Fontana tugs at the heartstrings in this engrossing, inspiring 9/11 memoir.
The author married firefighter Dave Fontana on September 11, 1993, and they were supposed to spend their eighth wedding anniversary toddling hand-in-hand through the Whitney Museum. But Dave never made it home that day; he died at Ground Zero. Marian mourned, gave countless interviews to reporters, planned Dave’s wake, wrote his eulogy and conferred with other widows. Gradually, she became a skilled political organizer, founding the 9-11 Widows’ and Victims’ Families Association. She used her newfound media cachet to educate people about the lousy wages firefighters are paid and to weigh in on the debates surrounding compensation to victims’ families. She met with mayors and senators, and she now serves on the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation’s Family Advisory Committee. Fontana is a good writer, with an ear for phrasing and a focus on small, poignant details: We see her plucking strands of salt-and-pepper hair from Dave’s hairbrush, because she needs a sample of his DNA and brushing her teeth with his toothbrush, “secretly pretend[ing] I was being kissed.”
An impassioned, non-manipulative memorial, timed to coincide with the fourth anniversary of 9/11.