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Where You Left Me

3.83 of 5 stars 3.83  ·  rating details  ·  830 ratings  ·  142 reviews
Lucky—that’s how Jennifer would describe herself. She had a successful law career, met the love of her life in Doug, married him, had an apartment in New York City, a house in the Hamptons, two beautiful children, and was still madly in love after nearly seven years of marriage. Jennifer was living the kind of idyllic life that clichés are made of.

Until Doug was killed in
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published August 30th 2011 by Gallery Books
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Memoirs by Women
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A book of grief and recovery, and happiness and hope after deep sadness. Written by a young 9/11 widow, it describes on a very personal level the impact of the day itself, its aftermath and the process of recovery and moving on (in the author's case into a happy second marriage).

I hate to say this because of the tragic nature of this book, but I found the author annoying. She comes across as a certain type of woman, the archetypal NYC wealthy wife with a designer wardrobe and limitless funds. Sh
I have read several 9-11 books written by people devastated by this tragedy and this book, by far was the worst one I read. Jennifer is so in love with herself, the entire book is about me, me, me. The author has a nanny for her kids, plenty of money that includes building a house in the Hampton's (even if it is on the wrong side of the beach according to her) and even enough money to buy a Valentino dinner bag! She loves to name-drop and talk about the "trendy" places she eats and shops. Jennif ...more
A moderately interesting memoir by a 9/11 widow. Clearly she went through a terrible trauma, but she doesn't compellingly convey what she felt and thought about her husband's death. I came away most struck by how unconscious she is of her great wealth.
They say you can't judge a book by it's cover. Wrong. I chose this book solely by its cover and knew it would be a story that grabbed my heart. This is for anyone who has ever lost someone they love, or someone who fears losing someone they love, or someone who remembers September 11th, or just someone, anyone. If it were a novel, it would probably be cheesy and cliche, but it's not; it's one woman's real story of tremendous, earth-shattering loss, and ultimate redemptive ending. I devoured this ...more
Sep 01, 2011 Doreen rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: elle
This was the fifth in a series of memoirs that I've been reading for ELLE Magazine, and I admit, I'm suffering from second-hand-personal-tragedy fatigue. That said, I tried to be kind to this book, but I sincerely believe that, unless you have something new to say, or a new way to present universal truths, please don't write a book about it. And for God's sake, don't be disingenuous about your circumstances! Jennifer Gardner Trulson lives a privileged life, and it's annoying when she tries to do ...more
The publishing world no doubt scrambled to find and publish 9/11 related material to coincide with the ten-year anniversary of the attacks in New York and Washington, D.C. After finishing this memoir, however, I remain uncertain as to why the author sought its publication. Was it designed to inspire others facing loss to retain hope for the future? Is it a manual for navigating the grieving process? A testament to her personal tragedy and resilience? Or perhaps its main goal was to memorialize h ...more
Sep 03, 2011 Lauren rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: own
I had only just turned six when 9/11 occurred. I was in first grade, and just as it is for most young children, everything in my world was black and white so to say. Evil and good where separated easily, and I was wrapped in my own little safe cocoon based on my age alone. While 9/11 did not directly affect me in any ways, I would be lying to say the world and lives of every US citizen did not change in a variety of small and huge ways because of it.

Jennifer Garden Trulson and her family are on
I admire Jennifer Gardner Trulson for her courage and for her ability to move on with her life after her husband's tragic death on 9/11. But she did have a number of important things going for her. First, she and her husband were very wealthy. They lived in an apartment on Central Park West. They were able to send their children to private schools. They were involved with numerous charities, and she and her late husband chaired an event. (You can't do that unless you are a large donor.) Her husb ...more
Like other reviewers I found myself sometimes in disbelief at her wealth and lack of financial worry after Doug's murder. Yes, even recoiling from it a little, even though I liked Jennifer. It's not the typical experience for most of the 9/11 victims' families. It felt tasteless and shallow of her to be so open about her wealth... fancy restaurants, hotels, a Central Park West apartment. However, it is her life, her book, her experience. To self-censor herself would be to compromise the integrit ...more
I wanted to like this book. I really did. I tried. The premise intrigued me: 35-year-old mom of two loses husband in the WTC. Very similar to my life (except the losing husband part). Or so I thought.

