Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Paris: A Love Story

"I hope that my readers will also draw comfort from the fact that there are other lives beyond the one that one loses." ~ Kati Marton, NPR interview
 Paris: A Love Story was a book that is interesting to me because there is a great deal about Paris in it. While there is little about the historical Paris there is plenty about restaurants, cafés, hotels, parks, shops and glamorous condos, in as much as they have played a part in the life of journalist, author and socialite Kati Marton. I had not heard of Kati before; she is the former wife of the late ABC World News Tonight anchor Peter Jennings. The memoir has much about their stormy affair, as well as Kati's other affairs and the tragedy of an abortion, amid the excuses and regrets of an ex-Catholic trying not to have any "Catholic guilt". While separated from Peter, Kati began her relationship with diplomat Richard Holbrooke, who in time became her third husband. The backdrops of Paris and other exotic places give a hopeful romantic glimmer to happenings which in small-town America would be just plain tawdry. Also, the frequent mention of Hilary Clinton and other left-wing luminaries reminds the readers that they are reading about very important people, although not necessarily people I would personally enjoy sipping wine with on the Champs Élysées. However, I must say Ambassador Holbrooke (God rest him) comes across as warm and charming and Kati's dinner parties sound like fun.

According to NPR:
Kati Marton's new book is called Paris: A Love Story — but it's really more of a book about love and loss than one about the City of Light.

Marton, formerly a correspondent for ABC News and NPR, has written about her remarkable parents, who were Holocaust survivors and reporters in Hungary, and came to the United States after the uprising in Budapest. And she's tried to solve the mysteries around what happened to Raoul Wallenberg, the Swedish diplomat who risked his life to rescue Jews during World War II; and George Polk, the American journalist who was killed covering a civil war in Greece.

Yet Marton's name has also appeared in columns over the years because she was married to Peter Jennings, the late ABC News anchor, for almost 15 years; their occasional trials, strayings and separations became items. Jennings died in 2005; by then Marton was married to diplomat Richard Holbrooke. Their 15-year marriage ended with his death in 2010.

Many of her happiest and most vexing moments were spent with those men in Paris — and Marton tells NPR's Scott Simon that writing her new memoir was a kind of healing experience. (Read entire article.)
Other than helping me conjure up images of what it is like to be in Paris while independently wealthy, I enjoyed reading about Kati's exciting years as a foreign correspondent. Her fluency in French and other languages opened many doors for her, thanks to her Hungarian parents, once political prisoners of the Communist regime. As dissident intellectuals, they provided her with an excellent education. Many fascinating geopolitical happenings of the past three or four decades are resurrected in the memory by Paris: A Love Story. The unique point of view offered on those world events alone makes the book worthwhile. Share

1 comment:

julygirl said...

Paris is a lovely city made by humans for humans.....but today I sat on my porch on the Eastern Shore of Maryland and basked in the April magnificence God's creations in lively sync with one another.