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Paris: A Love Story by Kati Marton

Paris: A Love Story (edition 2012)

by Kati Marton

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1331190,390 (2.87)3
Title:Paris: A Love Story
Authors:Kati Marton
Info:Simon & Schuster (2012), Hardcover, 208 pages
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Paris: A Love Story by Kati Marton


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What do you get when you cross a tell-all celebrity memoir with two love stories -- one for the author's two famous husbands, the other for the most beautiful city in the world?

You get an uneven book that at times engrosses when it reveals little known or unknown details about Peter Jennings, the self-doubt crippled and emotionally abusive second husband of Kati Marton, actress, journalist, and writer, and her third husband, Richard Holbrooke, the great diplomat. At other, unrevealing, times, the book becomes a tourist guide to the "flanneurable" sections of Paris, shopping, and otherwise, celebrity and cafe name-dropping.

But it is, at its core, a book about grieving and the power of a city and its unremarkable remarkable people to heal the deepest wounds of one woman's soul. This reader was left grieving that it was not a more memorable memoir. ( )
  Limelite | Sep 29, 2014 |
In this no holds barred memoir, Marton chronicles her loves and losses in Paris, the city of her heart. Paris was where Kati found herself when facing loss, where she found love, and where she was happiest.

Read the rest of my review at: http://shouldireaditornot.wordpress.com/2012/09/10/paris-a-love-story-kati-marto... ( )
  ShouldIReadIt | Sep 26, 2014 |
This book is both a memoir, and a tribute to Marton's late husband, American diplomat Richard Holbrooke. But in order to tell the whole story, Marton must begin at the beginning, when she and her sister were temporarily separated from their parents (both journalists), who were jailed for 2 years in Budapest, Hungary for false charges of being spies before they were able to flee the uprising in 1956 to come to the United States. Marton was educated in the US as well as in France before diving into a career in journalism, herself. Married for awhile to Canadian-born journalist, Peter Jennings, they lived in England and New York and had 2 children before eventually divorcing. Marton later married American diplomat RIchard Holbrooke, the man who brokered the peace agreement in Bosnia, and was special diplomatic envoy to Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, the Middle East, among other places.

Though she began her career as a foreign correspondent, she eventually left journalism and began to write books full-time. Marton, raised as a Catholic, discovered accidentally while researching her book about Raoul Wallenberg, the Swede who saved thousands of Hungarian Jews from Hitler, that her grandparents were Jews who perished in the Holocaust. Her parents never spoke of this but after the discovery, Marton went on to write more about Jews, and escaping the Holocaust.

Always, though, she returns to Paris. It is the place that figures strongly in every stage of her life. She lived and studied there as a teen and young woman, she has family there (her older sister has lived in Paris for years), and it is the place that she and Holbrooke met and maintained a home, as well. All her happiest memories come back to Paris.

As often happens to me when reading an interesting and book, one thing leads to another; I hear a title of something or a name of someone and I want to learn more. I now want to read Kati Marton's other books (4 titles, in particular). I googled both her and Holbrooke's names and listened to some youtube speeches by Marton. I learned some history, added books to by ever-growing Mt. TBR. What more could anyone want? ( )
  jessibud2 | Mar 9, 2014 |
This is the love story of Kati and the city of Paris. From her college days to several romantic relationships..Pairs becomes Kati's center. The beginning of the book showed promise but quickly becomes repetitive through continuing french phrases, and lists of famous guests, friends and restaurants. I was disappointed there was not more depth to this book. ( )
  magnolia2 | Dec 4, 2013 |
Kati Marton is well known to many of us from her work as a TV news correspondent.  In this brutally honest memoir we meet a woman who professes a love affair with a city.  It is in Paris that she feels most at home.  It is in Paris that she finds her most exciting memories.  So it is to Paris that the story continually returns.  That said, the story still did nothing to inspire any awe of the city in me.  She speaks well of restaurants, apartments, all the glitterati she and her two husbands met with, but gave me nothing I could relate to or wish to journey to see.

As the daughter of Hungarian journalists, who were imprisoned by the Soviets during the Hungarian revolution in the 1950's and later escaped,  her roots are essentially European.  Her language skills are excellent.  She tells the story of her early womanhood from the perspective of her student days, then early career days careening around Paris.
There's barely a mention of her first young, ill-advised and quickly ended marriage.

When she goes to work for ABC, she finds herself enjoying assignments around the world, meeting famous and important people.  Her relationship to Peter Jennings, (ABC's European bureau chief and technically her boss) blossoms in spite of the fact that he was still married.  But she speaks of their 14 years of marriage, their children, their divorce, and his subsequent death from lung cancer almost dispassionately. 

There is somewhat more passion and emotion on display when she writes of her second marriage to career diplomat Richard Holbrooke.  Together they live a fairy tale, always returning to Paris whenever they had the chance.  His unexpected death from an aortic dissection in 2010 left her bereft.  She sold her apartment in New York, and returned to Paris.

The entire story however, including her confession to infidelity during her marriage, is written with a news reporter's detachment.  I couldn't help but wonder if this was written to justify her actions to herself, to work through some grief she couldn't internalize (or externalize?) or if it was just another reporting exercise--perhaps that's the only writing style she's capable of.  She certainly shared life with two of the most able, glamorous, intelligent, and competent men of her generation.  It's a shame we couldn't have seen more passion in her description of them. It's an okay book, one that is full of information, but to me at least, lacking in the emotion that one would expect from a woman in these circumstances.

A memorable quote : (when she wrote of her mourning after Holbrooke's death)

“For months letters arrive each day.” But Marton noticed a handwritten note, “addressed to Mrs. Richard C. Holbrooke in the tiniest handwriting I have ever seen.” It said: “I woke up this morning and thought of you, and of all the mornings you will wake up without Richard. Signed, Joan Didion.”
( )
  tututhefirst | May 8, 2013 |
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For Richard with love
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Like a human snowplow, I surge against the flow of chanting, banner-waving students pouring into the boulevard St.-Germain.
Grief is not a linear process. It hits you with a force when you least expect it.
The past should not imprison you . . . .
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In this remarkably honest memoir, award-winning journalist and distinguished author Marton narrates an impassioned and romantic story of love, loss, and life after loss.

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