Everyone I know has a memory of September 11th, 2001. Where you were, what you were doing, who you knew that was affected. THE MEMORY OF THINGS is set on September 11th and the days following, but in a fictional YA setting. It’s a YA mixed with fairly recent historical fiction.
Kyle is racing home from school on the morning of September 11th after the planes hit. His dad is a first responder, his mom and sister are across the country, and his handicapped uncle is alone at home, so he is understandably scared and shaken, but needs to get home. On his way, he sees a girl in costume wings, covered in ash, about to jump off a bridge nearby. Kyle takes her hand, saves her, and forces her to come with him. The girl doesn’t remember anything–her name, who her family is, why she was on the bridge–and seems to have a case of amnesia.
The book, written from Kyle’s perspective, jumping to the girl’s jagged, poetry-like thoughts, follows the attacks and how Kyle and the girl cope with the world crumbling around them. While I am not from New York, and have absolutely no idea how scary that would have been, it still mirrors what we were all feeling on that horrifying day–what happened, and more importantly, what does this mean?
I think this is a really important subject that I hope is explored more in the coming years. We don’t have too many books describing what was happening then, even from a fictional story’s standpoint. It will become more common as time goes on, and I look forward to reading these perspectives of historic events that I also experienced.
I was given a copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for my honest review.