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A Widow's Walk: A Memoir of 9/11

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On September 11, I dropped my son off at his second full day of kindergarten. The sky was so blue it looked as if it had been ironed. I crossed the street, ordered coffee, and sat to wait for my husband to meet me. It was our eighth wedding anniversary and Dave and I were about to begin a new chapter in our seventeen years together. Sipping coffee, I watched as a line of On September 11, I dropped my son off at his second full day of kindergarten. The sky was so blue it looked as if it had been ironed. I crossed the street, ordered coffee, and sat to wait for my husband to meet me. It was our eighth wedding anniversary and Dave and I were about to begin a new chapter in our seventeen years together. Sipping coffee, I watched as a line of thick black smoke crept across the sky from Manhattan, oblivious to the fact that my life was about to change forever. On September 11, 2001, Marian Fontana lost her husband, Dave, a firefighter from the elite Squad 1 in Brooklyn, in the World Trade Center attack. A Widow's Walk begins that fateful morning, when Marian, a playwright and comedienne, became a widow, a single mother, and an unlikely activist. Two weeks after 9/11, the city attempted to close Squad 1, which had suffered the loss of twelve men. Known for her feisty spirit and passionate loyalty, Marian, who was still reeling from her profound loss, began to mobilize the neighborhood to keep the firehouse open. From this unlikely platform the 9/11 Widows and Victims' Families Association grew. Over the next twelve months, Marian struggled with the tragedy's endless ripple effects, from the minute and deeply personal -- she wonders who will play Star Wars with her son, Aidan, and carry him on his shoulders; to the collective: she works to get families and widows necessary information about the recovery effort and attends private meetings with Governor Pataki, Mayor Giuliani, Senator Clinton, and Mayor Bloomberg. Through it all, Marian's irrepressible humor is her best armor, as well as evidence of her buoyant strength. Written with great heart and humanity, A Widow's Walk is a timely opportunity for remembrance and a timeless testament to love's loss and the resilience of the human spirit.


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On September 11, I dropped my son off at his second full day of kindergarten. The sky was so blue it looked as if it had been ironed. I crossed the street, ordered coffee, and sat to wait for my husband to meet me. It was our eighth wedding anniversary and Dave and I were about to begin a new chapter in our seventeen years together. Sipping coffee, I watched as a line of On September 11, I dropped my son off at his second full day of kindergarten. The sky was so blue it looked as if it had been ironed. I crossed the street, ordered coffee, and sat to wait for my husband to meet me. It was our eighth wedding anniversary and Dave and I were about to begin a new chapter in our seventeen years together. Sipping coffee, I watched as a line of thick black smoke crept across the sky from Manhattan, oblivious to the fact that my life was about to change forever. On September 11, 2001, Marian Fontana lost her husband, Dave, a firefighter from the elite Squad 1 in Brooklyn, in the World Trade Center attack. A Widow's Walk begins that fateful morning, when Marian, a playwright and comedienne, became a widow, a single mother, and an unlikely activist. Two weeks after 9/11, the city attempted to close Squad 1, which had suffered the loss of twelve men. Known for her feisty spirit and passionate loyalty, Marian, who was still reeling from her profound loss, began to mobilize the neighborhood to keep the firehouse open. From this unlikely platform the 9/11 Widows and Victims' Families Association grew. Over the next twelve months, Marian struggled with the tragedy's endless ripple effects, from the minute and deeply personal -- she wonders who will play Star Wars with her son, Aidan, and carry him on his shoulders; to the collective: she works to get families and widows necessary information about the recovery effort and attends private meetings with Governor Pataki, Mayor Giuliani, Senator Clinton, and Mayor Bloomberg. Through it all, Marian's irrepressible humor is her best armor, as well as evidence of her buoyant strength. Written with great heart and humanity, A Widow's Walk is a timely opportunity for remembrance and a timeless testament to love's loss and the resilience of the human spirit.

