One Tuesday Morning: Karen Kingsbury

Good day, friends. Hope all is well. Wrote this one a while back and kept looking for the best time to post it. I usually share my opinion of a book near the weekend but today seemed most appropriate. My thoughts and prayers go out to any/all of you touched in any way by the events of 9/11, especially since this 11th anniversary falls on a Tuesday.

Wow. Wow. Wow.

As has typically been the case whenever I fall in love with a book, this one found me, marked ‘Free’ in the library of the little church around the corner of my house. I’d never heard of this author, but the back-cover copy easily caught my attention:

I’m a firefighter, God, so I know I’ve been in some tough places before. But this . . . this not knowing the people I love . . . this is the hardest thing I can imagine.

The last thing Jake Bryan knew was the roar of the WorldTradeCenter collapsing on top of him and his fellow firefighters. The man in the hospital bed remembers nothing. Not rushing with his teammates up the stairway of the south tower to help trapped victims. Not being blasted from the building. And not the woman sitting by his bedside who says she is his wife.

Jamie Bryan will do anything to help her beloved husband regain his memory, and with it their storybook family life with their small daughter, Sierra. But that means helping Jake rediscover the one thing Jamie has never shared with him: his deep faith in God.

Jake’s fondest prayer for his wife is about to have an impact beyond anything he could possibly have conceived. One Tuesday Morning is a love story like none you have ever read: tender, poignant, commemorating the tragedy and heroism of September 11 and portraying the far-reaching power of God’s faithfulness and a good man’s love.

I’ve read many books. I’ve been touched and moved in so many different ways, but this one…a potent piece of (modern) historical fiction… The emotions Ms. Kingsbury evoked are the kinds I aspire to as I continue my own writer’s journey.

ONE TUESDAY MORNING kept me turning the pages—and putting pretty much all other life activities on hold to do so.

And I cried.

At the beginning, while I relieved the 9/11 tragedy through the eyes of someone inside the inferno and of their loved ones who had no way of knowing more than what came to them via the media. (I was blessed that day: being far enough away and having had no loved ones anywhere in that vicinity.) As I approached the story’s climax, I cried and cried more. I kept a box of tissues handy and had to take periodic breaks so that I could see. I stayed up into the wee hours to finish so that I could rest my eyes via sleep. (Shedding even one tear in the morning results in all-day irritation that rarely dissipates, even if I use eye drops.)

I went to bed thoroughly moved and even haunted by the story events. I wanted to email the author on the spot, but couldn’t begin to process the magnitude of what I’d read. And I woke up haunted more the next morning, almost the way I did eleven years ago, on the morning after. I couldn’t get the story hero out of my mind.

Yes, ONE TUESDAY MORNING had some formulaic components. What kept it so riveting though, were all the possibilities it could have taken; each a reasonable, relatable outcome that might have worked for all the major story characters. Yet, there was only one way it should have ended. That’s the way the author went, keeping it poignant and real; spiritual enough to transcend, in a way, the boundaries of our physical world.

Not that this was a paranormal in any way. Nor, as a Christian/inspirational book did it feel overly preachy. The author’s faith is obviously strong and comes through in the story. Unrelated real-life events involving another couple and at least one similar theme (about whom a feature film was recently released) gave credence to the story’s premise. Through it all, the terror and devastation of the day the WorldTradeCenter disappeared from the NYC skyline was treated with the respect and honor due those we lost and those who get to live with the memory.

I love too, that the author has a sequel to tie up the most important story question of all. (I won’t share that lest I give away anything about the ending.)

Ms. Kingsbury also inspired me with the direction she allowed her story to take—a huge risk—but doing what she had to do for the story’s sake.

Among the reasons ONE TUESDAY MORNING has found its keeper-place on my shelf, and this author due for a trip to my local retailer for the sequel, BEYOND TUESDAY MORNING.

Thanks for indulging me.

Joanna

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10 thoughts on “One Tuesday Morning: Karen Kingsbury

    1. This is fiction, Calisa, with some of the best conflict I’ve ever seen built in. I so felt for every one of the characters and am constantly retreading bits and pieces. Thanks for coming by!

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  1. Joanna, I’ve seen Kingsbury’s books at our church, too. Based on your review, I’ll be sure to look for this one. (Btw, part of my WIP includes a firefighter involved in 9/11, but this author upstages my character. Reminds me to give mine more depth. )

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    1. Absolutely, Kim. I’ll brainstorm, beta read; anything I can do to help 🙂 I’d love your thoughts on This book should you choose to read it. Thanks for dropping in!

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      1. You’re welcome, Joanna. When I get caught up with my Distance Learning training, as well as the traditional, face-to-face classes I’m teaching, my life should return to normal, whatever normal is. 😉

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  2. Sounds like this could have just as easily been a non-fiction book. Such a horrible tragedy, such that most of us can remember what we were doing at that precise moment, even if we were far from the event itself. Through a lovely book review, you’ve chosen a nice way to remember all those affected by it.

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  3. Thanks, Carrie. I wasn’t sure if today was the most appropriate time, but figured doing so had its place too. There is also a third book in the series, but with an unrelated set of characters. Loved the conflict in the two related works, my favorite kind, when characters are really torn by the decisions they have to make and no answer is wrong. Always a pleasure to have you here!

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  4. Great post, Joanna! That day is so hard to revisit, but so necessary to keep at the apex of our minds. May it never happen again! Thanks for sharing the book! Sounds like a great read!

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    1. Definitely an enjoyable read, Marji; one whose many parts I keep revisiting. I’m talking about the sequel on Friday. I enjoyed that very much too. Thanks for stopping by and for your comment!

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