter his cousin died of cancer. However, I suspect very few people were aware that his cousin's wife was best friends with Carolyn. Within three weeks time, Carole Radiwill (actually Princess Radiwill since her husand, Anthony, was Prince Radiwill of Poland) lost her husband and her best friend. I admit that I sobbed through the last chapter of this book. It is so amazing how Carole Radziwill could tell this story in such an amazing, straight-forward manner never "dropping" names as she writes that Anthony's "aunt" dies and it takes you a moment to realize she is writing about Jackie Kennedy. She doesn't seem to want you to feel sorry for her but to simply tell her story and in doing so she won my heart. I was angered yet somehow not surprised by the fact Caroline Kennedy never made an effort to make Carolyn or Carole welcome in her home or the "Kennedy" family. Radizwill was never advertly negative in the book when writing about Caroline but she did write that neither she nor Carolyn felt comforted with Caroline. Caroline showed little support to her dying cousin (coming to the hospital once when he had dozens of surgeries) and never visited him at home. John spent a lot of time with Anthony but it was difficult to tell how much of the time he was in denial about Anthony's terminal illness. However, Caroline's attitude seemed to be that everyone was an outside. One telling comment was at a New Year's Eve party when everyone made a prediction about the coming year (John and Carolyn weren't there) and Carole's prediction was that John and Carolyn would get married. Caroline's husband, Ed, nearly shouted "Of course he isn't. Caroline barely knows her.". Well, he was wrong because John and Carolyn did get married that year and if Caroline didn't know Carolyn it was her own failure to make an effort to befriend her. It made me think of Caroline's abopted attempt to run for her Uncle Senate seat when he died. She gave that horrible interview clearly demonstrating she wasn't qualified to run yet I think she considered it because she had some sense of entitlement. When the funeral arrangements were being made for John and Carolyn, Carole was told she wasn't invited because not "everyone" could be there yet Carolyn's mother, Ann, asked Carole to be there for support. Clearly, she was someone close enough to John and Carolyn to be there but Caroline could never get passed her own self-centeredness. As I said, Radiwill wrote little about Caroline Kennedy but, in my opinion, it was the absence of words that told the story about Caroline. I couldn't help but missed in two pages of notes of gratitude at the end of the book,, Caroline Kennedy's name never appeared. This book did show a side of Carolyn Kennedy that certainly was never protrayed by the media. She was sweet and caring. A true friend to Carole in good times and a rock of support as Carole struggled with Anthony's cancer. I hope Carole Radiwill has found peace and new joy in her life and I thank her for telling her moving story with grace, dignity and courage. And, wish Carolyn's parents have found some way to move forward without their two daughters.

  5. 5 out of 5

    deLille

    I appreciate that Carole Radziwill did not want to write a sentimental book, but that didn't mean she had to be an ice-queen. There were glimpses in the book in which she seemed more human, more engaged with her life than just reporting on it as though she were a bystander, but those moments were too few. Still, Radziwill had a fascinating, if a bit voyeuristic, subject to write about and the topic alone made the book a very interesting read. Because Radziwill did not repeatedly allude to the I appreciate that Carole Radziwill did not want to write a sentimental book, but that didn't mean she had to be an ice-queen. There were glimpses in the book in which she seemed more human, more engaged with her life than just reporting on it as though she were a bystander, but those moments were too few. Still, Radziwill had a fascinating, if a bit voyeuristic, subject to write about and the topic alone made the book a very interesting read. Because Radziwill did not repeatedly allude to the death of John and Carolyn throughout the book (although she does open with the night of their plane missing to establish the book's gravitas), the reader forgets that John's and Carolyn's fates are just as doomed as Anthony's, Radziwill's husband. I found myself envying John and Carolyn's seemingly idyllic existence among the rich and famous, while Anthony and Carole could only pretend to be as untroubled as their jet-setting friends knowing that the Grim Reaper was hovering at their backs. Why was poor Carole Radziwill so doomed? Why did she have to live as an "other", the permanent widow-to-be, while all of her friends lived such carefree lives, having no greater worries than in what exotic locale they would spend their next holiday? I was jolted by the reality that while John was making late night calls to Carole about Anthony's near-death condition, he had no idea that he himself was even closer to death's doorstep. This book made me realize that at the end of the day, all we really have -- what actually remains -- is our life, our health and the people we love. You can be rich and famous, zipping around in your private jet, throwing lavish parties, but you really don't have anything compared to the guy sitting in a trailer park in rural Alabama if your life ends tomorrow. Heck, you can't even sip a beer on the stoop of a double-wide if you're dead. Death is the ultimate equalizer. I found several things about this book to be rather odd, and feel as though I didn't get the whole story somehow. I felt that Radziwill was extremely disconnected from her side of the family while she was going through Anthony's cancer treatments. I also found Radziwill's relationship with Carolyn to resemble more of a junior high school friendship, hinging upon whether or not Radziwill wore the kind of clothes Carolyn approved of and getting engraved "secret friends forever" rings. Really? I cannot imagine asking one of my closest girlfriends to get rings together engraved with our initials without her thinking I was bit strange and possibly "secretly" in love with her. In the 8th grade, sure, but not as a grown adult. Radziwill also seemed to harbor resentments against Anthony for taking her for granted, going to the gym while she went to the body shop, and not being that committed to settling down with her until he realized he had cancer. Radziwill seemed to idolize John, and I couldn't help but to feel that at times she envied Carolyn for winning the better of the two men, not only the more considerate one but the one who was living, not dying. Little did she know. I also found it ironic that Radziwill would be so critical of the "tragedy whores" and yet write a book whose biggest audience are tragedy whores. Afterall, why did I pick up this book from the library? To learn more about John's early childhood or his struggles with publishing George magazine? Heck no, I was curious to find out more information surrounding the untimely death of an iconic figure and his beautiful wife. Why, I don't know, but I do know that as humans we are drawn to tales of tragedy. Think of what it would do to the field of music, literature, and mass media in general if humans did not, for some inexplicable reason, like to wallow in other people's heartaches? For some reason, it provides a feeling of connectedness, like we are not really in this world all alone. I understand the feeling it created in Radziwill when she saw people grieving openly over the death of a childhood friend, and later, over the death of John and Carolyn, when they didn't even know the people. We all see this at almost every funeral, particularly when it's a well known figure. But what Radziwill doesn't take into account is that people grieve over a stranger's death for different reasons that the people who know the person. People grieve over the situation (i.e., a life cut too short) rather than the person, and depending on that person's life experiences, they grieve over the memories that a tragic situation arouses in them. I can't remember the exact emotions that John and Carolyn's plane crash raised in me, but I do know that I was dumbstruck when I saw Princess Diana's hearse come around the corner and heard that audible gasp in the crowd standing on the curb. I do know that when I saw her two young boys walking with their father, with their mother in a box, I sobbed. Not because I knew Princess Diana. But because I am a human being. And that's what's missing from Radziwill's book: the sense that a "real" human wrote it.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Debbie

