Monday, August 20, 2018

The Day the World Came to Town by Jim Defede

Rating: 5 of 5 stars
Length: 6:00:00
Published: 2002

Narrator: Ray Porter

When the terrorists attacked the United States on September 11, 2001, there were many air crafts headed for the U.S. Understandably, President George W. Bush closed air space and threatened to shoot anyone down attempting to fly in the U.S. As a result, many travelers were stranded all over the world. And hundreds of them ended up in the small town of Gander, Newfoundland in Canada. The Day the World Came to Town by Jim Defede is the non-fiction account of how the citizens, affectionately referred to as Newfies, cared for not only Americans, but people from all over the world during those tenuous three days after the attacks. 

It was nice listening to this audiobook so many years after the attacks. I write this because we are far enough removed from them to be able to reminisce without all of the emotion from the events of the day as well as the aftermath. That is not to say this book was not emotional. It was touching. It made me smile. It made me tear up. It made me think. Our neighbors to the north took care of us, without reservation. And no matter what the 2018 Administration thinks, the people from Canada are our strong allies. 

Throughout the book, we learn about many different people: a couple who was bringing their newly adopted daughter from abroad, a mother who was on her way home but very stressed to learn that her son, a firefighter, had last been seen entering one of the Twin Towers, and an executive from the Hugo Boss company. In this audiobook version, I also listened to the stories of people who were not only new to Gander but their culture was as well. An orthodox Jew and a Nigerian princess were among the passengers who took refuge in this town. What was so amazing to me about this true story is that no matter the differences, the town came together and built on what united them - humanity - and in the midst of extreme tragedy, they took care of these people like extended family members. Because we are in such contentious political times in the United States today, it was nice to listen to this book and be reminded that people do care for one another and we are stronger together. 

Recommendation: I absolutely enjoyed this perspective of such a horrific time in U.S. history. I think everyone can benefit from reading this book. Fair warning, grab a box of tissues before you do! 

Until next time ... Read on!

Regardless of whether I purchase a book, borrow a book, or receive a book in exchange for review, my ultimate goal is to be honest, fair, and constructive. I hope you've found this review helpful. 


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