The Memory of Things

Gae Polisner. St. Martin’s Griffin, $18.99 (288p) ISBN 978-1-250-09552-7
This somber yet hopeful novel from Polisner (The Summer of Letting Go) begins on the morning of September 11, 2001, with her teenage protagonist, Kyle Donahue, fleeing across the Brooklyn Bridge, worrying about his first-responder father, his mother who is flying home from California, and his incapacitated uncle who needs his care. While on the bridge, Kyle runs into a girl covered in ash and wearing angel wings, and takes her home. Referred to as “the girl” throughout most of the novel, due to her amnesia, her presence adds a dimension of mystery to this story. As Polisner delves into one of the most emotionally wrenching days in modern American history, Kyle’s narration gives a play-by-play-like overview that’s frequently interrupted by short, free-verse passages that reflect the girl’s confused mental state. The tentative romantic feelings that develop between Kyle and the girl read more like a detour than an integral aspect of the plot, but they underscore the uncertainty, bewilderment, and grasped-for sense of connection during the immediate aftermath of the attacks. Ages 12–up. Agent: Jim McCarthy, Dystel & Goderich Literary Management. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 07/18/2016
Release date: 09/06/2016
Genre: Children's
Ebook - 978-1-250-09553-4
Paperback - 288 pages - 978-1-250-14442-3
Prebound-Glued - 288 pages - 978-0-606-40599-7
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