    I was really excited when I got a chance to read this book. I had read Fairy Tale Interrupted: A Memoir of Life, Love, and Loss by RoseMarie Terenzio a while back. I thoroughly enjoyed the story of a young girl from the Bronx becoming the personal assistant to John F. Kennedy Jr. RoseMarie portrayed herself as a genuine, normal gal who got a fairytale job working for an extraordinary boss. I thought this book might be similar. Unfortunately, I was disappointed. Carole Radziwill was married to I was really excited when I got a chance to read this book. I had read Fairy Tale Interrupted: A Memoir of Life, Love, and Loss by RoseMarie Terenzio a while back. I thoroughly enjoyed the story of a young girl from the Bronx becoming the personal assistant to John F. Kennedy Jr. RoseMarie portrayed herself as a genuine, normal gal who got a fairytale job working for an extraordinary boss. I thought this book might be similar. Unfortunately, I was disappointed. Carole Radziwill was married to John F. Kennedy Jr.'s cousin on his mother's side, Anthony Radziwill. Ms. Radziwill was dealt a bad hand when her husband had a relapse of cancer during their honeymoon. He died five years later, just weeks after JFK Jr., and his wife and the author's friend Carolyn did. The problem I had with this book is that the narrator did not come off as likable. The way she described her courtship with Anthony left me with the impression that she fell in love with the name and lifestyle before she did the man. I'm sure this isn't true but with all the name and place dropping I learned more about Anthony's lifestyle than his personality. She also portrays Carolyn Kennedy, her supposed best friend, in a negative way. Carolyn's quips always came off as putdowns of Carole's lack of style, not friendly teasing. It pays to have connections. I learned that if you have a famous family member, you can go to the NIH for top notch medical care ahead of regular citizens. I'm not surprised by this, but the author writes like this sort of entitlement should be the norm for people like her husband. Carole portrays her family as a lovable bunch of eccentrics and her background as working class. Interestingly, she like Rielle Hunter tried to prove her working class sensibility by mentioning that she furnished her home with pieces from the Pottery Barn. Alert to pretentious authors trying to seem working class: Pottery Barn IS expensive. Us true working-class folks buy our furnishings at Ikea and Target if our budget is on track and Goodwill when times are tight. We never shop at Pottery Barn. I feel badly for Carole Radziwill's husband's illness and death. It appears that Carole is intelligent and was successful at her job at ABC. However, I did not enjoy her book. Perhaps, I'm just bitter because I'll never be one of the beautiful people. I don't understand them and I suspect people like Carole Radziwill wouldn't understand me either.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Kricket

    2 confessions: -the 5th star is purely emotional. -i first picked this book up shortly after it came out, but i decided it would be too sad and didn't read it. my main reason for trying again is the real housewives of new york city. carole radziwill appears so put-together and graceful AND she has an actual life and a real career. one has to wonder why she is on the show at all. except for me to adore her. and i adore her even more after reading this because the woman can write. she's funny and 2 confessions: -the 5th star is purely emotional. -i first picked this book up shortly after it came out, but i decided it would be too sad and didn't read it. my main reason for trying again is the real housewives of new york city. carole radziwill appears so put-together and graceful AND she has an actual life and a real career. one has to wonder why she is on the show at all. except for me to adore her. and i adore her even more after reading this because the woman can write. she's funny and self-deprecating and unassuming and heartbreaking. each word is deliberately selected. her story is mesmerizing- not just the tragic parts, but her childhood memories and journalism assignments. i like what she says about tragedy whores. (i think i might be a tragedy whore because i bawled my face off reading this book and now i feel sort of like carole and i should be BFFs. sorry carole.) i love her honesty as she discusses the things you're not supposed to do or say when your husband is dying. just such a lovely book.

