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

What Remains by Carole Radziwill
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it was ok

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
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Reading Progress

May 12, 2013 – Started Reading
May 12, 2013 – Shelved
January 12, 2014 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-3 of 3 (3 new)

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Patrizia The "tragedy whores" line threw me out too. I mean, what the hell, Carole? Do you honestly think we're reading this book because it's about Carole Radziwill, Special Snowflake? I got news for you... :-)


Susan I thought the "platonic tryst" incident made Carole seem more relatable, and I imagine she ended up in that situation because she wanted to spend a few hours with a man who saw her as an attractive woman, rather than a nurse. Perhaps she shared it because she acknowledges that she's human?


Tanya W Susan wrote: "I thought the "platonic tryst" incident made Carole seem more relatable, and I imagine she ended up in that situation because she wanted to spend a few hours with a man who saw her as an attractive..."

No doubt... she is human and we are all human... and in a broad sense we are all brothers and sisters, children of God. I suppose I should cut her and others a little more slack when I write reviews... or just give up on a book when I realize it's not really my "type". As I go back to my review, I feel it says well how I feel about the book, but it also brings a feeling of compassion for Ms. Radziwill and what she has gone through in her life. I really hope she is doing well.


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