30 review for A Widow's Walk: A Memoir of 9/11

  1. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    With the 10th anniversary of 9/11 I found myself re-reading many of the stories relating to that day that I had read and forgotten. As I listened to programs acknowledging the anniversary, I found Marian Fontana's name continually popping up. I heard her interviewed by Ira Glass on This American Life and was fascinated. I just finished reading her memoir, A Widow's Walk, and I find myself unable to let go of this book. I find that I am thinking of it often throughout the day--thinking of her,of With the 10th anniversary of 9/11 I found myself re-reading many of the stories relating to that day that I had read and forgotten. As I listened to programs acknowledging the anniversary, I found Marian Fontana's name continually popping up. I heard her interviewed by Ira Glass on This American Life and was fascinated. I just finished reading her memoir, A Widow's Walk, and I find myself unable to let go of this book. I find that I am thinking of it often throughout the day--thinking of her,of her husband (a firefighter in Brooklyn's Park Slope neighborhood who died in the South Tower), and of her small son, Aidan. The book is eloquent, wrenching and beautiful. Despite the sadness present in the memoir I found myself wanting to return every day to her small apartment in Park Slope as she negotiated the horror, grief, and overwhelming sadness of that day and the days that followed. I hate maudlin writing and hers is far from this--while she is part of a larger tragedy, her story is very personal and I found myself in awe of her skill as a writer, able to weave the story of her life with Dave and their son, Aidan, into the experiences of her first year of widow-hood. It's a haunting book--it's aura is difficult to shake, but it feels honest and sincere and I found myself loving this family by the end of the memoir. I cried at the end not just because of the overall sadness of the story, but because I had to say good-bye to them as well.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Sarah - All The Book Blog Names Are Taken

    I feel like I’m a terrible person for the low rating but there something different about this one that I can’t quite figure out, compared to so many others that I’ve read. Review to come.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Roxanne

    I really did not want to give this book only two stars when it is a true story about a horrific event, but I did force myself to read everything even though I was tempted many times to "skim" sections. Due to the subject matter, I knew this was going to be a difficult read. I wish Marian would have waited and written beyond the one year period. I did not care for the writing style at all. It felt like I was reading a diary or somebody's journal. I think with better editing this could have been a I really did not want to give this book only two stars when it is a true story about a horrific event, but I did force myself to read everything even though I was tempted many times to "skim" sections. Due to the subject matter, I knew this was going to be a difficult read. I wish Marian would have waited and written beyond the one year period. I did not care for the writing style at all. It felt like I was reading a diary or somebody's journal. I think with better editing this could have been a much shorter book. The writing felt very honest, but many times it felt like blah, blah, blah... I was just as exhausted as Marian was. There were too many characters introduced that I just gave up trying to keep track of everyone. I wish the author would have provided more of her own thoughts versus factual never-ending details. There are thousands of people everyday that are forced to live through horrible events. Granted 9/11 was an absolute shocker, but in the end I felt like Marian thought the 9/11 widows have been the only people to experience such an event. Reading this book reminded me of the recent Dr. Conrad Murray/Michael Jackson trial. At the beginning, you can't even function because you are in such shock. You just can't register what you have seen/experienced. Nobody could believe that Michael Jackson was receiving Propofol in his home by a doctor. It was unheard of and unbelievable. Thus, I understand where Marian was coming from, but there were a few sore spots with me: 1. Yes, Marian's hubby looked like a handsome guy, but I grew weary of hearing about how perfect he was. NOBODY is that great. 2. Marian was outraged at the $450 weekly pay her hubby received for being a firefighter, yet, they were planning on having a second child. This seems to be the thought pattern of a very immature couple. You cannot afford to live with your current income, but you want to bring another mouth to feed into the situation? 3. Marian mentioned once or twice about the "blood money" she received, but she seemed ungrateful for many of the things she and her family received. It was not until I read the "Acknowledgements" section that I felt some gratitude. Marian did not discuss the total amount of compensation she received, and she may not have know at the time of the writing of the book, but I have researched and on the average it is stated to be $1.8 to $2 million. Some people up to $7 million. Marian was upset with the search stoppage by firefighters, but now it seems that those who did assist are dying from ailments obtained from being around Ground Zero. This event was something enormous and I was disappointed at how unprepared the U.S. appeared to be. I thought our government had a better capacity to avoid and assist than it did. Like many citizens, we instead are learning along the way some tough life lessons. One small nugget I learned from this event is that only about 25% of the deceased had a will. That was pretty surprising to me. In the end, everybody has to do whatever it is to get them through. When you are married, you are a partnership. When one of the partners departs in a sudden and horrific manner, going forward is even harder. Marian had a very deep love with her spouse and that by itself is a gift that a lot of people never have in life. Hopefully she can find that type of love again.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Terri Ann

