NEW YORK — Donna Hanover is proof that life takes interesting twists.
Hanover, the first lady of New York City from 1994 to 2001, lived though a high-profile marriage and divorce to former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and has learned some lessons on the road to her first book, “My Boyfriend’s Back: True Stories of Rediscovering Love With a Long-Lost Sweetheart” (Hudson Street Press, $13.95).
Hanover, 55, forged a career as a news anchor, talk-show host and actress during her marriage, while raising two children, Andrew and Caroline. But her bitter and public divorce in 2002 left her wondering about her life’s direction.
A month after the divorce became final, Hanover was trying to adjust to being a single, working mother. She wasn’t expecting to remarry. Then the phone rang on a hot August day.
“I really anticipated that I would have some lonely times because I know so many fabulous women who have had trouble finding a good guy,” she said.
The person on the phone said, “Donna, it’s Ed. Ed Oster. I was wondering if you’re planning to go to the Stanford reunion?’’
Oster “was my high school love,” Hanover recalled in the book and in a recent interview. “He was also my college love until he broke my heart. I remember thinking to myself that I hoped it wasn’t a call about fund-raising.”
It wasn’t. Oster had read about Hanover’s divorce and curiosity took over. He was also divorced, had three grown daughters and was living in Newport Beach, Calif, where he practiced law. After a few dates their love was rekindled and they married Aug. 3, 2003.
Hanover said the idea for the book came from David Shanks, chief executive officer at Penguin Books, after he saw Carol Channing interviewed on TV about how she had reunited with junior high school sweetheart Harry Kullijian, when they were in their 80s. He also knew about Hanover’s marriage and about her experience as a broadcast and magazine writer.
Hanover said she decided to write the book because “I know so many fabulous women, they’re smart, they’re funny, they’re high achievers and they’re alone. I thought ‘I want people to know about this.’’’
A Stella McCartney sketch of a custom dress made from protein-based silk in partnership with biotech lab Bolt Threads. The dress will be displayed at The Museum of Modern Art's upcoming design exhibition, "Items: Is Fashion Modern?"