Carole Radziwill,
What Remains, A Memoir of Fate, Friendship, & Love
(Scribner, 2007)

Carole Radziwill started out with a life that was mostly ordinary. She is an average girl who goes to public school and works at Caldor, who also harbors a strong desire to move out into the world and accomplish something. She manages this through hard work and determination, which eventually lands her an internship at ABC News, for whom she travels the globe. Here she meets Anthony, the man who will become her husband, and who teaches her what bravery and courage are all about.

Broken into sections with titles that mirror and neatly compartmentalize the stages of her life, Radziwill reflects upon her relationship with cancer as her husband fights this relentless disease almost from the beginning of their relationship. His close relationship with his cousin John becomes an essential bond during his battle. A close friendship is forged between Carole and John's wife Carolyn, and the foursome become inseparable. Carolyn always knows just what to say and do, and her company becomes indispensable to Carole. Yet suddenly, Carole's support system is cruelly ripped from under her late one night. Her world changes with one phone call. The loss of these two people who are central in her life is unimaginable. Sadly, that is not the end of loss for Carole.

In What Remains, Carole Radziwill had crafted a soul-searching memoir of a life turned upside-down by cancer and unexpected tragedy. The big names in the story are irrelevant; the friendship is center stage, along with a heart-wrenching look at what it's like to be the wife of a man valiantly fighting cancer to the very end. It is a story of hope, fate, loss and learning. How can a woman, who was once one fourth of a close-knit team, possibly soldier on all alone?

Carole Radziwill does it with grace.

book review by
Lee Lukaszewicz

11 November 2017

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