    Hauntingly beautifully written, the author leads you through each excruciating day from the news of the attacks through the ensuing first year. Extremely personal, touching, sincere. In opposition to previous reviews, I did not in any way, shape or form, feel the author was a glutton for attention or the spot light. On the contrary, I respect her for being a vehicle to be proactive instead of crumbling and becoming nonfunctioning (which is what I imagine I would probably do). My husband and I ha Hauntingly beautifully written, the author leads you through each excruciating day from the news of the attacks through the ensuing first year. Extremely personal, touching, sincere. In opposition to previous reviews, I did not in any way, shape or form, feel the author was a glutton for attention or the spot light. On the contrary, I respect her for being a vehicle to be proactive instead of crumbling and becoming nonfunctioning (which is what I imagine I would probably do). My husband and I had worked within yards from the World Trade Center at the time. This book was as authentic and accurate as I have ever seen a story be told, and it was pretty jarring to hear certain references that those of us who were in the direct vincinity of Ground Zero would be familiar with. I truly relived this period of time through these pages. It is an extremely raw story, like an exposed nerve, just as the event itself was, but it was very elegantly done. Although the book is based solely around her experience in dealing with the day and the aftermath, picking up the pieces again, I am only left wondering why there was no mention as to her thoughts of 9/11 as the ACT itself. I am curious as to why this day comes off as a terrible natural act of God, instead of the intentional mass murder that it was. There was no reference to terrorists, so there was no personal account of her feelings towards them or what they did. While the author expressed anger, it was only directed at her husband for leaving her this way. Perhaps because she was trying to cope, or was so immersed in getting through each day and making sure the Ground Zero process was being handled properly that she did not focus on the "why's", I myself would have been furious and demanding the heads of those who intentionally caused this brutality. Sheer curiousy why there was no mention of terrorists, of Osama Bin Laden or of the other tragedies involving the Pentagon and Flight 93. Though it was a tough read, and need a lighter story to follow, it was moving, well written, and my heart goes out to this courageous author and activist.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Neil Pierson

