Jessica's books

The One and Only Ivan
Revolutionary War on Wednesday
Leprechaun in Late Winter
Ella Enchanted
The Courage of Sarah Noble
Plain Murder
Gone-Away Lake
Circling the Sun
Maggie and Max
The Haunting of Sunshine Girl
The Night Sister
Tuck Everlasting
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Bedknob and Broomstick
Mister Monday
Alice Through the Looking Glass
The Birchbark House
The Hobbit
The Witch's Daughter

Jessica's favorite books »

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Book Review: Where You Left Me by Jennifer Gardner Trulson

Where You Left Me

Synopsis (from Goodreads):  Lucky—that’s how Jennifer would describe herself. She had a successful law career, met the love of her life in Doug, married him, had an apartment in New York City, a house in the Hamptons, two beautiful children, and was still madly in love after nearly seven years of marriage. Jennifer was living the kind of idyllic life that clichés are made of.

Until Doug was killed in the attacks on the World Trade Center, and she became a widow at age thirty-five—a “9/11 widow,” no less, a member of a select group bound by sorrow, of which she wanted no part. Though completely devastated, Jennifer still considered herself blessed. Doug had loved her enough to last her a lifetime, and after his sudden death, she was done with the idea of romantic love—fully resigned to being a widowed single mother . . . until a chance encounter with a gregarious stranger changed everything. Without a clue how to handle this unexpected turn of events, Jennifer faced the question asked by anyone who has ever lost a loved one: Is it really possible to feel joy again, let alone love?

With unvarnished emotion and clear-eyed sardonic humor, Jennifer tells an ordinary woman’s extraordinary tale of unimaginable loss, resilience, friendship, love, and healing—which is also New York City’s narrative in the wake of September 11. Where You Left Me is an unlikely love story, a quintessentially New York story—at once Jennifer’s tribute to the city that gave her everything and proof that second chances are possible.

My Thoughts:  This was an emotional book.  After all, it is about 9/11.  I am not sure I would say I enjoyed it but it was a very interesting read.

Jennifer is indeed very lucky.  Yes, her first husband dies in 9/11 and that is heartbreaking in and of itself but she had tons of support.  She wasn't hurting financially, her parents moved in to help her out and she met and remarried another great guy.  She has a nanny, has a house in Hamptons and an Upper Westside apartment and yet with all this, I didn't feel like she appreciated all she had. 

I thought this book would be more about how she struggled to get by without her husband and the effects of 9/11 on the author but I really didn't feel that much of a struggle.  She was able to grieve without all the other burdens of how to pay the bills and get her kids to school.  She had people to do that for her. 

I did like how she figured out how to balance her love for her first husband with her love for her new husband.  Despite her wealth and support, losing your loved one in an event like 9/11 was horrible and no one should have to live through that.  I did cry at some parts in the book and I found other parts interesting and inspiring but on a whole it wasn't the best 9/11 memoir out there.

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