  8. 5 out of 5

    RNOCEAN

    ""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, one of a long line of Polish royals and nephew of President John F. Kennedy. Carole Radziwill's story is part fairy tale, part tragedy. She tells both with great candor and wit.Carole grew up in a small suburb with a large, eccentric cast of characters. She spent her childhood summers with her grandparents and an odd ""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, one of a long line of Polish royals and nephew of President John F. Kennedy. Carole Radziwill's story is part fairy tale, part tragedy. She tells both with great candor and wit.Carole grew up in a small suburb with a large, eccentric cast of characters. She spent her childhood summers with her grandparents and an odd assortment of aunts and uncles in their poorly plumbed A-frame on the banks of a muddy creek in upstate New York. At the age of nineteen, Carole 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, 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 Kennedy, Anthony's cousin, and Carolyn Bessette Kennedy, Carole's closest friend. Three weeks later Anthony dies of cancer. The summer of the plane crash, the four friends were meant to be cherishing Anthony's last days. Instead, Carole and Anthony mourned John and Carolyn, even as Carole planned her husband's memorial. Carole Radziwill has an anthropologist's sensibility and a journalist's eye. She writes about families--their customs, their secrets, and their tangled intimacies-- with remarkable acuity and humanity. She explores the complexities of marriage, the importance of friendship, and the challenges of self-invention with unflinching honesty. This is a compelling story of love, loss, and, ultimately, resilience." Rate this 5/5 I loved this book! I think everyone thinks that the story of a little girl growing up, meeting her prince and living happily ever after, but that's not always the case. I love this author's writing style, not apologetic for feeling emotions that we all will one day have to experience. She lost three of the most important people in her life in a period of just three weeks. Unlike the author Joan Didion whom I found to be cold and self-absorbed, I found Carole to be just like the rest of us having to adapt to the loss of good friends and partners. She is a remarkable woman.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Dawn

    "Ultimately what remains is a story. In the end, it's the only thing any of us really owns." And what a tragic, heartbreaking story this is to have. Beautifully written, this story evoked many emotions in me as I read it and I couldn't put it down, even though I knew the horrific outcome. What Remains is the true story of Carole Radziwill, a girl from Suffern, New York, who married into European and American royalty when she met Prince Anthony Radziwill when both were working as producers for "Ultimately what remains is a story. In the end, it's the only thing any of us really owns." And what a tragic, heartbreaking story this is to have. Beautifully written, this story evoked many emotions in me as I read it and I couldn't put it down, even though I knew the horrific outcome. What Remains is the true story of Carole Radziwill, a girl from Suffern, New York, who married into European and American royalty when she met Prince Anthony Radziwill when both were working as producers for ABC News. Anthony's father was a Polish prince and his mother was Lee Bouvier, sister of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy. Therefore, his cousin was John Kennedy, Jr. And his best friend. The memoir starts with the author telling us about her normal, but slightly dysfunctional, childhood and summers spent at her grandmother's, who grew marijuana in the backyard for extra cash. She knew she wanted to work behind the scenes producing TV and landed a job with ABC shortly after graduating from college. She had some interesting documentaries and shows she produced that took her all over the globe and her skills impressed me. She and Anthony met in California while producing a segment in the 90s about the Menendez brothers who infamously murdered their parents. It was a slow-burning romance. Carole was thrust into a world of pomp and circumstance that accompanies the affluence and title of her future husband that contrasted greatly to her humble upbringing. Carole and Anthony married in 1994. He proposed after he had been diagnosed for the second time with cancer. He had previously had cancer before they met and had been in remission. "But cancer showed up like an unplanned pregnancy and completely defined who we were together." And that it did. Carole did her job as a wife and reporter and organized research and studies and treatments and doctor appointments for her strong and healthy husband who, ironically, had a vigorous and deadly cancer. While her husband seemed to be in denial of his disease, she became very close to JFK Jr. and his wife, Carolyn Bessette Kennedy. She relied on both of them for support and encouragement and the four of them traveled and summered together. Carolyn was Carole's friend and confidante while her husband was dying. "I had prepared for approaching sorrow, but not, as it turned out, for the one that was nearest." While Carole, JFK Jr, and Carolyn were preparing for the approaching death of Anthony, the unthinkable happened. The week before July 16, 1999, John and Carole would talk late at night about the details of Anthony's upcoming funeral. John had even told her he had already written his eulogy. Then late one night, Carole and Anthony were awakened by a phone call. They were all staying together on Martha's Vineyard that summer. John and Carolyn had flown back to NY briefly and were coming back that weekend for a Kennedy wedding. A friend of John's was supposed to pick them up from the airport. He called late that night because the couple weren't at the airport and he wondered if Carole and Anthony had heard from them. Of course the answer was no. I never knew this, but it was Carole who ultimately called the Coast Guard and was the first to report John and Carolyn missing. She and Anthony walked numbly through the motions of burying and saying goodbye to their dear cousins and friends. Three weeks later, Anthony lost his battle to cancer. Carole had to say goodbye without the support of her beloved friends. I had heard about this book when it was published but never read it. I recently came across it again as, I sheepishly admit, a fan of the Real Housewives of New York on the Bravo channel. Carole Radziwill is one of the housewives. I am so glad I did. This is an unbelievable story. Written with such courage, honesty. So beautifully sad. And that book cover. So brilliant. So poignant. So heart wrenching. Definitely recommend for anyone who loves the Kennedys. Gives some behind the scenes insights into their lives. 5 stars.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Michelle Anne

    Where do I even begin? This has to be one of the best memoirs I’ve read to date. This woman has such a way with words; her heavy emotions are laid throughout every page. I first heard of Carole Radziwill when I saw her on tv, then heard she was journalist at ABC news, then learned of the tribulations in her past. My curiosity grew as I wanted to know more about her, her experience of marrying into a Polish royal family, and her befriending John F. Kennedy Jr. and his wife. Carole brings us back Where do I even begin? This has to be one of the best memoirs I’ve read to date. This woman has such a way with words; her heavy emotions are laid throughout every page. I first heard of Carole Radziwill when I saw her on tv, then heard she was journalist at ABC news, then learned of the tribulations in her past. My curiosity grew as I wanted to know more about her, her experience of marrying into a Polish royal family, and her befriending John F. Kennedy Jr. and his wife. Carole brings us back to that time in her life as a journalist, a grad student, a friend, a wife and a caretaker. She shares with us the best days of her marriage, and the worst. I could feel her intensity as she spoke about the night she received news of JFK Jr. and his wife’s plane crashing, and more so when she had to finally say goodbye to her husband, Anthony Radziwill. Not once did Carole hold back when writing this memoir. She shared her joy, her pain, her success and her failures with pure honesty and passion. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good memoir every now and then.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Stephen

