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

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  354 Ratings  ·  63 Reviews
A 9/11 survivor tells of her escape from the Twin Towers and her transformation from a career-focused life to a God-focused life. Includes 8 pages b/w photographs.
Hardcover, 179 pages
Published August 1st 2006 by Bethany House Publishers (first published 2006)
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Oct 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A really beautiful and deep read!
Sheryl Rogener
Dec 18, 2008 rated it really liked it
Loving books as I do, I'm always fascinated to read the variations in styles when an author is telling his personal story. Some authors write in a forceful, in-your-face style; other authors write in a way that will cause you to empathize with their plight; and then, there are the authors who write with grace, honesty and beauty.

Such is the writing of author Leslie Haskin in her book, Between Heaven and Ground Zero: One Woman's Struggle for Survival and Faith in the Ashes of 9/11. Author Haskin
Nov 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
My son first read this book, then he loaned his copy to me and recommended that I read it. I'm glad I did. This is the first hand account of the the attack on the World Trade Center in New York City, by Leslie Haskin, a business woman who was at work on the 36th floor of Tower One when the first plane hit. She writes about the unimaginable horrors she encountered as she, and thousands or her fellow office workers, made their way down the stairs and out of this office building turned giant torch. ...more
Chris Rigby
Jun 29, 2015 rated it liked it
This is a book with two faces.

One is compelling, horrific, vividly told. It's the story of one woman's experience of being in the World Trade Centre on 9/11. It's dark, it's told in its completeness, it omits nothing. Leslie Haskin makes you feel as if you too were there, even though you don't want to be, among the disintegrating buildings and exploding flesh. She re-tells every second of her journey to work that day, the impact, and the endless journey down from the 36th floor to the ground. A
Sandy Smith
Apr 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. I think everyone should read it so we as a nation do not forget Sept 11th. Some parts are very hard to read due to the details and I can't say I loved her way of writing but she did a great job describing that day in regards to things the media did not tell us or we could not have known at the time. For you Christians out there, this is a must read.
Mar 02, 2012 rated it liked it
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 ...more
Oct 25, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent heartfelt memoir with a call to forgiveness

While Haskin is clearly not a professional writer, the pathos of her personal story overcomes her writing style and imbues every page with meaning. She uses a flashback pattern to discuss parts of her earlier life that brought her to the point where she worked in the north tower on 9/11. She finished not only with a heartfelt discussion of how her heart and life have changed, but with a call to action toward her reader. Let this book change yo
Sep 14, 2014 rated it liked it
A look at a survivor and the struggles she experienced with her continued recovery. An experience that causes the author to reevaluate her Christian faith. Some vivid description of the suffering and misery of the 9/11 attack. The writer is sincere and is brave in her telling of her story of healing.
Janet McMillan
Sep 13, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good read

