Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Love Is the Higher Law, by David Levithan

Barnes & Noble

The lives of three teens—Claire, Jasper, and Peter—are altered forever on September 11, 2001. Claire, a high school junior, has to get to her younger brother in his classroom. Jasper, a college sophomore from Brooklyn, wakes to his parents’ frantic calls from Korea, wondering if he’s okay. Peter, a classmate of Claire’s, has to make his way back to school as everything happens around him.

Here are three teens whose intertwining lives are reshaped by this catastrophic event. As each gets to know the other, their moments become wound around each other’s in a way that leads to new understandings, new friendships, and new levels of awareness for the world around them and the people close by.

David Levithan has written a novel of loss and grief, but also one of hope and redemption as his characters slowly learn to move forward in their lives, despite being changed forever.

I read this book with my book club in honor of the anniversary of the September 11th attacks.  Like the rest of the world, I remember exactly what I was doing when the first plane hit; then the second; the crash into the Pentagon, two miles from where I worked; and the final plane exploding in a field in Pennsylvania.

I can't even begin to imagine how events played out near the Twin Towers.  No matter how many news reports I see, or articles I read, I will never know just how awful and devastating things were in New York City.  And that's okay.  It's a painful subject and not an event that people need to relive over and over.

Powerful though this book was, I kept my distance from the characters because I didn't want to remember the absolute horror of that day. 

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