With the approach of the 9/11 anniversary, I am drawn to that terrible time and the horror that all of us felt as we watched the world change.
At first, as I pored over every published word, I kept thinking of the previous February when we took four grandchildren to New York and enjoyed a morning in the North Tower. What would I have done if the plane had hit at that time? What if we had been stranded in the Windows on the World, that lush lunch spot overlooking the sprawling city?
Then an idea I cannot explain took form. As time went on and the search for survivors continued, I thought of how someone could use the fallen towers as an opportunity to escape.
Thus, began the gestation of my eleventh book. I busied myself writing and lecturing about Texas in the 19th century as memories of 9/11 played in my imagination. I was convinced the story was ready to be told when I heard a radio program that featured listeners sharing on postcards their deepest secrets. I was startled when one wrote, “Everyone thinks I died on 9/11!” Finally, last year during COVID-19, A LONG WAY HOME came to life.
Meredith Haggerty had crippled her husband in an auto crash and endured years of his abuse while harboring a plan to escape when she could make it look as if she died. She grasps her chance at freedom on 9/11 when her office collapses with the fall of the North Tower.
Heading to a new life in Mexico, her seatmate on the bus is Father Jacque Richelieu who convinces her to teach English at the health center he manages on the Texas Rio Grande. Residents of the little community are buffeted by our country’s march toward war and the frightening challenges of emerging cartels along the border. Although Meredith finds a home, she and the priest discover that they have not found themselves.
It’s been a while for me since posting, but I’m thrilled to see you’re still writing. This looks fantastic!
I was delighted to see your post, Barb. I’m writing, but no longer doing the weekly Texas history blogs. Seven years was long enough!
Your new book??
Just saw this, Marty. Yes, this book came out in February 2020, just in time for Covid!
Myra, Myra! Such a pleasure to see your face! I have ordered “A Long Way Home”. It was so enjoyable to read of your visit to Windows on the World with grandchildren. The best view of anything anywhere — almost. I was there is the early ‘80’s, and I’m very much looking forward to visiting the 9/11 Memorial ASAP.
Love, and best wishes for extended good health —
Linda Henderson Rodino
For some reason I get on the comnent page. This was a marvelous book.
Oh this is intriguing! I had similar wonderings about escape opportunities and am eager to see how you handled it–especially in weaving the RGV into it. A part of the world that very much shaped my own personal development, for good and ill.
I am delighted, Helen, to know that you also thought of escape opportunities after 9/11. I hope you enjoy A LONG WAY HOME.
You know I love this book Myra! In fact I chose “A Long Way Home” as one the top four fiction books I read in 2020. http://verysmartgals.blogspot.com
You are a darling, SueAnn. I feel blessed that you reviewed A LONG WAY HOME, and that you listed among one of your top four in 2010. Thanks, took, for the link to that review!!