The first thing Eleanor does when she wakes is kiss the picture of Hick she keeps on the mantle in her bedroom.

From there it’s a whirl of activity. Committee meetings, state luncheons, diplomatic soirees; she’s forever in demand, forever traveling. At 49 she is as busy rediscovering herself as ever, with the same tireless, cheerful drive that she ever had. The children are grown and scattered around the country, they don’t need her, but so many other people do. That hasn’t been part of the job before, but what the hell, jobs grow to fit their holders, just as much as the reverse.

That first night word reaches them that Cermak has died of his wounds. It’s an ambiguous omen; a death to cloud a triumph, perhaps, but also a near-brush with Frank’s own mortality. Hard not to feel chosen, somehow; called to this.

She puts as much of this as she can in her nightly letters to Hick, and ends the day as she began, kissing the photo of the hard-bitten newswoman with the enthusiastic German Shepard. There’s comfort in that longing.