What Remains

  • by Carole Radziwill
  • Narrated by Carole Radziwill
  • 5 hrs and 56 mins
  • Abridged Audiobook

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.


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)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

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.
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- Mary

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.
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- Cindhi

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-23-2005
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio