It was a Saturday night in the city. A chill in the air because it was February but not enough to keep people from being out and about. Maybe the city never really sleeps. I don’t know. We hustled against the chill, the sun already setting. Warmth waited behind the heavy wooden doors. My husband…
It is the mantra of this day we call Patriot Day, when we think back on the days surrounding September 11, 2001.
Can I confess something to you? It has always rubbed me wrong.
At first, I was cynical: Never forget? Please. We as a people are notoriously forgetful. Will we keep this tragedy before us daily? “Always” and “never” are words we should seldom use.
Lately, my reasoning for disliking these words has changed. When I think of someone saying the words “never forget,” I hear an undertone of bitterness. A hardening of the heart. Something like “I will never forget what you did.”
It’s a subtle difference but I wonder what would happen if we changed the words from “never forget” to “always remember.”
Read the entire post at Putting on the New, where I write on the 12th of each month.
A lot has changed since the first time I read this book, back when it was Kickstarter funded and self-published. I mean, the story itself is mostly the same, but my appreciation for young adult and middle grade fiction has grown.
So, it’s no surprise that I enjoyed my second read of The Day the Angels Fell by Shawn Smucker even more than my first. (I gave it 5 stars years ago, I wish I could give it more now. Also, I received a copy of the book from the publisher.)
What I said before is true: The Day the Angels Fell is a captivating debut novel from a talented author and blogger who takes time to see the world in a way few others do.
Part bedtime story, part fictional memoir, part adventure story, I loved this tale of Sam and Abra and what happened after Sam’s mother died. I kept turning the pages because I had no idea what was going to happen next or how things were going to work out. (I didn’t remember all the details from the first go-round this time, either.) As with Lord of the Rings, I couldn’t be sure Sam would make the right decisions (or the ones I thought he should make) until the very end. And I liked how we got two perspectives on Sam’s life–what happened when he was a boy, and him as an old man about to attend a funeral.
This is not an action-packed kind of page-turner but more like a walk through the woods with bends and curves and hills and valleys and you’re never quite sure where the story is going but you keep following the path because the scenery is so beautiful and you’re curious to discover where you’ll end up.
Even though it’s a young adult book, adults should be quick to scoop this one up because the themes are just as important for us to consider. I am now more eager for the sequel, which releases next summer, and just love how this book has blossomed in the hands of a traditional publisher.