    My mother passed "What Remains" along and, like all choices not my own where reading is concerned, the book warranted only a grudging early perusal. Nonetheless, this haunting autobiography won the day. Carole Radziwill, according to the sleeve notes, is working on a novel and it should be worth plunking down some money on a chance when it comes out (if not already on the shelves). Publishers would naturally salivate at a chance to run the memoir of a young and middle class girl who marries into My mother passed "What Remains" along and, like all choices not my own where reading is concerned, the book warranted only a grudging early perusal. Nonetheless, this haunting autobiography won the day. Carole Radziwill, according to the sleeve notes, is working on a novel and it should be worth plunking down some money on a chance when it comes out (if not already on the shelves). Publishers would naturally salivate at a chance to run the memoir of a young and middle class girl who marries into the Radziwill clan of Polish royalty and winds up hobnobbing around with John F. Kennedy Jr. But the author's story is a hard luck one plagued by her fiance's (and then husband's) fatal cancer and the rotten interlude of JFK Jr.'s death a few weeks prior to Prince Radziwill's (Anthony). Yes, here is a juicy front seat to celebrity, but her version of life with the glittering ones is laced with humanity and anecdotes of John-John - a lovable goof - coming home late to eat the cold chicken, flying the world over in an effort to cash in on his name and save his failing magazine "George," or heartbrakingly singing "The Teddy Bears' Picnic" to his childhood friend in an attempt to pull him from death's grasp. Radziwill choses to render her story through the lens of fickle "fortune" and she does so masterfully, recounting how a marriage with all the right notes on paper could turn into a crushing journey of discovery down life's darkest corridor. Perhaps we understand irony best when we are its victims. Carole Radziwill does and was.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jay

    Girl meets boy. Girl falls in love. Girl marries boy. Their fairytale is over in a few short years. I read What Remains after having caught a glimpse of a few interviews Carole had done before its release. As shocking as it sounds now, I was not familiar with the Radziwill name, nor was I looking for a Kennedy tell-all. People interested in either are likely to be disappointed. What Remains is heartbreaking, beautiful, and utterly tragic. The themes of love, support, and loss are relatable and Girl meets boy. Girl falls in love. Girl marries boy. Their fairytale is over in a few short years. I read What Remains after having caught a glimpse of a few interviews Carole had done before its release. As shocking as it sounds now, I was not familiar with the Radziwill name, nor was I looking for a Kennedy tell-all. People interested in either are likely to be disappointed. What Remains is heartbreaking, beautiful, and utterly tragic. The themes of love, support, and loss are relatable and inevitable for us all... In Carole's case, it just happened to be extraordinarily public. Her line about tragedy whores resonated with me, not because I felt that she views herself as superior or special, but rather most of us have the luxury (yes, luxury) of being able to grieve and deal with dark days or tragedies away from the glare of the public. While the public mourns their idea of her best friends, Carole is left to deal with the reality, the day to day, and in addition to having to continue each day and support her dying husband, she's doing so without the support of two people she believed she would have even after Anthony passed away. I never saw her as grieving Carolyn's death more than her husband's, but rather that she knew, (despite their denials) that Anthony was very ill and it was more than likely to be his last summer. Chances are, she'd begun grieving him before he passed. Instead, she's hit with the tragically cruel death(s) of John and Carolyn, leaving both she and Anthony to process and grieve all while being too emotionally drained to support each other, or really it seemed... themselves. The fact of the matter is that Carole's almost-fairytale was ripped away when Anthony's cancer returned. For those saying that they didn't feel the love, keep in mind that this wasn't a marriage consisting of only Carole & Anthony —his illness became the mistress of sorts. I'm paraphrasing here, but at one point she states there 'may have been children' and though I'm at a loss for the rest of her wording, to me I thought it very much conveyed the fact that Carole herself wondered (wonders?) about what could have been had Anthony's illness not plagued her entire marriage. There was love there, certainly intimacy, but what I think those who've never experienced a long illness of a loved one forget is the simple fact that no matter how much you love someone, the illness often overpowers everything else. Caring for him was the most loving thing she could have done under the circumstances. We don't choose what we go through; only how we survive it... I think it's safe to say that Carole is a survivor and an inspiration to those of us going through anything remotely similar. What Remains is one of my favorite memoirs for the simple fact that it is stunningly real. Carole is not, and never claimed to be, a perfect person/wife, but ultimately, you have to give her credit for being able to push ahead and do the best she could with what she was facing. A must-read.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Diana Jorge-tulk

    I have a confession to make. I'm not proud of it. When I was in high school I watched soap opera's, and now as a adult I watch The Real Housewives "reality" series. I mean I watch them all. The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, Atlanta, Orange County, New Jersey, and New York. My husband makes fun of me. Don't judge me. It's my escape, my get out of my head time. This is how I first heard of this book. The author of this book is on the New York one. I have never before read a book from a someone I have a confession to make. I'm not proud of it. When I was in high school I watched soap opera's, and now as a adult I watch The Real Housewives "reality" series. I mean I watch them all. The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, Atlanta, Orange County, New Jersey, and New York. My husband makes fun of me. Don't judge me. It's my escape, my get out of my head time. This is how I first heard of this book. The author of this book is on the New York one. I have never before read a book from a someone from a reality show, but Carole Radziwill was a award winning journalist and producer for ABC, with Peter Jennings and Diane Swayer to name a few. She was also married to Anthony Radziwill who was John F Kennedy Jr's cousin and best friends with his wife Carolyn Bessette who as we know both died in a plane crash. Her husband dies of cancer weeks later. It is a beautiful, and heartbreaking memoir about love and friendship and loss. Most importantly the writing is wonderful. Carole Radziwill can write! Even though I love to read fiction, I also love non-fiction, such as autobiographies or memoirs,but it's rare to find ones that don't feel like they are just spitting out dates and places. I have read many memoirs and what separates the ok ones from the great ones is honesty. When you can feel the truth and sincerity of the story. Which this author does. This book could so easily have become a obnoxious book about the Kennedys and name dropping. Instead she manages to write so beautifully about them, but the story is about her. It's her story that just happens to include these famous people. It's one of the best written memoirs I have read.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Leigh Hancock