    Listeners to This American Life will recognize Marian Fontana with these words: The old double whammy. That story is not included in the book, but I don’t want to spoil it. It’s enough to say that indifference in high places leads to brutality. Marian Fontana is the widow of Dave Fontana, a New York firefighter. He had just gone off duty on the morning of September 11, 2001. But when word of the attacks on the World Trade Center reached FDNY Squad 1 in Brooklyn, he responded and was killed in the Listeners to This American Life will recognize Marian Fontana with these words: The old double whammy. That story is not included in the book, but I don’t want to spoil it. It’s enough to say that indifference in high places leads to brutality. Marian Fontana is the widow of Dave Fontana, a New York firefighter. He had just gone off duty on the morning of September 11, 2001. But when word of the attacks on the World Trade Center reached FDNY Squad 1 in Brooklyn, he responded and was killed in the collapse of the towers, along with 11 others from the Squad. This book is an account of Marian's life and the life of their five year old son in the months after September 11. The search for Dave's remains provides a little narrative drive. But most of the book is a forced march of wakes, funerals, and memorials that seems endless. The FDNY families, shackled by grief, shuffle from one ceremony to the next. The reader follows along. In a small way, we share Marian's exhaustion. And we puzzle, as she does, over the paradoxes. Do the rigid ceremonies of death, especially the death in action of a firefighter, provide strength and support? Or are they a suffocating routine that pulls the families back again and again to September 11? Both, I’m afraid. Do you like to be the center of attention? Marian does. But the constant scrutiny of family friends, acquaintances, the media, and yes, even Oprah, become unbearable. Do the politicians join our grief and give voice to it? Or are we just an opportunity for them to ingratiate themselves with voters? Is it right to use the massive tragedy of September 11 to promote more recognition and better pay for firefighters and to block FDNY’s clumsy attempt to close Squad 1 in Brooklyn? Is it right for a President to use that tragedy to justify a war thousands of miles away—a war Marian opposes? Perhaps that fellow was right. Life is full of double whammies.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jenna

    As I sat at a sporting event reading this book the first weekend of September, a man asked what I was reading. When I told him, he said, "Oh, wow. Hmm. I lived through it once. I don't think I could do it again." That's why I read this book. And for many more reasons. I'll review it fully on our blog on Friday, but, really, it's a book that I'm glad that I bought instead of borrowing from the library. I have a feeling I'll come back to it again and again... despite the constant tears while readin As I sat at a sporting event reading this book the first weekend of September, a man asked what I was reading. When I told him, he said, "Oh, wow. Hmm. I lived through it once. I don't think I could do it again." That's why I read this book. And for many more reasons. I'll review it fully on our blog on Friday, but, really, it's a book that I'm glad that I bought instead of borrowing from the library. I have a feeling I'll come back to it again and again... despite the constant tears while reading it.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Ari

    I have to be honest... I didn't thoroughly read this book. I basically skimmed it. Because the subject matter of this book was so hard to get through that if I would have really read every word, I would've been crying every second I read this book. That said, I thought this book was interesting, although at times it read like a "and then I did this, and then I did this..." and basically I just wanted to know what the end result was. Maybe I read this book at the wrong time though. Maybe I wasn't I have to be honest... I didn't thoroughly read this book. I basically skimmed it. Because the subject matter of this book was so hard to get through that if I would have really read every word, I would've been crying every second I read this book. That said, I thought this book was interesting, although at times it read like a "and then I did this, and then I did this..." and basically I just wanted to know what the end result was. Maybe I read this book at the wrong time though. Maybe I wasn't in the right mindset to read this book. But it was a hard book to read.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    I haven't read a 9-11 book for quite some time, but this one was well worth the read. Marian Fontana writes excellently, and even humorously at times, despite the subject matter. The book was generously written, taking the reader into Marian's personal emotions and experiences of losing his firefighter husband, mothering her young son through grief, and becoming a voice for the firefighters' widows. Beyond providing a unique window into the tragedy of 9-11, Fontana's book speaks to all who exper I haven't read a 9-11 book for quite some time, but this one was well worth the read. Marian Fontana writes excellently, and even humorously at times, despite the subject matter. The book was generously written, taking the reader into Marian's personal emotions and experiences of losing his firefighter husband, mothering her young son through grief, and becoming a voice for the firefighters' widows. Beyond providing a unique window into the tragedy of 9-11, Fontana's book speaks to all who experience grief and loss.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Kristen

