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What Remains: A Memoir of Fate, Friendship, and Love | [Carole Radziwill]

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

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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 19, 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.

©2005 Carole Radziwill; (P)2005 Simon & Schuster Inc. All rights reserved. AUDIOWORKS is an imprint of Simon & Schuster Audio Division.

What the Critics Say

"Carole Radziwill, a wonderful writer...gets at the essence of what matters: friendship, compassion, destiny." (Oprah Winfrey)
"Carole Radziwill has written an unsparing, unsentimental, and inspiring memoir. A spirited journalist with a novelist's eye for detail, she delivers a stunningly honest story about life's great joys and deepest pain." (Christiane Amanpour)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (225 )
5 star
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4.2 (158 )
5 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Andrea Cambridge, MA, USA 10-05-05
    Andrea Cambridge, MA, USA 10-05-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Kept me listening!"

    This is a very good listen, read by the author. I found myself unable to stop and listened to the whole book during one day. It's very much about her life with Anthony Radziwill and how their life evolves in his bout with cancer. It's about their lives as related to their jobs, family life and how that world intersects sometimes with Carolyn Bessett and JFK, Jr. Carole describes Carolyn Bessett as her best friend. I found the book down to earth, heart-warming and was amazed at how she dealt with losing her beloved husband only days after the death of JFK, Jr. and Carolyn Bessett, her best friend.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michelle Mystic, CT, United States 11-25-12
    Michelle Mystic, CT, United States 11-25-12
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    "painfully good"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    yes. i wanted to drive just to hear more of this incredibly intimate and powerful story. you felt like you were there, in the room, listening to their conversation; it was amazing.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cindhi 04-12-06
    Cindhi 04-12-06 Member Since 2006
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    "Tragedy and Immeasurable Courage"

    WHAT REMAINS is an amazing and heart wrenching account of real people, regardless of their fame or stature. The author clearly wrote it out of grief with no desire to capitalize on anyone's death. I was struck by the enormous weight placed on the shoulders of John Kenedy not just because of who he was but because of the part he played in his family. Always the one who new what to say or do to difuse tensions, bring people together, and comfort others; they waited for him to sweep in and make everything right in all situations. I could see why John loved Caroline over all others. She was an amazing and dynamic person with a heart the size of Alaska. She took it upon herself to adopt people she hardly knew and, like a rock, see them through to the very end. Tracing these individuals lives through tragedy, triumph and ultimate loss reminded me that it is no less difficult to be a human being regardless of one's station in life. I also realized that it had never crossed my mind that all these people had fascinating careers and personal aspirations seperate from their family fortunes. My heart was deeply touched and I now feel justified in my grief over the loss of these people I never knew.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    B. Cooley 07-06-15
    B. Cooley 07-06-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Eloquent and Beautiful"

    I was deeply moved by this book. Beautiful moments, heartwrenching and sometimes a punch in the gut.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    amy platte city, MO, United States 06-20-15
    amy platte city, MO, United States 06-20-15 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not empty and superficial"

    This is so beautifully done. I was so captured by the reading and the story. I had to stop it twice while driving because I was crying and couldn't see the road. A must hear.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    tillie 06-10-15
    tillie 06-10-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Touching but keeps wondering what will happen next."

    I felt like I was right there , imposing on some of the groups most private times in their lives.
    It was so sweet to hear her friendship with Caroline , while their husbands were close friends and family since they were children.
    To listen to carol go through her husbands illness to his death in such detail. I was so moved by their relationships.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    JJ Ottawa, Ontario 06-09-15
    JJ Ottawa, Ontario 06-09-15 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Well Written Well Read Enjoyable All The Way Throu"
    Where does What Remains rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    What Remains is one of the best audiobooks I have ever listened to. It is extremely well written with a compelling storyline and fresh perspective on what could framed as a ghoulish American tragedy.


    What does Carole Radziwill bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Radziwill's performance is smooth but real. The story is written from her perspective and hearing the author personally tell the tale makes it even more powerful.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    They came from different worlds. Circumstance brought them together. Fate tore them apart.


    Any additional comments?

    Highly recommended. A very good listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jessi 02-25-15
    Jessi 02-25-15 Member Since 2015
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    6
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    "Ughhhh"

    It brought me to tears several times. Poor Carole! What a great read, except early in it but that's ok

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary augusta, GA, United States 09-14-14
    Mary augusta, GA, United States 09-14-14

    Thank God for a mother who read to me all the time. If it were not for her I would not leave the house without an iPod.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I also give this book What Remains 5 Stars."

    I have listened to this book too many times to count. It is heartbreaking. Carole Radziwill tells the story of John Kennedy Jr's last flight. What draws me to this book is Carole's reading of her own story. She was a very close friend of John's wife. She and her husband the son of Lee Radzwill were enjoying the perfect life, a happy life. The he was stricken with Cancer. I don't want to tell you everything but this is a beautiful book. At one time I was a grief counselor trying to help people deal with loss. I Will admire Carole forever because of the things she did right and how like all of us who loose someone, what not to do. No it is not chock full of Kennedy stories, it is the story of 4 very good friends. So worth the listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan May Kenova, WV USA 08-12-14
    Susan May Kenova, WV USA 08-12-14 Member Since 2013
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    5
    3
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    "This book went straight for my heart"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Absolutely, yes! I bought the book and read it and then later bought the audible version to listen to in my car while driving.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The raw emotions that I could feel through the writing of Carole Radziwill The book had a very nice foundation so you get a feel of Carole's personality before meeting Anthony. Carole's friendship with Carolyn Bessette was beautifully described and reminded me of me and my best friends relationship.


    What about Carole Radziwill’s performance did you like?

    Ms. Radziwill's writing skills are quite evident and her ability to describe things make a visual picture in ones mind quite easy


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes, even though I had read the hard copy when it first came out, I found myself looking for reasons to drive somewhere so that I could listen to it


    Any additional comments?

    I am an avid Real Housewives fan, but I read this book before Carole was a cast member. I was very happy when she was cast because I like seeing that she is ok after a life changing tragedy (unexpected) collided with a life changing tragedy that was expected.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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