Fiction. Recommended by my friend Karen.
Karen described this book to me as, "Sort of like the movie Crash. You know, where everyone is somehow connected but you don't totally get it until the end." After reading it I would say that is a pretty fitting description. The event that centers the book happened in August of 1974 for real: a man named Philippe Petit walked a tightrope between the Twin Towers in New York City. The rest of the story is made up of fictional characters whose lives unexpectedly connect each to the other based on what happened that day. In all but one case, I thought the author did a nice job of weaving their stories and connections together and I really enjoyed reading the book. I was surprised when the book ended (reading on a Kindle has a different effect than reading an actual book when you know how many pages are left) and as much as I liked the stories, I had a lot of questions about the characters and some of the details that I would have liked the author to include. In the end I think it was a book about how people deal with real life and with tragedy, how they carve their place in the world, how they find or do not find love. It was well-written and thoughtful and at some moments actually quite a beautiful story to read. I would definitely recommend it - would make a great book club book! If you are a New Yorker or a New York lover, the book will mean something even more to you. A tribute to the Towers and all of their power and promise when they were young in the early 70s, the book is also a reminder of how they brought the people of New York together both at the beginning and the end of their existence.