In this memoir and spiritual self-help book, a woman whose husband died in the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center tells of finding healing and inspiration.
In 2001, debut author Luckett and her husband, Teddy, were a couple in their early 40s with three young children, living in suburban New Jersey. Teddy commuted into Manhattan every day, working long hours at a high-pressure job on Wall Street to support his family, and Lisa was a stay-at-home mom. In this remembrance, she says that she felt that she was “drowning” in the isolation and constant stress of caring for an infant, a 4-year-old, and a 7-year-old. Although deeply in love with her husband, she says that she dealt with feelings of resentment, due to the frustrations of her current life and the pain and alienation of growing up with an alcoholic father and a narcissistic mother. Then Teddy became a victim of the disastrous events in New York City on Sept. 11, 2001. At first overwhelmed by grief and anger, Luckett soon discovered another side to the trauma, which she dubbed the “Godness of 9/11”—a powerful spirit of human compassion and resilience. Buoyed by the “kindness of strangers,” as well as the help of two skilled therapists, she gradually learned how to help her family navigate the tragedy and find a new strength, joy, and positive direction in life. Luckett’s narrative skillfully weaves together events from different eras to present a vivid portrait of one American middle-class family’s life during the 1970s, ’80s, and ’90s. She also delves into how pain and struggle can be hidden beneath a placid, public exterior. Luckett effectively uses her experience as a 9/11 widow to show how she left her victimhood and insecurity behind in order to make the most of the rest of her life. Her own choice to undergo four years of psychoanalysis may not be within some readers’ reach, but they’ll still find her unblinking self-exploration and honest evaluation of her life and choices to be compelling and heartening.
A stimulating, personal work about self-actualization in the wake of tragedy.