Our last book club selection of the year was What Remains by Carole Radziwill. This was my pick as I had heard good things about it. Some of us in the group like to read at least one non-fiction book per year, although others prefer strictly fiction books. This was sort of a compromise since it reads like a novel although it is a true story.
Carole grew up in a small town in New York State (Suffern, as a matter of fact, where Carrie went to Aidan's cottage for you Sex and the City fans), and worked for ABC news as a producer. There she met her husband Anthony who happened to be cousins with JFK Jr. When John John married Carolyn Bessette, the four of them were the best of friends. Anthony had cancer for the entire duration of their marriage and eventually died after five years. He died three weeks after John and Carolyn died in the plane crash.
I was originally interested in this because I loved JFK Jr. just like everyone else and was devastated when he died. I'm not sure if this was going to be a sort of tell-all about the Kennedys but it wasn't at all. John and Carolyn (and briefly Jackie) are characters in the book, and their loss is a central theme, but it is mostly a memoir about Anthony's cancer and their life around that. I thought it was really well written and insightful about how people deal with cancer and death. The Kennedy angle was an interesting background and I grasped onto any mention of them. Parts are quite sad though, and so heartbreaking when they realize John's plane is missing and they are trying to track down what happened.
We will be choosing our books for next year, so check in next week and I'll share our selections.