Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Paris: A Love Story by Kati Marton
Paris: A Love Story is the seventh book, and the most personal one for the former journalist. She takes us into her life by revealing her long affair with the city of Paris. The young girl who fled from Hungary to America with her family in 1957 always longed to return to Europe. Her love of Paris was born when she made her first trip there at the age of eighteen. And, she knows how important Paris was to her life. "In a way, every story with Paris at its heart is a love story. So is mine. It is where I fell in love, first with the city, then with the man who became the father of my children. Then, in middle age, I found lasting love in Paris with Richard."
Marton's memoir is the story of a an ambitious young woman who fell in love with a fellow journalist, Peter Jennings. But, her ambition and his jealousy and insecurity sometimes collided. Marton is honest in telling the story of their relationship and the flaws, including her own. Their marriage lasted fifteen years, until she could no longer take it any more. Her first Christmas after the collapse of her marriage wore her down, but it was Richard Holbrooke, then the ambassador to Germany, who seized the opportunity to swoop into her life.
Paris: A Love Story is told by a mature woman looking back at the stages of her life. At each stage, Paris was there. It welcomed her as a young woman, but shook her up when she saw revolution first-hand. It was the place to rendezvous with a passionate journalist when she and Peter Jennings dated. And, it was the place she and Holbrooke felt most at home, their home halfway between Washington, D.C., and his work in the Middle East. And, after Holbrooke's collapse and untimely death, Paris became hers alone, a city for living every day, not knowing if there would be a tomorrow.
Kati Marton's memoir is open and candid. She doesn't hide her own mistakes.But, she doesn't hide her grief after the death of the men she loved either. The book is also a love story, on a grand scale, as she married two men who were often on the world's stage. In the end, though, it's the story of a woman who discovered Paris would always be a refuge and a home. Paris: A Love Story is Marton's tribute to the people she loved, and the city that brought her love.
Paris: A Love Story by Kati Marton. Simon & Schuster. 2012. ISBN 9781451691542 (hardcover), 199p.
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