I'm going to echo what several people have previously pointed out: yes, it's extremely sad that she lost her husband so young and in such a tragedy. But she didn't have to worry financially. I wanted to know about the moms/widows who had to go back to work to get food on the table and try to mourn t
I'm still struggling with exactly what I want to say about this memoir.

There were many touching and sad and real moments in this book. I appreciated how careful she was to slowly let go of her old life and move into a new one, while still balancing family and friends. The love she has for her late husband is clear and beautiful. And the love she has for her new husband is equally touching. 9-11 was awful and no one should ever have to experience something like that. Thank goodness for all of th
Kristin (Kritters Ramblings)
An emotional rollercoaster that takes you from the past before the event that not only shook the United States, but also Jennifer Gardner's world to the present day (I will not spoil this heartwrenching story for you one bit). I did everything from laughing to sobbing while reading this book and I may be an emotional wall to wreck because I rarely sob during a movie or while reading a book. This one touched me to the core and made me think about how we as a country and some individuals were fore ...more
This is a memoir about the author's experience losing her husband in the 9/11 attacks, trying to then raise two young children on her own, and eventually dating someone but struggling to reconcile the past, present, and future.

I found the story compelling and interesting, although it wasn't nearly as emotional as it could have been. I think the book was the most moving at the parts where she worries about how her new boyfriend will fit in the life she's created and whether she's letting anyone
This is the second 9/11 book that I have read. (Let's Roll was the first one). Even though we come from different social classes and religious backgrounds, love, pain and loss are universal. Jennifer's story is a heart-wrenching one filled with love and loss but also healing and joy. Although I cried thru most of the book, I also found myself smiling and laughing. Her writing lets you take a walk in her shoes. Wow! It was an emotional trip. (Even now I am struggling with the words and this revie ...more
I knew going into this book, it would be an interesting one. I mean this in a good way. I was not wrong. In fact, I liked this more than I could predict. Mrs. Gardner Trulson did a great job of showing who Doug; her husband was, in the brief moments that he was in the book. Sadly, Doug lost his life in the September 11th attack on the twin towers. I can remember this day and what I was doing. I will remember this one moment that just really made it all real for me. I was driving home from school ...more
I'm surprised at the number of reviews I see that say something along the lines of "Yes this was tragic BUT...she had money and friends etc. etc." What I took from the book was that while, yes she had resources, it was the heart wrenching lost that she was flatten by and wasn't sure she'd get through. The most touching lines in the book for me were when she said to her sister, "I just want it to be a year from now." because she didn't think she'd make it through and just wanted the time to go by ...more
I have read a couple of 9/11 books recently and it does not getting any easier! This book was written by a 9/11 widow for the 10th anniversary of the attack. It is well written and moving. It is interesting to read the similarities between widows, and also the differences. This woman was married to a senior VP of Cantor Fitzgerald, the company who lost the most people in the attacks. Their best friends were the CEO of Cantor Fitzgerald and his wife. As a widow, she was financially stable and abl ...more
Just finished this book. The writing was fine, not complicated, not difficult to follow. And, I appreciated the author's honesty about her experiences, feelings & emotions after her husband's horrific death, but like others, I found that I really could not relate to her. I don't think she honestly understands how different her life is from so many women. Maybe it's the East Coast vs. West Coast experience. I just could not relate to her at all, no matter how hard I tried.

At the end of the bo
Natalie Snapp
I couldn't wait for the end of this book - the only reason I continued to read it was to see if it could possibly get any better but wow...I tired of reading about this self-absorbed woman.

I'm truly sorry for her loss and if there is one redeeming quality about this book it's that it shows that there can be joy again after such an intense loss.