    I'm still not sure how I got this book; the library called one day and said it was in and I could pick it up. So I did, and discovered that it is a memoir by a woman who married a Polish prince who was dying of cancer (although she didn't know that when they married) and who was also by chance a cousin of JFK Jr. So it's partly the story of how her fairytale marriage turned grisly, but more significantly, it's about how much she came to love JFK Jr's wife, Carolyn Bissett....to the extent that I'm still not sure how I got this book; the library called one day and said it was in and I could pick it up. So I did, and discovered that it is a memoir by a woman who married a Polish prince who was dying of cancer (although she didn't know that when they married) and who was also by chance a cousin of JFK Jr. So it's partly the story of how her fairytale marriage turned grisly, but more significantly, it's about how much she came to love JFK Jr's wife, Carolyn Bissett....to the extent that she grieves Carolyn's death (remember the plane crash?) far more than her own husband's death three weeks later. Even though I only gave it two stars, I read the whole thing with the same kind of pleasure that People magazine brings, only I didn't have to stand in the grocery line all day.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Brandice

    "You never know when something is going to happen to change your life. You expect it to arrive with fanfare, like a wedding or a birth, but instead it comes in the most ordinary of circumstances." I loved this book! It was devastating as the outcome is well-known from the beginning, but is so well-written. I really enjoyed Carole Radziwill's writing. The book was honest - she shares feelings I suspect many people experience at one time or another during grief and tragedy but don't always care to "You never know when something is going to happen to change your life. You expect it to arrive with fanfare, like a wedding or a birth, but instead it comes in the most ordinary of circumstances." I loved this book! It was devastating as the outcome is well-known from the beginning, but is so well-written. I really enjoyed Carole Radziwill's writing. The book was honest - she shares feelings I suspect many people experience at one time or another during grief and tragedy but don't always care to admit to having. There wasn't a lot of dialogue (compared to many other books) but I thought What Remains did a great job with setting the scene, focusing the right amount of time on various events, and had the right amount of dialogue for the story. The part where Radziwill describes Fortune and her and Anthony's wedding stuck with me throughout the rest of the book and still did, after reading it. It was gripping. "You go through what remains and there isn't a lot that is meaningful, except your memories."

  16. 5 out of 5

    Erica Breckels

    Wow. I am in shock that someone who chooses to be on The Real Housewives franchise is also capable, in the same universe, to write a gem like this. What Remains so moved me. Radziwill peels away the layers of her life, truth and memory emerging through an intimate reveal. Fate and fortune play out on center stage here. Even while Radziwill is flirting with men while her husband is at chemo appointments, even while she fantasizes about escaping her waiting-to-die marriage, the reader stays with Wow. I am in shock that someone who chooses to be on The Real Housewives franchise is also capable, in the same universe, to write a gem like this. What Remains so moved me. Radziwill peels away the layers of her life, truth and memory emerging through an intimate reveal. Fate and fortune play out on center stage here. Even while Radziwill is flirting with men while her husband is at chemo appointments, even while she fantasizes about escaping her waiting-to-die marriage, the reader stays with her, unwavering. I was always aware of the role she gave her readers, asking us to collectively hold the space for her grief as well as for her memories. I was surprised at how engaging this memoir is considering the style of Radziwill's writing is, at times, somewhat objective and unemotional. Her writing style echoes her perspective and defense mechanisms perfectly, and she remains always semi-detached, a wall flower. Always the girl in Suffern, her face pushed against the glass. I wouldn't have thought that a memoir about a woman who was married to a Polish prince, a woman on the perimeter of the Bouvier/Kennedy inner circle, a woman living on Park Ave., constantly traveling the world, could ever be so accessible. Materialism fades away in the face of losing those closest to you. I think ultimately, that is "what remains" here.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Debbie

    I finished this book a few days ago, and still can't stop thinking about it. Ms. Radziwill is an excellent writer who told her story with heart and feeling. I have read quite a lot about the Kennedy and Radziwill families, and she brought a new and interesting perspective. What I loved most about reading her story was how honest she was throughout - yet she never gossiped about her famous relatives. I thought she was forthcoming with information but also remained discreet in many ways. This is I finished this book a few days ago, and still can't stop thinking about it. Ms. Radziwill is an excellent writer who told her story with heart and feeling. I have read quite a lot about the Kennedy and Radziwill families, and she brought a new and interesting perspective. What I loved most about reading her story was how honest she was throughout - yet she never gossiped about her famous relatives. I thought she was forthcoming with information but also remained discreet in many ways. This is not a tell-all book, and it's clear that she was determined that it not be. Her relationship with her husband was sweet and touching, her friendship with Carolyn was cute and believable - and her story was at times entertaining and fun, but of course ultimately heartbreaking. She has had a very interesting life apart from the sadness, and I can't help but wish her well. She seems to be an intelligent and caring young woman with a wonderful sense of humor and a gift for expressing her observations and feelings. This is by far one of the best books I have read in a long time.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Dayna