    I have read many books about 9/11, most of them are about around and inside the Twin Towers, A Widow's walk, however, is a memoir written by a firefighter's wife who lost him on 9/11. Many parts were hard to read but some were inspiring too. I am amazed at the families who worst day was September 11 still found the courage and solace in each other, the kindness, and fought what they believed in. I hope Marian Fontana finds the happiness and peace she deserves. Dave would have been proud of her. I have read many books about 9/11, most of them are about around and inside the Twin Towers, A Widow's walk, however, is a memoir written by a firefighter's wife who lost him on 9/11. Many parts were hard to read but some were inspiring too. I am amazed at the families who worst day was September 11 still found the courage and solace in each other, the kindness, and fought what they believed in. I hope Marian Fontana finds the happiness and peace she deserves. Dave would have been proud of her.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen Crowell

    Sad story, but a personal glimpse into the life of a 911 "survivor." Hard to read sometimes because never having experienced what Fontana did, you can't imagine making some of the choices she made especially having a young son to take care of. Just goes to show you there is no method to grieving even for a parent. Also the scope of what the family had to deal with in the early days of 911 is beyond frightening. Very honest and raw. Sad story, but a personal glimpse into the life of a 911 "survivor." Hard to read sometimes because never having experienced what Fontana did, you can't imagine making some of the choices she made especially having a young son to take care of. Just goes to show you there is no method to grieving even for a parent. Also the scope of what the family had to deal with in the early days of 911 is beyond frightening. Very honest and raw.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Charis Hanberry

    Taughtly woven, expertly intertwining events in the past with those of 9/11, this book is gripping. Honest, loving, angry, grateful - all at once. Fontana did an excellent job of conveying her thoughts and feelings throughout the event and the beginnings of her healing. Get a box of tissues and settle in for an excellent read!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Dara S.

    Having read several other books on 9/11, I found out some things I didn't know or had forgotten. Having read several other books on 9/11, I found out some things I didn't know or had forgotten.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    Excellent book. Read it every chance I got and did not want to put it down. Like so many books about 9/11, it brought tears to my eyes many times. Her story is heartbreaking, but reading how she learned to live with her loss and how she had to help her son through the loss was incredible. Marian is a truly remarkable woman.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Sara Nordland

    This was a hard book for me to read, as I am engaged to a firefighter. We may have both been in 3rd grade when 9/11 happened, but it still had an effect on us and makes the firefighter brotherhood so strong and important. I feel that every fire wife/widow should read this because either someone can relate to it or actually get a sense of what could happen with their line of work.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Gayle

    One woman who lost her firefighter husband on 9/11 tells her story in the most intimate, heartbreaking way possible, beginning on the morning of the attack and ending on the one year anniversary. The writing is powerful and beautiful. She says that she wrote it for her then 5 year old son so he’ll always remember; I definitely will.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Gina Shupp

    A widow’s walk was gut wrenching and difficult to read st times. I myself could not even imagine what people went through after 911. I am glad I read the book, as it give me a greater insight to the pain and suffering people went through

  17. 4 out of 5

    Hollie-Mystery Girl 27

    This is a heartbreaking and loving story. Marion's passion and love for her husband will last forever. Dave and all the other's sacrifices will never be forgotten. This is a heartbreaking and loving story. Marion's passion and love for her husband will last forever. Dave and all the other's sacrifices will never be forgotten.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Carolyn Cannon

    Memoir of 9/11

  19. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie Brooks

    I would never feel right writing a review of this book....her feelings, thoughts, and beliefs are her own and deserve to be respected. We will never forget 🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸

  20. 5 out of 5

    Candice

    I read this memoir, written by the widow of a 9/11 firefighter killed at the WTC, after reading other books about 9/11 and other 9/11 widows. The author writes her memoir more like a novel, it seems, than an introspective exploration of her experience, and as such it is easy to read...as a literary work, at least. Its subject matter isn't easy to read, in contrast, but it's a testatment to Fontana's writing ability and personal strength that she was able to document such a tragic, wrenching time I read this memoir, written by the widow of a 9/11 firefighter killed at the WTC, after reading other books about 9/11 and other 9/11 widows. The author writes her memoir more like a novel, it seems, than an introspective exploration of her experience, and as such it is easy to read...as a literary work, at least. Its subject matter isn't easy to read, in contrast, but it's a testatment to Fontana's writing ability and personal strength that she was able to document such a tragic, wrenching time in her life with such humanity, detail, and honesty. Its portrayal of grief and widowhood is unflinching and authentic--and as a young widow myself, it's highly accurate. Her writing style, pacing, and readability are quite good. I have only a few complaints about the book. The biggest one is that it only covered the first year of grief, and as a young widow almost three years out, I would have preferred more about life after the first year...but the author had to cut off somewhere and the one-year anniversary is a logical ending in many ways. Unfortunately, though, it's often just the beginning of a lot of continuing grief for a young widow or widower, and ending the "story" here may only serve to confirm to the general public that grief ends (or at least automatically gets better) after one year, which simply isn't true most of the time. Also, while I liked the author's writing style and how she stuck to details, facts, and events, I would have liked a little bit more reflection and introspection on what she thought about her experiences--on her internal reactions instead of her external reactions. But these are small niggling points as a result of my personal experiences, and not from approaching it as a general reader. I do, however, agree with other reviewers that it was really difficult to navigate and differentiate all the names and people she mentions. If I could, I'd probably give it 3 1/2 stars instead of just 3. As nonfiction, it's hard to know where I'd place it in context with the largely fictional books I usually read. As a grief book I liked it, but not as much as other 4-star grief books I've read. I wanted more out of it than was there...but that's probably because what was there was still very good to begin with. As a general work of nonfiction, as a memoir, and as a work of writerly merit, however, this was an excellent book. I highly recommend it to those interested in learning more about the real-life, human impact of 9/11 and about the first year of widowhood and grief.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Barbara

    Marian Fontana had just dropped her young son off for school when she learned of the tragedy unfolding on 9/11. She had just spoken with her firefighter husband, Dave, who had confirmed he was on his way home to celebrate their wedding anniversary. After hours of not hearing from him, Marian's fears were confirmed- her husband was one of the heroic firefighters who sacrificed their lives trying to save others. From here, we follow Marian's journey for the next year: struggling with her grief, ra Marian Fontana had just dropped her young son off for school when she learned of the tragedy unfolding on 9/11. She had just spoken with her firefighter husband, Dave, who had confirmed he was on his way home to celebrate their wedding anniversary. After hours of not hearing from him, Marian's fears were confirmed- her husband was one of the heroic firefighters who sacrificed their lives trying to save others. From here, we follow Marian's journey for the next year: struggling with her grief, raising her young son alone, attending far too many funerals and memorials, all while advocating for various causes. Through Marian, we learn that although firefighters like her husband put their lives on the line everyday, they are drastically underpaid; as well, we learn about the chaos surrounding firefighters and their struggles with recovery efforts at Ground Zero. Although the subject matter in this book is very heavy, the author still manages to add humour, and does not hold back on any emotions- the writing is fantastic. However, this is a book that I've had lying around for years, and I'm disappointed that I did not take the time to read it sooner. Now that I finally have, I think I may have waited too long; for me, this book was far too long and took me over a week to get through. For that, I'll have to refrain from any ratings- definitely worth the read, and I can only imagine how much more I would have enjoyed it had I taken the time to read it 5 years ago.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    This is a first for me. I'm giving this book a four star rating and yet I didn't "really liked it" and refuse to finish it right now and am returning it instead to the library. So I have to take it back because I just can't read it anymore. I have had to read it in spurts rather than all in one or two sittings, and as such am only partway through the book and realized last night that it's leaving me genuinely depressed! I'm sure there's hope and inspiration in there somewhere toward the end and g This is a first for me. I'm giving this book a four star rating and yet I didn't "really liked it" and refuse to finish it right now and am returning it instead to the library. So I have to take it back because I just can't read it anymore. I have had to read it in spurts rather than all in one or two sittings, and as such am only partway through the book and realized last night that it's leaving me genuinely depressed! I'm sure there's hope and inspiration in there somewhere toward the end and granted the author is only a month out from 9/11 where I am in the book, so of course it's just sad. But this is more. Maybe this is a backhanded compliment to the author, but the way she writes draws me into her world in such a powerful way I find myself absolutely in mourning for a period when I go back to my own life. It's weird. I'll to to balance my checkbook or something mundane and struggle getting back into my normal happy life because of the weight I feel for a loss I didn't actually experience. Every time. So I may try again some other time but for the sake of my own sanity and for the family I live with today I just can't take any more of this one now.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Marianne Jay

