Discover Unforgettable Life Lessons In "The Memory Of Things"

28220960Title:  The Memory Of Things
Author:  Gae Polisner
Format:  Print
Length:  288 pages
Publisher:  St. Martin's Griffin
Rating:  5 Stars

The powerful story of two teenagers finding friendship, comfort, and first love in the days following 9/11 as their fractured city tries to put itself back together.

On the morning of September 11, 2001, sixteen-year-old Kyle Donohue watches the first twin tower come down from the window of Stuyvesant High School. Moments later, terrified and fleeing home to safety across the Brooklyn Bridge, he stumbles across a girl perched in the shadows. She is covered in ash and wearing a pair of costume wings. With his mother and sister in California and unable to reach his father, a New York City detective likely on his way to the disaster, Kyle makes the split-second decision to bring the girl home. What follows is their story, told in alternating points of view, as Kyle tries to unravel the mystery of the girl so he can return her to her family. But what if the girl has forgotten everything, even her own name? And what if the more Kyle gets to know her, the less he wants her to go home? The Memory of Things tells a stunning story of friendship and first love and of carrying on with our day-to-day living in the midst of world-changing tragedy and unforgettable pain—it tells a story of hope.  -Goodreads

My Thoughts
Ask anyone old enough to remember 911 as more than just a tragic day in American history; the thing that they can remember most clearly about that day.


Invariably, the majority of those asked will say that they can remember exactly where they were.

But for sixteen year-old Kyle Donohue, the day the towers fell was never so much about where he was.  But where and who he was in relation to those places and people who mattered to him most.


The very special girl with beautiful wings and no memory of who or why she was.  Who would serve as both his compass and his companion on his journey back to some semblance of sanity.

The Memory Of Things is, on its surface, a book about 911.  But one needn't look too far beyond that surface to see that the story told here is about so much more.

Our protagonist, Kyle, begins this book in much the same way that we all live our lives.
That is not to say that we are unaware.  We are to an extent.  That magical realm of immediate contact that is both a universal fact of human existence, and oddly individual.
That space reserved for mothers, fathers, siblings, jobs, friends, lovers, spouses, bills, pets, and all of the other important minutia which comprises our 'lives'.

A space in which Kyle doesn't quite seem to fit.

Until the day that the towers fall.  Forever changing Kyle's world, and everything about it that he once knew to be true.  Allowing his exclusionary bubble to become an endless web of connectedness.
A web that though hours old, proves strong enough to anchor  him to him to her.
That lost girl on the bridge.
And then...
to everything!

The importance of this book lies not in the fact that 911 acts as its backdrop.
But that 911 acts as a catalyst for growth, change, acceptance, understanding, and a realized self worth for both protagonists.
With Kyle realizing his place of importance to the structure of his family.
While Hannah experiences the same epiphany.  But on a much larger scale.  As her interactions with both Kyle, and his uncle; help her to grasp the concept of her importance to both herself, and the world at large.

The Memory of Things is a study of lives.  How one event can alter countless existences.  How many lives can forever validate one.

About Gae
Gae PolisnerI am the author of THE SUMMER OF LETTING GO and THE PULL OF GRAVITY.

Please note that, although I originally tried to assign star-ratings to my book reviews (and, thus, you will see some of my favorite books with stars), I have stopped doing so. A 3-star review, for example, can mean such different things to readers and reviewers, some rarely give more, so 3 means pretty great, to others 3 is barely mediocre. Because of this, it feels arbitrary and capricious to assign them, and I'd rather merely provide (in some cases) my brief thoughts on the book (unless I really can't help myself in giving it 5-stars, which usually means I wish there were lots more to give. . .). But for the most part, I'm only going to add the word recommended.

As for writer-me, if you want to know more about me, you can find me at my website, You may also find me on twitter (gaepol) or on facebook here: and a number of other social networking sites.

I'd love to interact with you here or there. :)

Buy The Book Here

1 comment:

  1. Eloquently put. Great Review. The cover of the book first interested me but i wasn't aware that the story itself would be this beautiful. If i do get the chance i will surely read it.

    Aparajita @Le' Grande Codex


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