Abby's Reviews > Between Heaven and Ground Zero: One Woman's Struggle for Survival and Faith in the Ashes of 9/11

Between Heaven and Ground Zero by Leslie Haskin
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Mar 02, 12

Read in March, 2012

I just finished this book (an accomplishment for me, because I have started and not finished a dang lot of books lately), and I was most interested in the author's limited portrayal of what PTSD feels like for her. She was working in the first tower hit on 9/11 and escaped with her life but lost numerous friends and co-workers and saw some very gruesome and terrifying things that day. Pre-9/11 she was more self centered and focused on promotions and material things, post-9/11 she is a much more faith centered and better person. (But not without some challenges; she lost her home and went through financial devastation when she was unable to hold a job due to her severe PTSD.)

I like her, and I would be thrilled to meet her someday. Her book was only okay for me, though. She is obviously a poet. I am just not a reader of poetry. I swear I am not dumb, but when people speak poetically it is so hard for me to figure out what they are actually saying. (Like a poem in the middle - I thought it was talking about the last ten seconds before the building collasped, but it occurred to me later on that it was the last ten seconds before a person jumped out of the top of the building to their death.) Sometimes I'd read a sentence and just think, "Huh?" (I just flipped through the pages to find an example. Here you go: "Uncertainty is that seamless monster of polarity that obliterates us all." If you know exactly what she's talking about without reading it nine times, well good for you. You win.)

So anyway, instead of saying that "our kingdoms fell", I wish she had just said, "the towers fell". I like writing to be basic and straightforward. So if you love poetry, this is your book. If you need footnotes like me, you can still enjoy the book but you'll have to reread parts.

And one more thing - if you love scripture quotes on every other page and a lot lot lot of talk about Jesus and redemption at the end, you'll really like this book. I think it's good this book was written how it was for her posterity, who will have no doubt what she believed in. But for me, if I hadn't been mere pages away from finally finishing a book for the first time in awhile, I probably would have just skipped over the Jesus parts. Sorry, Jesus. I really like you, too.
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