    Where were you when the Twin Towers fell? I was in Jewel, grocery shopping, and my ex-husband called and told me to get back home and turn on the television. At the time, I was living in downtown Chicago and not far from 2 of our landmark tall buildings ~ Sears Tower and The John Hancock Building. Marian Fontana explains to her readers 9/11 from a widows point of view. She explains every single heart-wrenching emotion but she writes so beautifully. She tells us about her 4 year old son and how his Where were you when the Twin Towers fell? I was in Jewel, grocery shopping, and my ex-husband called and told me to get back home and turn on the television. At the time, I was living in downtown Chicago and not far from 2 of our landmark tall buildings ~ Sears Tower and The John Hancock Building. Marian Fontana explains to her readers 9/11 from a widows point of view. She explains every single heart-wrenching emotion but she writes so beautifully. She tells us about her 4 year old son and how his angel brought his daddy back to see him. I have read a LOT of books on 9/11 and this, by far, outshone them all. I cannot put into words how much I loved this book. Kudos to a woman of strength, beauty, compassion and courage for telling the world how much her life really sucked.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Dawn

    A moving story of how a widow and her son made it through the first year after 9/11. The story was so heart wrenching at times, that I had to put the book down to take a break from all the sorrow. I learned so many things about what the families went through during the months following 9/11. I don't know how the widows of the firefighters were able to get through attending one funeral service after another. Many of them were still waiting for any remains to be found of their own husbands. Though A moving story of how a widow and her son made it through the first year after 9/11. The story was so heart wrenching at times, that I had to put the book down to take a break from all the sorrow. I learned so many things about what the families went through during the months following 9/11. I don't know how the widows of the firefighters were able to get through attending one funeral service after another. Many of them were still waiting for any remains to be found of their own husbands. Though I did not agree of some of Marian's political comments regarding the President or the Mayor of NYC, I understand that she was seeing things from a whole different perspective than me. September 11, 2001 is a day no American should ever forget.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Heather B Blair

    This book stays with you long after you have read the last page. I am still moved by it. I hesitate to mark this book 5 stars only because it is about such a horrific event. However, it is well written and she does such an amazing job of letting you into her thoughts and emotions, and she paints of a very clear picture of what 9-11 was like for her. Marian Fontana was married to Dave Fontana, a firefighter in the Prospect Park neighborhood of New York City. They had a five year old son, Aidan. S This book stays with you long after you have read the last page. I am still moved by it. I hesitate to mark this book 5 stars only because it is about such a horrific event. However, it is well written and she does such an amazing job of letting you into her thoughts and emotions, and she paints of a very clear picture of what 9-11 was like for her. Marian Fontana was married to Dave Fontana, a firefighter in the Prospect Park neighborhood of New York City. They had a five year old son, Aidan. Sept. 11, 2001 was their 8th wedding anniversary. This book gives you a very clear picture of what that first year was like, how it felt to have a funeral without a body, and then how it felt when his "body" was recovered...and jsut how she coped, and grieved. I would highly recommend it!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Lori Reed