    I don't really know how to say this nicely, so I'm just going to come out and say it: I don't really like Carole Radziwill. I did not enjoy her narrative voice at all. The whole time I was reading her memoir, I kept thinking to myself, I don't like you. She seems self-centered and definitely has a case of "poor me". Poor me, nobody in my husband's family likes me...poor me, my husband won't admit he's sick and take care of himself, so I have to do it...poor me, poor me, poor me. I'm not I don't really know how to say this nicely, so I'm just going to come out and say it: I don't really like Carole Radziwill. I did not enjoy her narrative voice at all. The whole time I was reading her memoir, I kept thinking to myself, I don't like you. She seems self-centered and definitely has a case of "poor me". Poor me, nobody in my husband's family likes me...poor me, my husband won't admit he's sick and take care of himself, so I have to do it...poor me, poor me, poor me. I'm not diminishing what she went through, because I'm sure it was hard, but she tries so hard to make herself relate-able, and I couldn't relate to her at all. She speaks of everyone in her husband's family in such a derogatory manner, it really turned me off. And the name dropping...ugh! It drove me nuts. Then a friend told me Ms. Radziwill stars on the Real Housewives of New York, and I REALLY didn't like her after that.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    “The dandelion is a gawky yellow flower that blooms and then collapse into a soft, clumsy down that little children blow wishes on. There was a sea of dandelions in our back yard on Madison Hill, and Grandma Binder, swinging her scythe, would mount a futile attack on them in her housedress and apron. They grew into a clotted forest of long, milky necks in the backyard, and the best she could hope for was just to cut them down to stubs. It starts with one slouchy weed – pluck it out and it’s “The dandelion is a gawky yellow flower that blooms and then collapse into a soft, clumsy down that little children blow wishes on. There was a sea of dandelions in our back yard on Madison Hill, and Grandma Binder, swinging her scythe, would mount a futile attack on them in her housedress and apron. They grew into a clotted forest of long, milky necks in the backyard, and the best she could hope for was just to cut them down to stubs. It starts with one slouchy weed – pluck it out and it’s gone. You never quite remember, can’t pinpoint the time between when there was one week and a sea of them. There was a time when the thing seemed manageable, and then we were looking backward over our shoulders, running away from it.” ~ from What Remains by Carole Radziwill This memoir by the wife of the late Anthony Radziwill (nephew of the late Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and cousin [and best friend:] of the late John F. Kennedy, Jr.) lays out the life C. Radziwill lived as a young girl, a budding journalist, a young woman in love, a fighter, and one who lost more than seems imaginable in only three weeks' time. for more see... http://fromichelle.blogspot.com/2009/...

  20. 4 out of 5

    Katie

    I couldn't put this down - yes, appealed to the voyeur in me: The Kennedys, The Radziwills - but it wasn't a gossipy book. There is the pain and tedium of a long, horrible illness juxtaposed with the sudden death of JFK Jr and Carolyn Bessette. It is also a lovely story of friendship between Carole and Carolyn: two regular girls tip-toeing as they navigate marrying into the Kennedy family, and at least they have each other, until they don't. A lovely book.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Patrizia

    I would have liked this memoir a whole lot better if Carole Radziwill hadn't gone out of her way to insult me on page 20. There it is, as the capper to a meditation on the random nature of fate. Two beautiful people die tragic deaths: a popular girl in junior high school and Radziwill's beautiful best friend a quarter century or so later. In both cases, the tragedy becomes a touchstone for people outside the victims' immediate spheres. Same as it's ever been for thousands of years. See the I would have liked this memoir a whole lot better if Carole Radziwill hadn't gone out of her way to insult me on page 20. There it is, as the capper to a meditation on the random nature of fate. Two beautiful people die tragic deaths: a popular girl in junior high school and Radziwill's beautiful best friend a quarter century or so later. In both cases, the tragedy becomes a touchstone for people outside the victims' immediate spheres. Same as it's ever been for thousands of years. See the heartbreakingly beautiful communal laments composed in conjunction with the Adonia, for example, an ancient Greek religious festival commemorating the death of Aphrodite's lover Adonis. People grieve, of course, according to their own abilities, and not everyone has the advantage of Carole Radziwill's literary education or fastidious nature. Some people people grieve messily and vulgarly. Yet the intensity of what is essentially a collective -- for which read "second-hand" -- emotion may not be any less even though it is more diffuse and disconnected from its primary source. So it was for me. I picked up this book, frankly, not because I'm interested in Carole Radziwill, Special Snowflake, but because I wanted to hear more about JFK Jr.'s death. My late mother was utterly obsessed with the Kennedys. I've always dismissed them as a family of opportunists. But I've always tremendously admired Jackie O, whose quote about parenting -- If you bungle raising your children, I don't think whatever else you do well matters very much -- was kind of a compass point for me as a mother. Naturally, I felt a personal twinge when this woman's son died. Ms. Radziwill dismisses people like me as "weepy girls who barely knew her." Ho-kay. Fair enough. But then she continues: I gave a name to these sobbing girls later, when we were grown women. I called them tragedy whores. Damn, Carole! That's harsh! Why do you think I bought your book anyway? (Okay! I didn't buy her book! I checked it out of the library. But you get my drift.) Because your personal life story and reflections thereupon are so singularly compelling? No, dumb ass! It's because you're writing about famous people!!!! So, Carole is a snob. I find it hard to feel entirely sympathetic toward a protagonist who's a snob, no matter how tragic her narrative is. Radziwill's a solid writer, although no where near as good as she thinks she is. For example: I would have red-penciled much of her purple-prosey meditations on Fortune (her capitalization) or, at least, shoved them toward the back of the book so that the reader -- by this point, presumably invested in her story --would actually be motivated to read them rather than skim over them. I wanted to like this book more! The Real Housewives of New Yorkis one of my not-so-secret vices, and of course, I was totally on Carole's side in #bookgate!!! (Yo, Aviva! Isn't your husband's cousin Fran Leibowitz? How can you not know anything about the way real writers work?) Plus I went to Hunter High, so Carole is kinda on the home team! But, honestly? What Remains is a B-.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Tanya W