First half was excellent on 9/11. The second half religious but somewhat preachy in places. but I do like knowing the author is ok because of her faith.
Sep 26, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: memoir
I really appreciated the spiritual side of her journey as well as her miraculous survival. She details everything that happened graphically and the horror of that day, the suddenness, how in an instant all can change really captured my imagination. I appreciate the redemptive side of the story. She really had a hard time with PTSD. I read this book in September as I continue to want to remember. I hope others will never forget or take for granted the incredible loss of that day and how this even ...more
Sep 28, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: christian-books
I picked up this book in our church library today and read it in a single afternoon. Leslie Haskin has a wonderfully personal and poetic style of writing ... I was profoundly MOVED by her story. She tells better than anyone I've read, about the details of what happened on 9/11 (specifically as they happened to her). This is not an autobiography or a detailed account of her life story ... it is a collection of reflections on the events of that day the world changed forever and how they IMPACTED ...more
Sep 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
This book was a heart-wrenching & exhilarating book for me to read; however, I would recommend to all those who love to read. This is not a fiction story, but it is one that is sad but true. I can only imagine the horror that these folks suffered, those who survived & those who did not, but this book helps give us just a glimpse of what that day was like. I appreciate the honesty and candor with which the author told her story, and I pray for her daily that she continues on her road to r ...more
Jun 11, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
This was hard for me to read because of the content of the book itself, but it was very good in the end. It showed the incredible strength and most importantly, the faith, this woman had to draw on to survive. I felt as though I was going through it with her and cried at times and cheered when it became obvious she was going to get out alive.
Jul 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
An excellent book. I haven't read many things written about 911, but Leslie's story drew me in at the beginning and kept my interest until the end. She shares her struggles and gives an honest assessment of her own weaknesses amidst such a horriffic event. This is her personal story of survival on all levels and one I will remember for a long time.
Feb 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone 13-14 and older
Recommended to Hope by: Rachel
This book was good. It got kinda creepy as Haskins was describing what she saw on that morning, 9/11/2001. But I understand how she would have PTSD after seeing what happened. I personally think that Haskins described the event with too many details. It does get a little draggy at the end.
May 25, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: memoir, non-fiction
This is my first time reading a survivor's story of 9/11 - wow. I had no idea the chaos that ensued in the towers after the planes hit. I can only imagine that most survivors, like the author, suffered from PTSD. The things they saw and experiences they had were harrowing, horrific and numbing. And despite that, there was kindness, help, encouragement and sacrifice shown by so many. It turned the author's life upside down in ways I had not given thought to. I wonder how many other survivors had ...more
Lori Donovan
Nov 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a very powerful book of the author's first hand account of 9/11 and her escape from the World Trade Center and her journey to finding faith afterwards.. While many of us have watched and read the horror of that day, not many reports of what the survivors actually saw and experienced have been told especially first hand. This book tells us of what was happening and what they experienced and saw from the inside of the twin towers on that day. As we all remember that day forever, I was very ...more
Cathy Hable
Dec 19, 2017 rated it liked it
Any recounting of the events of September 11 are heartbreaking. Especially to hear this book read by the author and hear her emotions and her voice crack as she retells her story. Incredible. But it did wax a little too poetic for me. And was a bit heavy on the sermon and the rapture toward the end.
Michael Bird
Feb 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great Insight into what went on Inside the Twin Towers on that Fateful Day

Leslie tells her story with great openness and detail. The story takes the reader on a harrowing and traumatic adventure. Leslie journeys from brokenness to healing and liberation. Leslie is a good writer and the story is gripping and easy to read.
Val Robson
Feb 13, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: library
I struggled with this book. As an avid reader of biographies and a committed Christian I thought this would be a perfect combination of two themes which I'd get a lot out of, depsite the harrowing subject. But sadly I just got the harrowing bit with no reader satisfaction. The biography bit was well written and you really felt like you were in the twin towers that dreadful day with Leslie as she decribed her slow and traumatic (which seems too mild a word) journey down 36 floors of a building th ...more
Feb 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A really moving book, I enjoyed this as it breaks my heart what so many people & families are dealing with still today! Everyone should read this book it makes you grateful & know that God is still control of America
I did enjoy parts of this audiobook particularly the beautiful writing by the author, however it was quite disjointed in places making it confusing at times. There is an additional narrator with a very pronounced English accent announcing the chapters and quoting scriptures throughout. I have found this incredibly distracting and I really don't think it adds anything to the story. Maybe if this was released as a bible study or devotional, it would be more suitable, but it really didn't help with ...more
Diann Bernstein
Oct 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Took my breath away.

The author shares her harrowing experience of surviving the 9-11 attack and escaping from more than 30 stories. Her excellent descriptions helped we walk with her as she encouraged herself and others through this horrific experience.

She has come away changed in spirit and body and shares her faith experiences that have made it possible for her to proceed with her life as a "life of service".

