All I kept wondering as I neared the end of One Tuesday Morning was What about Jamie Bryan?
The protagonist of the prequel had been put through every emotion a woman deeply in love with her husband and faced with the possibility of losing him could experience. The author slammed her hard as I suppose any heroine could be slammed—and then gave her an emotionally-charged follow-up love story in which to star.
From the author’s webpage on this book:
It’s been three years since the terrorist attacks on New York City, but FDNY widow Jamie Bryan keeps waking up to the aching pain of that one Tuesday morning, the morning of September 11, 2001.
Determined to find meaning in her grief, Jamie pours her life into volunteer work at St. Paul’s, the small memorial chapel across from where the twin towers once stood. In the stream of broken, grieving people who make their way through the church doors, Jamie connects with two men—a firefighter forever changed by the attacks, and a Los Angeles police officer.
Unsure and feeling somehow guilty, Jamie opens herself to the possibility of loving again. But what she learns about one man sends her reeling. How can this be God’s plan for her life?
Now only the persistence of a tenacious man, questions from Jamie’s curious young daughter, and words from her dead husband’s journal can move Jamie Bryan beyond one Tuesday morning—toward life.
I enjoyed this book. Perhaps not quite as much as its prequel but the subject matter and story lines were poignant in a different way; relatable to many, especially those who deal in loss daily and even more so for those who suffered it because of the events of 9/11. Maybe the conflict wasn’t quite as strong as its predecessor’s; at times the conflict even felt a bit contrived. One particular point of view was not necessarily to my taste, but it was used sparingly. Despite those issues, the author did her job: keeping me engrossed, captivated and turning the pages by creating conflicts that kept story questions turning in my head. And there was simply no way to NOT like the story’s key players.
Not only did Jamie Bryan have to deal with her inner demons (primarily guilt), she needed to resolve external conflicts stemming from One Tuesday Morning that landed her in the situation she started out in. Clay, the man for whom she falls, is just the steadfast kind of guy I happen to love reading (and writing) about. And I also like stories in which characters take on a tangible presence despite not being physical entities.
All in all, the story conflict and developments were handled quite nicely by the author via dialogue and themes of trust woven throughout the narrative—themes that I found working their way into my day while I read and now that I’m done. A good reminder for me that no matter how dire a situation gets, hope keeps one going; and love—from more sources than we realize—gives fortitude to reach beyond the comfort zones to live life fully.
Have a great weekend, folks!