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Innocent Spouse: A Memoirby Carol Ross Joynt
Synopses & Reviews
What would you do if, just weeks after your spouse's sudden death, you found out he was keeping secrets? Big secrets. Secrets that could cost you millions of dollars—and brand you as a criminal. Innocent Spouse is an eye-opening memoir that asks a provocative and disturbing question: Is it possible to really know and trust someone, even your spouse?
Carol Ross Joynt was a successful television producer in Washington, D.C. Her husband, Howard, owned Nathans, a legendary restaurant in Georgetown. From an outsider’s perspective, Carol and Howard lived a fairy-tale life—spending weekends at their Chesapeake Bay estate, rubbing shoulders with New York’s and Washington’s elite, and raising their beloved son, Spencer. But everything changed with Howard’s sudden death when Spencer was only five years old.
Like any widow, Carol was devastated because she lost the love of her life and her son’s father. But soon Carol had much more to cope with than her grief and new life as a single parent. As she was forced to take over her family’s legal and financial responsibilities, as well as run Howard’s restaurant on her own, Carol discovered that her husband had secrets, and one of them, an almost $3 million debt to the IRS, threatened to derail her entire life. And even though Carol didn’t know anything about the tax fraud—finances had always been Howard's department—no one cared. As his surviving spouse, legally, Carol was responsible.
As Carol picks up the pieces of her fractured life and copes with her sadness and anger, she learns to become something she’d never been before: self-sufficient. Poignant, eye-opening, and at times heartbreaking, Innocent Spouse is ultimately an inspiring story of strength and newfound independence in the face of loss and betrayal.
"When a spouse dies, the one left behind usually is left to face the unknown, and in Joynt's case 'the unknown' included over three million dollars owed to the IRS, mortgages on properties she had thought they owned outright, and a Washington, D.C., restaurant, Nathan's, that was a landmark to locals but a sinking money pit to the new widow. After her husband, Howard, died in 1997, Joynt struggled to keep her head above water, caring for their five-year-old son, continuing her career in journalism (she hosts the Q&A Cafe luncheon in D.C.), and taking on her new role as owner of Nathan's while maintaining her 'innocent spouse' status in her legal battle against the IRS. While Joynt's case may be extreme and will most appeal to fans of Nathan's restaurant, it is an honest telling of a woman betrayed by her husband whom she had loved and her determination to protect herself and her son. (May)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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 NewYorkSocialDiary.com.
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