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Innocent Spouse: A Memoir by [Joynt, Carol Ross]
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Innocent Spouse: A Memoir Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 37 customer reviews

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Length: 290 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

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Editorial Reviews


"One can easily imagine the ladies of “The View” grilling Washington journalist Carol Ross Joynt about the financial and emotional soap opera chronicled in Innocent Spouse, her memoir of love, death, betrayal, survival, re-invention and major name-dropping."--The Washington Post

"There are many memoirs by women who don't know their husbands until they die...but none has the brutal irony of "Innocent Spouse...What makes this memoir exceptional is Carol Joynt's unending honesty. She doesn't spare herself --- on many pages, she really does come off like an idiot...But she perseveres. She learns. She gets it right."--Jesse Kornbluth,

"When a husband dies suddenly he often leaves his widow holding the bag. The choice is to crumble or carry on. Carol Joynt not only carried on but she came through victorious."--Joan Rivers

"Carol Ross Joynt is more than an Innocent Spouse; her indomitable spirit prizes through in this compelling memoir of growth and accomplishment.  In the flood of widow memoirs, hers will stand out as a story of overcoming financial ruin, professional and personal deceptions, as well as losing the man she believed was the love of her life."–Sally Ryder Brady, author of A Box of Darkness

"For those who read The Pilot's Wife by Anita Shreve and wondered how a loving husband could possibly keep a secret life hidden from his family, wonder no more: Carol Joynt reveals in sad and searing detail how it can happen and the price she, as a wife, had to pay to save herself and her young son."--bestselling author Kitty Kelley

"A searing personal journey where the pages fall away from one’s hand like meat from a bone. Ms. Joynt takes on her life with both a hatchet and a scalpel and is unafraid to turn an unerring spotlight on herself, examining the flaws and mistakes from every angle. Yet what emerges from thi...

About the Author

CAROL ROSS JOYNT started her three-decade career in journalism with the wire services and Time magazine before becoming a writer for Walter Cronkite on CBS Evening News. She went on to work as a producer and writer for NBC News, The CBS News Nightwatch, USA Today: The Television Show, This Week with David Brinkley, Nightline, Larry King Live, and Hardball with Chris Matthews. Upon her husband’s death, Joynt inherited his landmark Georgetown restaurant, Nathans, where she created an interview program, The Q&A Café. Today, in addition to hosting the show, Carol writes a weekly column about Washington for

Product Details

  • File Size: 3059 KB
  • Print Length: 290 pages
  • Publisher: Broadway Books; Reprint edition (May 10, 2011)
  • Publication Date: May 10, 2011
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004J4WMCC
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #769,656 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this for the Georgetown insider, tabloid style history it provided. But I finished this book and found myself wondering why I didn't feel more compassion for the author. This story is after all a story of tragedy - a husband is dead and a wife learns not only of a huge financial burden, but also of years of deceit. I think part the cause for my lack of compassion is the writing style I mention in the title of this review. It's written in the same somewhat clipped, monotone style of a Vanity Fair piece. Not a style that really grabs for the heart strings. For reference, the author also writes for the New York Social Diary website, and one can see some parallels in style. I also didn't care for the fact that in her description of various challenges, she spends a lot of time talking about how she was wronged, but doesn't seem to adequately acknowledge how lucky she was. More specifically, lucky to be surrounded by a cast of friends and acquaintances that provide her with an extraordinary amount of assistance. Clearly not everyone can line up a world-class trial lawyer to work case pro bono. Not all of us are able to have Bob Woodward intervene on our behalf. In summary, this book conveys a sense of narcissism that doesn't enhance the telling of the story.

Other reviewers have questioned whether the whole story is told in this book. I really couldn't say. I think of it as a story told by a one-time socialite, knocked a bit off her throne, who wants her story to the public in a way that reopens some of those old doors. So yes, it may come across as a bit of a whitewash.

All said, an interesting enough book from a Georgetown/DC tabloid gossip perspective, but I was expecting more.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Carol Joynt wants us to believe that her book about her life with her duplicitious husband should be a warning to all women. And, indeed it should. However, most women are not privy to well-placed friends, therapy, the best lawyers, and private schools for their children. This is a credible story, and I am sure she suffered, but somehow it is difficult to feel too sorry for her.

Carol and her husband, Howard, lived the life of luxury, several homes in and around DC, trips, expensive cars and boats, designer clothing and glorious vacations. Until one day, Howard died and the truth of how they had been living became too real. Howard had a much smaller trust fund than he said, it appeared they were living on the proceeds of Howard's bar, Nathans. Bills at the bar/restaurant were not being paid because all the money was going to their upkeep. As Carol dug deeper, she found she needed to find a very good lawyer because she owed the IRS a great deal of money. She was able to beat that with the assistance of a lawyer who worked for the IRS and wrote the 'Innocent Spouse' bill. But, still she had to support her son and send him to private school. Shd did receive some money to keep her going. She tried to save Nathans and worked hard to support herself and her son, But, alas, there was too much to do to rev up the establishment, and she had to declare bankruptcy. She supports herself with media jobs, writing for the New York Social Diary and interviews with celebrities.

This is an entertaining read at times, but could have used more editing. It is a cautionary tale for everyone, actually. We all should know what we are getting into in our relationships, and keep our eyes wide open at all times.

Recommended. prisrob 10-07-11

[[ASIN:B004J4WMCC Innocent Spouse: A Memoir]
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Format: Hardcover
When Carol Ross was 22, Walter Cronkite hired her to write the evening news. He had a crew of writers, but she was his personal writer, the one who sat next to him, just out of camera range. No fool he --- Carol Ross was not just young and talented, she was extremely attractive. Gossip followed, none of it true.

When I met her, she was 24. I had an instant crush, which resulted in a dinner or two. There were many guys meeting her after the broadcast that year, and I don't think she noticed any of us --- she was consumed by her job, and then she was consumed with leaving it to crew on a boat in the Caribbean.

Our next dinner was thirty-five years later. She had another name now, having married John Howard Joynt III. And a very different situation: Howard Joynt, the popular owner of a popular bar in Georgetown, had died. He left behind a five-year-old son and a very puzzled widow, for right after his death, the IRS showed up to demand $3 million in back taxes, penalties and interest.

Carol Joynt didn't have $3 million. And then there was the problem that couldn't be assessed so neatly --- she really hadn't known her husband. At all. He was tall and affable, quick to open the champagne, and he had cast himself as her protector, and she bought it all.

Oh, there were signs. Early in the marriage, he hit her. Pushed her out of the car at night, in a rainstorm, far from home. Drank himself into a hate-spewing jerk.

But then Howard would be his adorable self again. And Carol would go back to sleep.

There are many memoirs by women who don't know their husbands until they die, but none has the brutal irony of "Innocent Spouse."

The irony? She had to convince the IRS that she was an "innocent spouse.
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