Praise of Fragile Innocence
"Dread settles in from the first sentence of James Reston Jr.’s Fragile Innocence, and it hovers, an unshakeable shadow, over this carefully crafted memoir. For a time, we manage to ignore it. Reston is a successful journalist happily married to lawyer Denise Leary. They are well-connected—he comes from a Washington family rooted "in privilege and plenty," and they have ambitious careers and three happy young children. But Reston’s opening sentence haunts us: "The year 1981 was the end of an era in our personal lives."
Reston’s emergence over time as a more visible character lies at the heart of this memoir’s power. Despite all the drama inherent in the plot—will Hillary survive? what will her life be like? how will her family keep from cracking apart?—the true power of this book comes in the story of discovery that accompanies it. When Reston and his wife were forced to confront the fact that their child would never become the person they envisioned, would never live up to what they once considered to be her full potential, they found themselves grappling with a host of complex and tender issues that come with severe disability: what it means to live a worthwhile life, how success is measured, even why we love each other.
Fragile Innocence is a page-turning read. Most of all though, it’s the story of a father’s discovery—the discovery that love trumps terror, that love finds expression despite seemingly impossible circumstances. It is, in the end, the story of a father’s love for his daughter." —Washington Post Book Review
Praise for James Reston Jr.’s Previous Books
Dogs of God
“Rarely has medieval history seemed so urgent.” —Kirkus Reviews
Warriors of God
“Prolific author and journalist Reston offers the reader a captivating story in a lucid and often humorous style. Warriors of God is a fine example of narrative history.” —Library Journal
The Last Apocalypse
“Boldly written. . . . Can the last millennium enlighten the next? Reston . . . gives us the question dipped in blood.” —Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Galileo: A Life
“A brilliant biography.” —Washington Post
“Fresh, sinewy, and altogether admirable.” —Los Angeles Times