Stephen's Reviews > What Remains: A Memoir of Fate, Friendship, and Love

What Remains by Carole Radziwill
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Recommended to Stephen by: Mom.
Recommended for: People of JFK Jr.'s generation and those not afraid of the dark side.

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.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
July 14, 2008 – Finished Reading
September 14, 2008 – Shelved

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