    For me, I have a hard time relating to Carole. I dislike the feeling of judgment I sometimes feel when I read, but all in all I think it's good to be able to take our values and view of the world and allow ourselves to judge books (the authors kind of put themselves out there to be judged by their writing). I can see how this was probably cathartic to write, but I was sometimes disappointed in the author and her view of things. I particularly thought her estimation of "tragedy whores" ("embroiled For me, I have a hard time relating to Carole. I dislike the feeling of judgment I sometimes feel when I read, but all in all I think it's good to be able to take our values and view of the world and allow ourselves to judge books (the authors kind of put themselves out there to be judged by their writing). I can see how this was probably cathartic to write, but I was sometimes disappointed in the author and her view of things. I particularly thought her estimation of "tragedy whores" ("embroiled in virtual grief and the illusion of heartbreak") was a bit disturbing and uncalled for... how can she judge others and the way they grieve and the way they band together for solace... I thought it was an extremely dim view of women... she can't know their motives. I think that particular example is more of a statement about her own emotions and shows a great lack of love and tolerance in general towards other people... especially towards the teenagers that inspired that insult... I mean come on, if you can't look back on the people you know in high school with tolerance and kindness when you are in your late 40's, what have you learned in life? Some people I wouldn't have related to at all in high school have proven to be outstanding women. Okay, I'm done with that tirade. Well, not quite, isn't being a journalist the ultimate "tragedy whore" job? It also seemed that maybe she was passive in the way life happened to her when it came to marriage... I suppose that is sort of the way things happen in many relationships. I didn't like the episode of sneaking away from her peers to hang out with a married male journalist all day in a sort of platonic tryst... I'm wondering why she shared that. It's a thing I don't want to understand and am glad that I live in a somewhat naive world that keeps me far away from any situation that would be considered disloyal or fence-sitting when it comes to marital fidelity. Nevertheless, the book has it's interest factor... like another reviewer compared it to tabloid material. I don't envy Ms. Radziwill and hope for her the best going forward, she has experienced a lot of loss and is obviously a woman with many talents and strengths. I believe the notes below are from this book... and if they aren't, I apologize: Very little, if anything, of what we fear will come to pass. and if it does, your life will somehow continue... You go through what remains and there isn't a lot that's meaningful, except your memories

  23. 5 out of 5

    Bernadette Walsh

    I have to say, after the first 40 pages or so (which felt a little disjointed to me, as if the author was "warming up"), I was completely hooked on this book. And to see the bold faced names presented in such a human light was compelling. What was even more compelling was how Ms. Radziwell presented such a searingly honest portrayal of the pain of being a helpless witness to the ravaging power of a horrible disease. I read this book in two days. Ms. Radziwill is a wonderful writer and I look I have to say, after the first 40 pages or so (which felt a little disjointed to me, as if the author was "warming up"), I was completely hooked on this book. And to see the bold faced names presented in such a human light was compelling. What was even more compelling was how Ms. Radziwell presented such a searingly honest portrayal of the pain of being a helpless witness to the ravaging power of a horrible disease. I read this book in two days. Ms. Radziwill is a wonderful writer and I look forward to reading some of her fiction. Despite how much I enjoyed this book, I only gave it four stars instead of five for a few reasons. First, I felt like the portrayal of her husband was fuzzy compared to her vivid portrait of the other characters, like Carolyn and John. Perhaps that is because when you're so close to someone it is hard to see them objectively. Perhaps it was too painful to provide more detail. Whatever the reason, as a reader I felt distant from him, and it was really her pain I connected with rather than his. Second, she emphasized how much this famous family valued their privacy and what great lengths her husband went to to keep up appearances. Yet, she exposed all of them in detail. While of course this was her life and her story to tell, it still held a whiff of betrayal to me. Even the dead have rights to their secrets and I almost felt like I'd seen and heard things I shouldn't have. I picked this up because I am a real housewives fan. However, it is hard from me to reconcile the articulate, intelligent, sensitive woman in the book to the vapid creature on screen. I hope as the season progresses we'll see more of the Carole presented the book. I hope even more that the Carole in the book still exists and hasn't been completely transformed into the character presented on Bravo. Bernadette Walsh http://www.bernadettewalsh.com

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    I only heard of this from my Bravo TV vice, but Carole Radziwell is a whole different Housewives animal. This memoir of three wrenching deaths in quick succession is brutal, open and honest. It's kind of nice to see her on RHONY because she has a lightness about her in addition to her seriousness that shows that she has weathered this storm. I really believe she captures the process and aftermath of loss better than Joan Didion, who I find cold. "There is an imperceptible shift of a life in the I only heard of this from my Bravo TV vice, but Carole Radziwell is a whole different Housewives animal. This memoir of three wrenching deaths in quick succession is brutal, open and honest. It's kind of nice to see her on RHONY because she has a lightness about her in addition to her seriousness that shows that she has weathered this storm. I really believe she captures the process and aftermath of loss better than Joan Didion, who I find cold. "There is an imperceptible shift of a life in the moment of time between the event and the knowing. After the thing has happened, but before someone has said it/ It's the moment before you pick up the phone and something is announced. 'They're not here yet and I was just wondering, are they there? With you?' When the thing is still yours to lose. It's not real until you say it out loud. That is what it feels like, the click between one life and another. The blink of time between the ways things are, and then never the same again. Like changing the channel on a television. It's this way-click-and now it's this. This, and then this. Fate. Fortune."

