The Maytag plant in Newton, Iowa, closed its doors in October, 2007. On the last day, “some of the Maytagers unlaced their work boots, placed them neatly side by side, and walked to their cars in their socks, their boots symbolizing what they were leaving behind, the part that could not come with them on the next part of their journey.”
Elizabeth Edwards left her boots behind when her son Wade died. It happened again when she was diagnosed with cancer. And when she learned of her husband’s infidelity. Then came the final blow: her cancer had returned, and it was inoperable.
My guess is John Edwards has been a philanderer for most of his life. That Elizabeth Edwards knew of his dalliances, but because they did not threaten the life she had built for herself and her children, she ignored them.
A friend who read Edwards’ first book tells me Elizabeth is glowing in her descriptions of this so deeply flawed man.
Is he so deeply flawed? Or did this couple, John and Elizabeth, climb too high and too fast up a shaky ladder, both so intent on grabbing the greatest of all brass rings, they began to believe they were invincible? Then came the storm. The perfect storm. Cancer. Rielle Hunter. Cancer.
What a pathetic creature, Rielle Hunter, to have brought it all down. Aspiring actress. Second rate videographer, if that. Opportunist. “You are so hot,” she said to John Edwards. Now we know where her talents lie.
All the while, Elizabeth was still reeling from the loss of her son. He died in 1996. “Tell me he is alive,” she said to the Highway Patrolmen who came to her door. They could not. “The halcyon days came to an end,” she writes.
I read a third of this book while I was on the elliptical trainer at my workout facility. They have a time limit – you’re only allowed thirty minutes on a cardio machine. I wish I’d been able to stay until I could finish the book. It’s that good.