Carole Radziwill was raised in Suffern, a small town in upstate New
York. She spent summers with her grandmother in Kingston, in a
house overflowing with assorted, very colorful relatives. Early on
Carole realized that she wanted to experience the world beyond the
small towns she knew. Watching the space shuttle Challenger
explode on national television was a turning point in Carole's
life. She immediately realized what it was that she wanted to do
--- she wanted to tell the story, not watch it unfold on
Armed with natural curiosity and a strong work ethic, Carole, a
19-year-old student at Hunter College, began her journalism career
as a humble, unpaid intern for ABC. She was a quick study and soon
became a production secretary for "Closeup." Before long she was
traveling to Cambodia for "Peter Jennings Reporting." Carole was
very well-suited for the career she chose.
It was at ABC where she met her Polish prince, Anthony Stanislas
Albert Radziwill, nephew of Jackie Kennedy. A slow-starting
attraction, often interrupted by their careers, turned into
something serious, and culminated in Anthony and Carole's wedding
in 1994. This would not be a typical marriage with children and
happily ever after, although the newlyweds did not realize it at
the time. It would be a threesome: Anthony, Carole, and Anthony's
Anthony and his famous cousin, John F. Kennedy, Jr., were like
brothers growing up. As adults they still played clever practical
jokes on each other, a game they referred to as "I got you." Carole
and John's wife, Carolyn, became confidants and best friends. The
two young couples had a great deal in common and were together
whenever their busy schedules permitted.
The book details Anthony's struggles with his illness and Carole's
role in managing it, as if cancer could be managed. Anthony was the
stoic patient, Carole the patient's advocate. They had an unspoken
pact --- that Anthony would somehow overcome his disease. They
never admitted to each other that he would not. Carolyn was devoted
to Carole and spent hours at her side, buoying Carole's spirits and
encouraging her to take care of herself, too.
Three weeks before Anthony succumbed to cancer, John's small plane
crashed into the Atlantic Ocean killing John, Carolyn, and
Carolyn's sister. It was perhaps fate that Carole was the one to
report the plane missing.
There are three important relationships in WHAT REMAINS: the
brother-like bond between the two cousins, the close friendship of
their wives, and Anthony and Carole's marriage.
On the book jacket four Adirondack chairs sit on a deck on a sandy
beach. Three chairs face the ocean. A solitary chair faces land.
What remains for Carole are the memories of fate, friendship and
love, for it is her chair that faces land (life). Anthony, John and
Carolyn's chairs all face the ocean.
WHAT REMAINS is a testimony to the human spirit. It is beautifully
and honestly written. The reader feels he or she has peeked into
the author's soul and glimpsed courage, wisdom and love.
Reviewed by Carole Turner on January 24, 2011
What Remains: A Memoir of Fate, Friendship, and Love