Saturday, September 8, 2012

Paris.. A Love Story.. A Memoir by Kati Marton

I have read three of Marton`s previous books and very much enjoyed them. This book is a memoir that encompasses various parts of Marton`s life, a life that could never be described as ordinary. The daughter of Hungarian parents who were imprisoned during WW11, who managed eventually and at great risk to emigrate to the United States and rebuild a splintered life, Marton has seen more highs and lows than most people would manage to survive.
A high powered career and success in her own right, Marton has been married to two very powerful and high profile men, the late Peter Jennings and the late Richard Holbrooke, her relationships with both men were not always easy especially Jennings who was packed with insecurities that made him both cantankerous and horribly thoughtless when the mood took him although there was much love and two children shared between them and the bond that they shared through their children was never extinguished. Holbrooke, a diplomat of the highest order,was to put it bluntly an Officer and Gentleman and the love of Marton`s life, he died in 2010 with a suddenness that defies belief, his passing is almost a cruelness.
This is a lovely book in the best sense of that word, it is engaging and captivating, honest and real in every nuance, things that Marton could have left out are there and it is Marton`s honesty that resonates so vividly, it is a very brave person indeed who confess to their infidelity on the pages of a memoir which brings out so much of the goodness and richness of the life lived, but when I weighed up my feelings as the reader about it I decided that it only added to the reading experience and dishonesty would have been worse. Although relationships sweep across this book in all their glory, it is Marton`s relationship with the city of Paris which is the books axis.
Marton draws a wonderful portrait of Paris, it is exquisite and comes alive before your eyes and she beautifully links it with her every major experience, talk about making one wish to jump on the first available flight!
Marton is both brave and courageous and has picked her life up again as she walks through her grief at the loss of Holbrooke and the end of what she thought would be her reality and she has written a book that honours her late husband`s commitment to humanity, his larger than life character and his ability to reach out and make a difference, she writes with love and humour and almost remarkably without bitterness.
This book is only available in New Zealand by Special Order but is well worth the price of $41.00. It will I imagine soon be available through our Library System.

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