FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Sarah Breivogel, 212-572-2722
Publication: May 10, 2011
Carol Ross Joynt lived the modern American dream, balancing a happy marriage to a successful man, raising a young son, and managing her own powerful career—until suddenly, the dream died, leaving her broke and betrayed. In her new memoir, INNOCENT SPOUSE, she takes you with her as she battles to overcome it all. . . .
By Carol Ross Joynt
“An honest telling of a woman betrayed by her husband whom she had loved and her determination to protect herself and her son.” —Publishers Weekly
“Engagingly written . . .Very readable . . . inspiring.” —Booklist
“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.” —David Baldacci
“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.” —Kitty Kelley, investigative journalist and New York Times bestselling author
What would you do if, just weeks after your spouse’s sudden death, you found out he or she was keeping secrets? Big secrets. Secrets that could cost you millions of dollars—and brand you as a criminal. INNOCENT SPOUSE (Crown; $25.00; on sale May 1o, 2011), is an eye-opening memoir that asks a provocative and disturbing question: How well do you really know your spouse?
Carol and her husband, Howard, lived a privileged life in Washington, D.C. Howard was the rich, charismatic owner of the legendary Nathans saloon in Georgetown. Carol, a successful producer who began her three-decades-long career as a writer with Walter Cronkite, was producing for Larry King Live, where she actively booked sought-after guests, including Al Pacino, Elizabeth Taylor, Tom Cruise, Jacques Chirac, and Christopher Reeve. But the comfortable life they had built together was shattered one night when Howard suddenly died of pneumonia. Carol was devastated, but not just because she had lost the man she loved and was now raising their young son, Spencer, on her own. Shortly after his death, she learned that Howard had secrets, and one of them, an almost three-million-dollar debt to the IRS, fell right into her lap.
Growing up, Carol had always been savvy about her finances. On her own since high school, she was aware of every dollar that came in or out of her account. But that all changed when she met Howard. Like so many couples she knew, Howard enjoyed handling the family’s finances and Carol happily let him take the lead. She knew they made good livings, so she never questioned their comfortable lifestyle—nice clothes, a vacation home on the Chesapeake Bay, membership at a yacht club.
Carol argued that she had nothing to do with her husband’s business and didn’t know anything about the tax fraud, but no one cared. As his surviving spouse, legally, Carol was responsible for his debt whether she knew about it or not. Her only hope was to fight to gain the rare status of “innocent spouse”—a special designation for spouses who were unaware of their partners’ indiscretions before death or divorce.
Nothing would prepare Carol for the mess her life was about to become. Struggling to understand the legal jargon her team of lawyers would bring to the table on a daily basis, Carol was also busy raising Spencer as a single parent, trying to hold on to her job at CNN, and was under pressure to quickly learn the complex and often seedy world of running a restaurant so that she could keep Nathans, their main source of income, open and running.
INNOCENT SPOUSE is a multilayered story about more than just one woman who discovers her life and marriage weren’t what she thought they were. It’s also a timely chronicle of legal and financial crisis and the challenges of keeping a small business alive. Carol Joynt’s simultaneously tragic and inspiring story is an undeniable reminder about the importance of knowing your own and your family’s financial health and the devastating consequences that could result from turning a blind eye.
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, 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 The Q&A Café. In 2008, Forbes magazine listed Nathans as one of Washington’s top “power restaurants,” due largely to The Q&A Café. Today, in addition to booking and producing her talk show, Carol writes a weekly column about Washington for the website NewYorkSocialDiary.com.
by Carol Ross Joynt
Crown • May 10, 2011
Price: $25.00 hardcover • 288 pages • ISBN 978-0-307-59209-5
Also available in audio and electronic versions