I never saw the "twins" as she called them, but her vivid descriptions make me want t
Apr 15, 2007 rated it it was ok
I was really interested in reading this book. I thought she did a really good job of explaining what she and others went through on 9/11. She had a lot of detail and you felt like you were there. You knew what she was thinking, feeling, etc. This took up 2/3rds of the book. The rest of the book I felt was not written as well. It jumped from one topic to another. She talked about a daughter that came to live with her when she was 16 but didn't tell why or anything and then she goes on to the next ...more
Oct 16, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: biographies
While this woman endured a horrendous experience and I really appreciate the fact that it brought her into a relationship with God, her retelling of it is rather meandering and at times difficult to follow. The Bible verses she quotes don't always seem relevant to the part of the story she is narrating. And I find the last section very "preachy." One can share one's testimony and bring glory to God without having to preach a sermon. I think the author could have benefited from professional writi ...more
Sep 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
Having just been to New York and visiting the 9/11 Museum and Memorial I wanted to read more about what the people of New York experienced. This is a very raw and honest story of one woman's ordeal and what helped her the most. What lessons she learned and what now gives her life meaning are lessons we all need to learn in order to live the abundant life God wants to give us and to find meaning and purpose after tragedy.
Patricia C Robbins
Never Alone

An eye opener. We as non-victims can never really understand what 911 was like for the survivors. In fact we have already forgotten the lessons of 911. Our lives belong to God, and though life is not always pleasant He is with us. We have returned to our lives of leisure, but we are no longer the same. Let's not forget.
Feb 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
I met the author after 9/11 at Woodloch Pines in PA. She is such a lovely lady and I was glad to hear she survived the tragedy. I was in HS when it happened, and work in the city now. It was interesting to see how the workers went about their morning and everyone's reaction to the disaster. I try to put myself in their shoes and see what I would have done on that horrible day.
melodie parrish
Sep 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Heartfelt vulnerability

The author bears her raw emotions and soul in this personal account of unimaginable tragedy that as Americans we all felt that day, but her's magnified beyond comprehension and getting back to the Faith of her upbringing to carry her forward in life. Excellent Read!
Sep 08, 2008 rated it it was ok
Leslie Haskin discusses her experience as she made her way out of the World Trade Center on Sept. 11th. Although it wasn't one of the better books I've read on this topic, I felt there were certain passages that were interesting and enabled the reader to understand what the survivors were going through. (Lots of religious content in this book.)
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Leslie's story begins in Chicago ---- The youngest girl of a family of fifteen, she describes herself an outspoken, independent thinker who was always in trouble.

Leslie excelled in college and in business. By 2000, she was one of only two African American executives for one of the largest insurance companies in the country. Living all the privilege of an executive's life, Leslie surrounded hersel
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“We see with our hearts. Our eyes are simple catalysts that carry images. Our eyes capture flowers and out heart knows serenity. Our eyes capture a child at play and our heart knows joy. They capture beauty and we know love. They capture war and we are acquainted with mortality. My eyes captured hatred and suffering, and my heart knew sorrow. They captured death and destruction and my heart knew fear.” 10 likes
“I believe the signs we are seeing today most certainly point to the rapture of the church. These are indeed end times. I believe that one day very soon, Jesus Christ Himself will come in the clouds and millions of people will see their battles end...
I believe that followers of Christ from all around the world, of every race, creed, color, age, economic standing, and religious affiliation will vanish in a single moment of time ... gone. The Word of God describes it as a 'twinkling of an eye.' In an instant, there will be boardrooms without directors, classrooms without teachers, hospitals without doctors and nurses, cars without drivers, airplanes without pilots, and loved ones disappearing mid-sentance and mid-morning coffee. I am sure that complete chaos won't even begin to describe it. I imagine a worldwide crescendo of screaming voices.
When the dust clears, everone left on earth will know emptiness beyond description and a greater sense of evil than has ever been thought to exist. It will be the condition of things. Overwhelming sadness, confusion, loss, and insecurity will be worldwide. It will happen at that time, even as it did on that September morning.”
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