cover image Timeless: Love, Morgenthau, and Me

Timeless: Love, Morgenthau, and Me

Lucinda Franks. FSG/Sarah Crichton, $27 (400p) ISBN 978-0-374-28080-2

In this wondrously moving work, journalist Franks (My Father’s Secret War) explores her improbable love affair and 36-year marriage with longtime Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau. Bursting out of her repressed childhood in Wellesley, Mass., and radicalized by the Vietnam War, Franks became one of the few female journalists at United Press International, co-winning a Pulitzer Prize at age 24 for her sympathetic coverage of the Weathermen’s Diana Oughton. Morgenthau, a widower more than 30 years her senior with five children from his previous marriage, represented the generation of her parents: he was a WWII veteran, the son of F.D.R.’s treasury secretary, and a powerful attorney in New York City, first elected as district attorney in 1974. Yet the chasm of differences that separated the two actually fueled their partnership. Morgenthau got Franks hired as a reporter for the New York Times, thus allowing him to suggest sources and leak stories to the press through her, and, once married, the two often thought through his cases together (such as role-playing the Bernard Goetz positions). Franks writes passionately of this “love of two eccentrics”—she brandishing spontaneity and craving self-assurance, he rather self-contained and diffident—in her rather miraculous story of a transcendent love that is imperiled only by the specter of mortality. (Aug.)