Friday, February 26, 2021

The Day the World Came to Town

 This non fiction work by Jim DeFede is a recounting of the days from Sept 11, 2001- Sept 15th.  If you were alive that day you know exactly where you were when you heard and how your family was impacted.  This story is about people who were right in the middle of the chaos, not in NYC or DC but immediately impacted nonetheless.   It is written as perspectives of local residents of Gander, Newfoundland and passengers on the flights that were redirected and grounded there when all air traffic was stopped in the US.  Coincidentally there were some very influential passengers on a few of the flights who shed some additional background and insight beyond just having been there, the stories are engaging as well as inspiring.

Mr. DeFede wrote a novel like non-fiction account.  It was a pleasurable read that I sat down and completed on a bleak winter afternoon.  The book reminded me of the good in man kind and at the heart of most people that is so easily overshadowed by the news media today.  It was refreshing to be reminded there are good people who do the right thing just because it is the right thing.  

The people of Gander and the surrounding small communities took in nearly 7000 stranded passengers and crew.   They rallied to house, feed and transport those individuals who found themselves stranded during a time of confusion and angst.   The author was able to focus his narrative on a small group of those individuals that tells a story of survival and innate goodness.  The people of Newfoundland put their lives on hold to help provide some proximity of normal to complete strangers, and wanted NOTHING in return.    

I urge you to read this book and treasure the beauty of human nature at its best.  I had the opportunity to visit St. Anthony, Newfoundland in 2019 with my husband and I can attest to the warm nature of the citizens.  It reminded me of my experiences in New Zealand.  These are truly people who will give the clothes off their backs to strangers and think it's weird that you are surprised at the gesture.  There is a chapter on being screeched in and I can say we too experienced this on our cruise ship.  It is an unforgettable experience to say the least- you will have to read the book to see what it means.  

The Day the World Came to Town: 9/11 in Gander, NewfoundlandThe Day the World Came to Town: 9/11 in Gander, Newfoundland by Jim DeFede
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is an amazing non fiction book that shows an entirely different side to the events of 9/11. It is easy to forget that so many people's lives were impacted on that day outside of those on the 4 planes and in the Towers and Pentagon. DeFede writes an amazing compilation of the stories of some of the passengers and the local residents of Gander, Newfoundland.

The different unique stories he was able to identify and relay are amazing. It is interesting to see how many different compelling stories were established in a small province of Canada. The strength and goodness of people really shine in this book. DeFede's writing style reads like a story instead of a non fiction textbook and it is so enjoyable.

This book reminds us of the wonderful kindness and generosity of good people in a time of need. It is a refreshing read that reminds me of the good in mankind which is much needed in such a turbulent time right now.

View all my reviews

Challenge Prompts

The Challenge Prompts I will use this for are:  

  1. Library Love  #LibraryLoveChallenge  Book #15
  2. Literary Escapes  #LiteraryEscapes  Newfoundland, Canada
  3. Virtual Mount TBR #VirtualMountTBR2021   Book #23
  4. Back List Reader  #Backlistreader  Book #26
  5. Non Fiction Reader  #2021ReadNonFic  #1 Biography
  6. PopSugar #popsugarreadingchallenge #37. A book you think your best friend would like
  7. Around the Year in 52 Books #2. A book by an author whose name doesn't contain the letters A, T or Y
  8. 52 Book Club  #the52bookclub2021  #8 A Book In The 900's Of The Dewey Decimal System
  9. The Unofficial Magnus Archives Challenge  #TMARC21  #1. The Eye: Nonfic about an unfamiliar subject
  10. BooklistQueen   # 4. Biography
  11. NJM Book Challenge  #NJMBookChallenge2021  #7 biography/autobiography
  12. Nerd Daily  #NERDREADING2021 #36. RELEASED BETWEEN 1991 - 2012
  13. Bookworm  #7.) Read a book with the color white on the cover
  14. Pick your Poison #26-3 A book set after a major world event (war, weather disaster, etc.)
  15. Bloggers Bookshelf   #bloggersbookshelf #21  a book with illustrations
  16. 52 books in 52 weeks  #9 anithero
  17. Unruly Reader Bingo  #7 narrative non fiction 

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