What makes a marriage flourish? How does love mix with the law? How does a relationship work when the two people in it start out worlds apart?
These and many more intriguing questions are explored by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Lucinda Franks in this sensitive and colorful literary memoir. In it she describes — no, dissects — her thirty-six-year marriage to Robert Morgenthau, longtime Manhattan District Attorney, offering a behind-the-scenes look at both their unconventional life together and many of the high-profile cases he prosecuted.
Franks is a master at telling the intimate story of the unlikely couple. When they met in 1973, she was twenty-six, he was fifty-three; she was a self-styled radical, raised on protesting the Vietnam War; he was a well-known lawyer, a stalwart of the very establishment Franks was fighting against, a World War II veteran, the father of five children, and a solid representative of her parents’ generation.
Yet they fell in love, and that love grew and blossomed and has lasted for the past thirty-six years and counting.
How and why their complex relationship worked is the basis of this touching book, a book that is sometimes brutally honest, often tender, always written in well-crafted language. Franks calls their relationship “the love of two eccentrics,” and by plumbing it with intensity and candor she offers a deeply revealing look at a high-profile couple. It is a love story that’s written in the form of a memoir, but it is novelistic in its approach. Franks finds a way to show us how passion and politics united in her marriage, and each chapter makes us want to know more.
The author of an earlier memoir, My Father’s Secret War, Franks is a veteran writer with a well-developed sense of style and a flair all her own. Robert Morgenthau comes to life on these pages, as does the marriage that nurtures and sustains them both.
Linda F. Burghardt is a New York-based journalist and author who has contributed commentary, breaking news, and features to major newspapers across the U.S., in addition to having three non-fiction books published. She writes frequently on Jewish topics and is now serving as Scholar-in-Residence at the Holocaust Memorial & Tolerance Center of Nassau County.