This week on the Romance Writers Weekly Blog Hop, A.S. Fenichel says:
Tomorrow, September 11, is my birthday. I know, things got terrible on this day in 2001. Where were you that day? What do you remember? What stood out to you? What was your “silver lining” takeaway?
A lot of people who don’t read romance dismiss it because they think it is goopy and melodramatic. What they don’t realize is that the best romances reaffirm the goodness of life in even the worst circumstances.
The first I remember learning of the attacks was coming downstairs to find my three-year-old son watching TV as the second plane hit the World Trade Centre. I’m still not sure what he was watching before then, but as the coverage took over the airwaves it was impossible to avoid.
I work at a broadcast centre with two radio and one television stations, and even though we were thousands of kilometres away from the events, it took over our day. I spent the morning stuffing envelopes for a sales presentation we were planning for the next week while watching the horrifying images coming from New York, Pennsylvania and the Pentagon. It was so disorienting, to keep doing regular, ordinary things while the world was changing before our eyes.
But life does go on, as the victims of war and violence and plain-old bad luck have learned for thousands of years. And the tragedy of that day has inspired many in unexpected ways.
There are lots of books written that involve the events of 9-11 – both fiction and non-fiction. I can still remember my reaction to “Sex, Straight Up” by Kathleen O’Reilly. A Harlequin Romance published in 2008, this story treated the subject with grace, humour and understanding. The hero’s wife died in 9-11, and it is one of the most wonderful romances I’ve ever read. I highly recommend it.
And then there’s “Come From Away.” Many of you will have heard the story of the little town of Gander, Newfoundland which was flooded with thousands of people when commercial airliners were forced to land there after American airspace was closed because of the attacks. Even in a country as friendly as Canada, Newfoundlanders are famous for their hospitality – but this put them to the test.
Written by Irene Sankoff and David Hein, the musical "Come From Away" is set in the week following the September 11 attacks and tells the story of the residents and stranded travellers. 12 actors portray multiple characters, and the sparse set is transformed from airliners to school bus to Tim Horton’s coffee shop to school gymnasium as needed. I was privileged to see the production on Broadway, and I can honestly say I have never seen anything so moving, so hilarious, and so emotionally stunning as this show. It is now in production all around the world, and if you get a chance, you must see it. Click here to get just a taste of the awesomeness.
And don’t forget to visit Jenna Da Sie next!