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What Remains: A Memoir Of Fate, Friendship, And Love (2005)

What Remains: A Memoir of Fate, Friendship, and Love (2005)

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4.13 of 5 Votes: 2
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0739458736 (ISBN13: 9780743276948)
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About book What Remains: A Memoir Of Fate, Friendship, And Love (2005)

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.

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.

Do You like book What Remains: A Memoir Of Fate, Friendship, And Love (2005)?

“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 RadziwillThis 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...

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.

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.

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