    Marian Fontana and her husband, New York City Firefighter Dave Fontana, were about to celebrate their eighth wedding anniversary, but then the call came in, the call that would change the lives of every American. In A Widow’s Walk: A Memoir of 9/11 Marian Fontana shares a deeply personal story of grief, coping, and triumph in the aftermath of 9/11. Fontana recounts the days of searching for her husband, the months of wakes and funerals she attended, the year of battling with the mayor and city t Marian Fontana and her husband, New York City Firefighter Dave Fontana, were about to celebrate their eighth wedding anniversary, but then the call came in, the call that would change the lives of every American. In A Widow’s Walk: A Memoir of 9/11 Marian Fontana shares a deeply personal story of grief, coping, and triumph in the aftermath of 9/11. Fontana recounts the days of searching for her husband, the months of wakes and funerals she attended, the year of battling with the mayor and city to provide rights to the families of 9/11, and the ongoing attempt to explain the loss of his father to her five-year-old son. Beautifully written and mingled with humor, you will step into the life of Marian Fontana and share her grief as well as her triumphs.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Janie R.

    This was an awe-inspiring memoir written by the wife of a firefighter who died on 911,at the South Tower, trying to save people. Marian Fontana tells of her journey from that day. She spoke with her husband,Dave on the phone-who was getting off his shift at the Firehouse, and was to meet her for breakfast to begin their day together, celebrating their 8th wedding anniversary.And so the story continues- there were times when I was reading the book, where it made me cry,yet Marian,at one time had This was an awe-inspiring memoir written by the wife of a firefighter who died on 911,at the South Tower, trying to save people. Marian Fontana tells of her journey from that day. She spoke with her husband,Dave on the phone-who was getting off his shift at the Firehouse, and was to meet her for breakfast to begin their day together, celebrating their 8th wedding anniversary.And so the story continues- there were times when I was reading the book, where it made me cry,yet Marian,at one time had a comedy show,and there are places in the book, that she describes something and it just makes you laugh. Aiden is their son,being 5yrs.old at the time, made it more difficult to understand all that was happening in his life. I highly recommend this book!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Graceann

    Please see my detailed review at Amazon.com Grace's "Widow's Walk" Review Please click that the review was helpful to you at Amazon so that my rating continues to climb! Thanks! This book was gut-wrenching and painful and I'm so glad I read it. Marian Fontana is a very gifted writer, and she turned what could have been a trite story about losing one's husband into a treatise on pain and the fallacy of "healing on a timetable" to which most who grieve have been subjected. Not to be missed. Please see my detailed review at Amazon.com Grace's "Widow's Walk" Review Please click that the review was helpful to you at Amazon so that my rating continues to climb! Thanks! This book was gut-wrenching and painful and I'm so glad I read it. Marian Fontana is a very gifted writer, and she turned what could have been a trite story about losing one's husband into a treatise on pain and the fallacy of "healing on a timetable" to which most who grieve have been subjected. Not to be missed.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Connie

    I could not get through this book. I normally don't give bad reviews and I especially hate to do this on a true story. I just felt that each 100 pages could be condensed in about 25. I didn't sense too much personal style in her writing and there were so many names mentioned that I would have to go back and say "who was that again?" and it just slowed down the reading. I just found it entirely too detailed about the tiniest of events. I do sense that she is a strong woman and I know that this is I could not get through this book. I normally don't give bad reviews and I especially hate to do this on a true story. I just felt that each 100 pages could be condensed in about 25. I didn't sense too much personal style in her writing and there were so many names mentioned that I would have to go back and say "who was that again?" and it just slowed down the reading. I just found it entirely too detailed about the tiniest of events. I do sense that she is a strong woman and I know that this is her first book.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Lennie

    In this book, Marian describes losing her firefighter husband in the Twin Towers on 9/11 and how she struggled to cope with the loss. It was sad to read how her husband was ten minutes away from getting off his shift when the towers were struck. I admire her ccourage and thought she did an excellent job in making the reader understand how it felt to be in NYC on 9/11 and what the spouses of firefighters went through after their death.

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