Paris provides a backdrop for this absorbing memoir of love and painful loss, played out on the larger stage of world politics.
While walking the streets of Paris, former NPR and ABC News correspondent Marton (Enemies of the People: My Family's Journey to America, 2009, etc.) mourns her husband, Richard Holbrooke, who died suddenly in 2010. She writes about “experiencing the fluctuating rhythms of loss…grief crashing against a sudden zeal for life,” as she remembers the times she and Holbrooke visited their favorite city. She reminisces about her first trip there as a student, at the age of 18, and her return a decade later as a foreign correspondent heading ABC's Bonn news bureau. Conducting a passionate though tortured relationship with news anchor Peter Jennings, she would rendezvous with him in Paris between covering events in European hotspots. Despite suffering from a traumatic separation from her parents (during their imprisonment by the Hungarian government), a painful divorce from Jennings and Holbrooke’s death, the author writes of the moments when she is “filled with joy” at her good fortune in having been loved. The highlights of her story include her time in Bonn, during which she interviewed spies in Berlin, traveled to a Palestinian refugee camp, and covered political kidnappings by terrorists, and her later experience hosting notables during Holbrooke's stint as U.N. ambassador.
On a first-name basis with the political movers and shakers on a global stage, Marton has observed world politics in the making and makes space for readers on her catbird seat.