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Book Review: Kati Marton’s “Paris: A Love Story”

by Kimberly on February 21, 2013 · 1 comment

Kati Marton is a journalist, storyteller, wife, and mother. She has led what many might consider an exotic life: marriages to Peter Jennings and Richard Holbrooke, apartments in Paris and New York City, serving overseas as a foreign news correspondent for NPR and ABC News, a childhood in Hungary and a college life in Paris. She documents this and more in her 2012 memoir, Paris: A Love Story.

I was initially attracted to this book after hearing an interview with Marton on NPR, during which she read excerpts from her book and eloquently answered the interviewer’s questions. Although she’s an award-winning writer, I had never heard of Kati Marton. But after listening to her interview, I purchase her memoir from Audible to help keep me company on my hour-long commute.

Now, I wholeheartedly recommend this book with you.

Marton writes this book approximately a year after the death of her second husband, Ambassador Richard Holbrooke. She’s still deep in the grief cycle, but uses this opportunity to touch on and share elements of her life journey with the reader. Her childhood in Hungary, the jailing of her parents, and subsequent immigration to the US. Her experiences in Paris during the student revolution and overseas again as a foreign news correspondent. Her marriages and the transition from news journalism to award-winning writing. Her journey in discovering her Hungarian ancestry. Her life as an ambassador’s wife, then her abrupt transition to widowhood.

I recommend this book to you for one primary reason—Marton’s beautiful and eloquent description of her grief journey. As part of our music therapy training, we are introduced to the grief process and the impact it has on our clients. There are several times that I have stood witness as clients have processed through different stages of the grief journey.

But reading Marton’s account of her process brought the concept of grief and loss to a whole new level, especially to someone who—although I’ve had my fair share of challenges, disappointments, and hardships—has not experienced the deep and profound grief and loss described by Marton. Through her words, poignant and heartfelt, I was able to imagine for the first time what these emotions might feel like.

I am grateful to Kati Marton for sharing her very personal and moving story. It was a pleasure to read Paris: A Love Story and I hope feel the same way.

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