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Book Review

Rehm Continues On Her Own


Diane Rehm has hosted The Diane Rehm Show on WAMU in Washington, D.C.—distributed by NPR—since 1979; the show has a weekly listening audience of 2.5 million. Currently, it is broadcast on KMUW and nearly two hundred other stations, on Sirius Satellite Radio, and internationally by Armed Forces Radio Network.

Her new book, On My Own, is a generous, thoughtful, and honest journey through one year of grief. In 2014, Rehm’s husband, John, died after refusing food while in the last stages of Parkinson's disease. Following his death, Rehm rebels against the limited options for end-of-life care, and navigates the emptiness of life without her husband of 50 years.

But this is not the portrait of a marriage, or family, nor is it a celebration of what was, or what the future might be. Rather, this is a chronicle of what it is like to continue to be a woman with a career and responding to grief, whatever that is. 

Rehm gives us an honest portrayal of her mostly happy marriage and the story of how she moved from the secretarial pool to her current position. Without a college degree, she has achieved a great deal of success and acknowledges that her relevance will dissipate when she retires from her popular show.  

She also knows that she got where she is without a prescient vision, and she will move through future chapters in life, on her own, as she always has.