But if I were the widow of the World Trade Center's janitor with four kids and not enough money to feed everyone? It would be hard for me to be in the sa
Bonny Griffith
I suppose some people would find this book interesting, but I was very disappointed. The author is so self-absorbed, you'd think she was the only one who lost a loved one on Sept. 11, 2001. It is all about her loss and how she coped. Not once does she think about why the tragedy happened and contemplate the larger issues in the world and how they affected the situation. Her husband might as well have been stabbed on the subway. But even then, if it were me and I was writing a book about my husba ...more
I've read a fair number of similr books. Maybe it's my cop-fireman family upbringing, middle class NYC--this was a bit too yuppified for me. Financial concerns were an issue for many who lost loved ones that day. Lack of such does not minimize the author's loss, but her upscale lifestyle and parochial view make her story a difficult on to relate to. For me a far better and heartrending story was "Widow's Walk." also, "Bagpipe Brothers" captures the despair of surviving firefighters. Much better ...more
Emily Liebert
Where You Left Me by Jennifer Gardner Trulson is part memoir, part love story--seamlessly weaved into one perfectly poignant package. Trulson is an outstanding writer with a very unique ability to express her emotions while making the reader feel as if he/she is right there in that moment with her. An excellent debut. I hope she'll consider another book, even if unrelated to her tragic loss.
The story deals with the 9-11 tragedy and its aftermath as seen from the eyes of a young mother whose husband died in the bombing. The Midwestern values of my book club did not take well to the author's self-absorption.
I finished this book in two days, through more than a few tears. Reading it close to the tenth anniversary of 9/11 gives new meaning to the hole in the sky where the towers once stood now being filled again by the 104-story new One World Trade tower. I did not personally know anyone killed on 9/11 but this book made me feel as though I did. It's an easy read, and the author does have extraordinary resources to help her in her grief (financial and emotional with a large circle of great friends an ...more
While I loved the book- quite honestly the author bugged me. She made it very clear throughout the book she led a very privileged life. It hurts my heart that her husband died and while that is one of the worst tragedies one can live through she wasn't affected in any other part of her life. She still had mega bucks and her two houses, a nanny and an endless support of friends and family. I have read other books about other women that lost husbands on 9/11 and connected with them so much more in ...more
This book attracted my attention with it's interesting title and touching cover photo. I don't know Jennifer, but I suspect she captured experience of 9-11 pretty accurately. I heard the voice of a metropolitan-minded, wealthy, young woman throughout the book. I have to admit that so many times in the book, I wanted her to be more more down to earth, more common, more faith-filled and spiritually rich, but that obviously wouldn't reflect the lifestyle she leads.

Her struggle to bridge her past a
This was an emotional book. After all, it is about 9/11. I am not sure I would say I enjoyed it but it was a very interesting read.

Jennifer is indeed very lucky. Yes, her first husband dies in 9/11 and that is heartbreaking in and of itself but she had tons of support. She wasn't hurting financially, her parents moved in to help her out and she met and remarried another great guy. She has a nanny, has a house in Hamptons and an Upper Westside apartment and yet with all this, I didn't feel like
Jenna (JennaHack)
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Where You Left Me is a beautiful memoir written by Jennifer Gardner Trulson who lost her husband in the attack on September 11, 2001 at the World Trade Center. Doug Gardner, the love of her life and the father of her two children, was on the 105th floor of the North Tower when he was killed. I read the beginning of the book with a box of tissues as Jennifer was totally devastated as she became a widow. She lived numbly for months, but she was blessed with family, a baby sitter, and a group of fr ...more
Memoir from a 9/11 widow published for the 10th anniversary of the attacks. This focuses less on the man who passed and more on how his widow endeavors to move on. She spends the first few chapters talking about their relationship and I really related to this opening, particularly a marriage so easy she says it’s “like breathing.” This is how I feel about mine and it’s not too often you hear the sentiment so I appreciated the depth and power of their bond. (Note to my daughters: see, marriage do ...more
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“We may be helpless to stop bad things from happening, but perhaps God leaves us signs and road maps to help us recover and reconnect, provided we know where to look.” 11 likes
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