The memory of things by Gae Polisner published by St. Martin's Press was like a magnet to me because it treats a theme very dear: the terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center on Sept. 11th 2001.
Time passed by but the memory of that horrible moments forever in our souls. It's an interesting book The memory of Things because there is sufferance, private and public but mainly private so if you lived that moments you won't precipitate again in that horrible sensations but you will live the moments of the attacks with the sufficient emotive distance, where possible.
Kyle Donohue is a teenager of 16 years. The day of the terrorist attack at the Twin Towers, close to the scene of the tragedy.
And he starts. As many many other people, he starts...He starts to walk, to pass through the Brooklyn Bridge for return home.
For going somewhere. Distant from that horror. Distant from that absurd massacre. Distant from what it appears to be a nightmare.
And while he was walking, while he was running away he met this girl. She was wearing this strange wings, maybe she is a dancer, maybe an apparition, anyway she is covered by ash from the head to her foot. She was close to that nightmare thinks the boy. He decides to bring her home although he doesn't know anything of her, but solidarity is important in particular in moments of difficulty.
In Kyle's mind his parents. His mom and sister to LAX, the international airport of Los Angeles. They had to return home, but now?
And his dad in the NYPD as a detective...Will he be save?
Once returned home Kyle can't relax. There is uncle Matt to take care of. He has had a bad incident some months ago and in a second the old viveur, women, good life, he was a great social guy, completely gone. Now his uncle has many difficulties. For speaking, for living a decent life. He needs extra-care.
These ones told in the book are the first days, starting from Sept 11th 2001 of the...After.
This teenager will take care of this girl, who, per days doesn't remember anything of her. Who is she? He discovers something in the while but.. Her name?
Why doesn't remember anything? What is amnesia?
How can she recover soon? Kyle will also try with some mental exercises for the girl, the same exercises of his uncle Matt.
An uncle with the brain devastated, the mom and sister to Los Angeles, his dad at Ground Zero, a girl who doesn't remember anything...Kyle is the only person in that house able to keep everything under control.
This teenager is responsible and mature. He cooks, he helps his uncle, he tries to keep cheerful the girl, he cleans the house, he goes out with her (one day they will also go in a magical place where a lady will read his hand) trying, trying to live the normality of this life in the abnormality and monstrosity of the events that in the while were going on, also falling in love for this mysterious girl.
He would want to speak with his dad of this girl, but for a reason or another, they were moments of great agitation, he always give up. Once returned home they will speak.
And the girl after all will remember... And another name and another sad and sweet story will be written.
It's a tender book, delicate, because the terrorist attacks lived under the private various crosses that a family can experience in the privacy of the house.
So, there are sporadically some news, there is of course the event of the attacks at the WTC, but there is also another important message: that the show must go on.
Life, and this one is a great comfort also in moments of big disgrace don't leave us other chance than to continue to live. To going on. It's the biggest gift presented us by life apart...Living.
And Kyle will continue to live his daily routine. He has many thoughts for his age and he feels sadness for many situations, but he is also a strong teenager able to cope with all of it.
Beautiful book, I strongly suggest it to everyone! Sure it is written for teenagers but trust me it's a good balsam also for adults.
I thank NetGalley and St.Martin's Press for this book.
Anna Maria Polidori