  25. 5 out of 5

    Leigh Kramer

    This drew me in right from the start. Carole Radziwill is a fantastic addition to the Real Housewives of New York. She was an award-winning ABC News journalist for 15 years and married to Jackie O's nephew. Her husband Anthony was diagnosed with cancer shortly after they married and his cancer treatment became the focus of their next 5 years together until his death. One of the book's notable gems: "'Metastatic' is a clean, unemotional word, but in layman's terms it means, 'You're screwed.'" She This drew me in right from the start. Carole Radziwill is a fantastic addition to the Real Housewives of New York. She was an award-winning ABC News journalist for 15 years and married to Jackie O's nephew. Her husband Anthony was diagnosed with cancer shortly after they married and his cancer treatment became the focus of their next 5 years together until his death. One of the book's notable gems: "'Metastatic' is a clean, unemotional word, but in layman's terms it means, 'You're screwed.'" She really captures some aspects of life with cancer, including insights from the lens of a caregiver- often cancer's secondary victim. Three weeks before Anthony's death, his cousin John F. Kennedy Jr. and his wife Carolyn Bessette Kennedy, one of Carole's closest friends, died in a plane crash. Tragedy upon tragedy. Radziwill writes sparsely and respectfully, avoiding name dropping and the sort of gossip easily attached to the Kennedy family. Her recollections are often warm and witty and she writes of grief in a way only fellow mourners can understand.

  26. 5 out of 5

    CJ

    Confession is good for the soul, right? Here's my latest, I absolutely love watching The Real Housewives of New York City. There is something so compelling about following someone around in their "daily" life and just watching - must be the voyeur in me. So Carole Radziwill was one of the newest housewives this last season and I found I didn't much like her. She wasn't as vibrant as the other housewives. I picked this book up because she spoke very little about this chapter in her life on the Confession is good for the soul, right? Here's my latest, I absolutely love watching The Real Housewives of New York City. There is something so compelling about following someone around in their "daily" life and just watching - must be the voyeur in me. So Carole Radziwill was one of the newest housewives this last season and I found I didn't much like her. She wasn't as vibrant as the other housewives. I picked this book up because she spoke very little about this chapter in her life on the show, but it seemed to inform everything she did. I'll say this, she may not be much of a housewife, but she's a fabulous writer! There are depths to Ms. Radziwill that were not even hinted at during the ROHNY season. I came away not only respecting her, but actually liking her a lot more than I expected. She was brutally honest about her husband's struggle with cancer as well as her own struggles. It's painful and uplifting at the same time. Beautifully written, I sped through it in two days.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Eva

    4.5 - this book very unexpectedly ripped my heart out.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Dorilyn

    I read it for our book club. It was well written & allowed readers a glimpse of life in the Kennedy family. The topics of cancer, illness, friendship & death allowed for many discussions.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Gabriella

    Just finished reading this this morning and wanted to write a short review. I think we all have illusions and envious feelings about the lives of the wealthy, but I finished this book feeling that perhaps the rich are anything but lucky! Carole DeFalco is an TV journalist who marries Anthony, the son of Lee Radziwill, Jackie Kennedy's nephew. Radziwill's great boyhood friend is John F. Kennedy, Jr, so when Carole meets his girlfriend Carolyn Bessette, who's from a similar humble upstate NY Just finished reading this this morning and wanted to write a short review. I think we all have illusions and envious feelings about the lives of the wealthy, but I finished this book feeling that perhaps the rich are anything but lucky! Carole DeFalco is an TV journalist who marries Anthony, the son of Lee Radziwill, Jackie Kennedy's nephew. Radziwill's great boyhood friend is John F. Kennedy, Jr, so when Carole meets his girlfriend Carolyn Bessette, who's from a similar humble upstate NY background to her own, the two become best friends. Carolyn is shiny and glamorous and loving, and she helps Carole endure the depressing cycle of cancer treatments that her husband, Anthony, has to go through, starting shortly after their wedding. The memoir is partly about Carole's marriage to Anthony, but is also a loving valentine to Carolyn. It seems that the two great same-sex friendships, Anthony's with John and Carole's with Carolyn, dominate the book. With skill and honesty, Carole draws a picture of her marriage to Anthony that's unsentimental. She shows the hollowness of her marriage: while there's devotion there, watching her husband fade away over five years kills any hope for Carole, and the two don't talk honestly about his disease. And then... JFK Jr. and Carolyn and her sister Lauren die in that famous plane crash in 1999, just before Anthony himself dies, aged 40. The language here is beautiful. The reader feels for Carole and understands how her world has been permanently and devastatingly rocked. It does seem that in her relationship with Carolyn she got to a deeper place of love than in her relationship with her husband--and that's what, for me, gave the book its special poignancy.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jenny

    Sigh. I wanted to like this book, but I didn't. Her story evoked my irritation rather than my sympathy, and that made me feel bad. It's not very nice to look at someone whose husband is dying of cancer and roll your eyes at their suffering, but time and again, this is what I was doing. I wanted to tell them both things such as: Not everyone has three years of really good health (i.e. going to the gym and running a few miles a day within weeks of each surgery) after receiving a terminal diagnosis. Sigh. I wanted to like this book, but I didn't. Her story evoked my irritation rather than my sympathy, and that made me feel bad. It's not very nice to look at someone whose husband is dying of cancer and roll your eyes at their suffering, but time and again, this is what I was doing. I wanted to tell them both things such as: Not everyone has three years of really good health (i.e. going to the gym and running a few miles a day within weeks of each surgery) after receiving a terminal diagnosis. Not everyone gets to take vacations to Cuba/Italy/guided adventure tours in Alaska/trips to Paris/more vacations to white-sand-beaches when they are recovering from surgeries from cancer. Not everyone has John F Kennedy Jr. for a best friend who can make arrangements for them to get into the best-of-the-best hospitals and see the top specialists. Not everyone has a personal yoga instructor come to their first chemotherapy appointment. We are all going to die, and to know five years in advance is something of a gift. To have the wealth and connections to receive the very best treatment is also a gift, or maybe it's more of a curse, because it gives the illusion of control and encourages the inability to accept a loss of power. At the very least, couldn't you say goodbye or thank you? No. Instead he keeps working and pretends (up until his last breath) that he's going to recover and she talks about fashion and drop names of famous people and feels sorry for herself. Most likely, I've completely misunderstood this person and her experience. I had this disconnect, this "I just don't quite get you" feeling from the beginning of the book.

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