I was nowhere near New York on 9/11. I was on the other side of the country, and much like one of the POV characters, I slept through the whole thing and felt strangely detached from it. Most of the day is an indistinct blur, but I remember some things with absolute clarity. Like the nightshirt I was wearing when my mother told me the news. Where I was standing. Where Mom was standing. How I mistook her slight hysteria for glee at first and thought it was the worst joke delivery ever. How I didn’t want to tear myself away from the television but had to run some errands. How deathly silent it was in WalMart. How that silence unsettled me more than anything else.
This book brought all of that rushing back like it was yesterday. It was published nearly ten years ago, but it’s still relevant as hell.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we really came together, if we really found a common humanity? The hitch is that you can’t find a common humanity just because you have a common enemy. You have to find a common humanity because you believe that it’s true.
This is the second book of Levithan’s that I’ve read. I think I’m going to have to put him on my list of go-to authors for when I need my feelings put through a literary wringer.