What Remains

A true American story about a girl from a small town who becomes an award-winning television producer and marries the son of a European prince and nephew of the late President John F. Kennedy – a glittery fairy-tale stitched with unthinkable tragedy. 

Carole Radziwill grew up in a small working-class suburb, in a large chaotic family.  Her life lessons were gathered from the stern Austrian stoicism of her mother’s family and the happy lunacy of her father’s. She came from a place that few people left, and struck out for New York City to find a different life. In this vivid and haunting memoir, Radziwill tells the story of her unlikely journey. Her career at ABC News led her into the jungles of Cambodia, a bunker in Tel Aviv, and the ruins of Angkor Wat. Her marriage to Anthony Radziwill led her into an iconic American family, and a friendship with an extraordinary woman, Carolyn Bessette Kennedy.

What Remains begins with loss and returns to loss. A small plane plunges into the ocean, carrying John Kennedy and Carolyn, Carole’s cousins-in-law and closest friends. Three weeks later Anthony died. He was diagnosed with cancer shortly before their wedding and his illness became the focal point of their five-year marriage. 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.

Radziwill has an anthropologist’s sensibility and a journalist’s eye on the customs and mores of American aristocracy—those born to power and those who find a way to claim it. This is a candid, intimate, and compelling story of love, loss and ultimately, resilience. 

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.


Carole Radziwill gets at the essence of what matters - friendship, compassion, and destiny.

Oprah Winfrey, O Magazine

A Small masterpiece..devastating and beautifully written.

Liz Smith, New York Post

Remarkable candid and moving…


Radziwill tells her story gracefully...in calm, dignified prose that fits such an unexpected and unimaginable loss."

The Plain Dealer

Carole Radziwill has written an unsparing, unsentimental, and inspiring memoir. A spirited journalist with a novelists eye foe detail, she delivers a stunningly honest story about life's great joy's and deepest pain.

Christiane Amanpour, CNN Chief International Correspondent

Powerfully affecting…a highly compelling read.


It's impossible not to admire the author's courage and devotion and skill.

New York Newsday

A moving testimony to the tenuous nature of love and life.

USA Today

Love and loss, family and friends, fate and fortune; these themes pervade this beautifully written, courageous and compelling memoir.

Library Journal (starred review)

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