Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Book Review: That Day in September by Artie Van Why

That Day in September by Artie Van Why
88 pages (ebook)
Published: June 23rd, 2006
Genre: Memoir
Acquired this book: From the author, in exchange for an honest review
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About That Day in September: We all have our stories to tell of where we were the morning of September 11, 2001. This is one of them. In "That Day In September" Artie Van Why gives an eyewitness account of that fateful morning. From the moment he heard "a loud boom" in his office across from the World Trade Center, to stepping out onto the street, Artie vividly transports the reader back to the day that changed our lives and our country forever. "That Day In September" takes you beyond the events of that morning. By sharing his thoughts, fears, and hopes, Artie expresses what it was like to be in New York City in the weeks and months following. The reader comes away from "That Day In September" with not only a more intimate understanding of the events of that day, but also with a personal glimpse of how one person's life was dramatically changed forever.

My thoughts on That Day in September:
I really don’t know where to begin. I don’t think words can adequately describe the emotions that ran through me while reading this memoir. It was so heartbreaking that parts of it actually took my breath away.

Like many people, I’ve always had a fascination with New York City. I’ve never actually been, but I’ve seen so many movies, TV shows, and read so many books set in the city, that I feel as though I have been. The way Mr. Van Why describes the city, especially the area around the World Trade Centre, makes me wish I could have gone before 9/11 to see it as it was then. I can picture it all as he describes it, and feel his love of the city radiating from the pages.

Then 9/11 happened. The author’s description of the events of that day had me in tears through the whole thing. I can’t even imagine what it must have been like to be there, living that nightmare, seeing the wreckage and the dying people all around. Not only is it a miracle that Mr. Van Why survived, I think it’s a miracle that he survived with his sanity intact after all he saw and experienced.

It was interesting to read how, in the aftermath of September 11th, the whole city came together, grieved, supported each other, and shared their stories. Interesting, too, to learn how the events of that day affected people differently, and how it prompted Mr. Van Why to take a leap of faith and change his own life.

This short memoir was heartbreaking, beautiful, haunting, and candid – I think everyone should buy this book and read it, and honour those who were lost that day in September, and remember how lucky we are to be  here. Thank you Mr. Van Why for sharing your story with the world. Your courage is inspiring.

A few of my favorite quotes from the book:

"Perhaps I idealize it, now that it’s gone, but I don’t think so. It was an oasis for the worker in a tedious workday, a fascination for the visitor seeing the sights, a small world of its own that held some of the elements that make New York so dynamic, so interesting, and oh so alive. It had a breath of its own."

"I don’t believe I had witnessed the wrath of anyone’s God that morning. What I had been a witness to when I looked up at those burning towers was the ultimate evil that man is capable of. The evidence of just how deep hatred could run, how far it could go.
But I had also been a witness to something else that day—down on the ground. I witnessed the ultimate goodness of man, the evidence of how strong courage could be, to what lengths it would go."

"The sphere that sat atop the fountain in the plaza was amazingly found in all the rubble, though in pieces. It was lovingly put back together by the workers at the site and now stands in Battery Park; once again whole, though dented and damaged, but standing strong. Much like our city."

1 comment:

  1. I wanted to read this i just think it would be too sad :(


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