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Love You, Mean It: A True Story of Love, Loss, and Friendship Paperback – January 15, 2008

31 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Four young women widowed by the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center were so bereft, so inconsolable, that they ended up forming their own support group, the "Widows Club." True, they found sympathy everywhere—from in-laws, co-workers, friends, grief professionals—but even their dearest intimates couldn't offer the absolutely unconditional acceptance and understanding of a sister sufferer. Collins could weep and tell stories about Tommy for hours, days or years, and Haynes wouldn't find it tiresome. Gerbasi could tell Carrington she'd seen "signs" of Bart—a bird outside her window, a bedside light flickering—and Carrington would understand, because her Caz was also sending messages. None of these women were interested in being "the perfect September 11 widow," working on protest committees, testifying before Congress and organizing fund-raisers. They just wanted to get through a day without dissolving into tears. In interfolded accounts, they each discuss how they met their husbands, how they spent September 11 and all the many ways they grieved. In the end, they each found ways to open themselves to new love, careful to keep the "Boys" and the Widows Club ever dear. "Love you, mean it," they'd tell each other over and over—and readers will love them, too. Appearances on 20/20 and Good Morning America. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Booklist

Many books have been written about 9/11, but this collection is unique. All four contributors became widows when their husbands were killed in the terrorist attacks. Their shared experiences inspired them to form the "Widows Club." Now they write about how each of them met their spouses, their initial individual grief, and how bonds formed through sadness grew into a friendship that has led to evenings out and vacation getaways. It is clear that the women care a great deal for one another and that their friendships are critical to moving forward in their lives. In that respect, their book will transcend interest in 9/11 and extend to anyone who has lost a partner in a sudden and unexpected way. Unfortunately, though, the narrative shifts from joint third person to singular first person, which proves confusing at key points. Nonetheless, this is recommended for readers looking for a largely nonpolitical and intensely personal viewpoint on 9/11's aftermath. Colleen Mondor
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Hachette Books (January 15, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401309089
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401309084
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.8 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #865,281 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By C. Poler on August 19, 2006
Format: Hardcover
After receiving my copy of Love You, Mean It, I stopped everything else in my life to sit down and read about how September 11, 2001 changed the lives of these 4 special women. I didn't stop reading until the last page was finished..

Well organized and written, I read account after account of how the Widow's Club (WC) coped with the trauma that appears so suddenly after lives are suddenly interrupted.

The women who wrote this book were linked together after the World Trade Center was attacked and after reading their many stories, it was understood by this reader that the love and support that they received from each other was absolutely instrumental in the preliminary stages of emotional and mental repair after the death of a loved one.

Hearing about the love each WC member had for their spouse, the feelings and emotions and heartbreak after "the boys" were killed and the steps taken to repair their lives was incredible.. It made me focus on those friends that I have recently lost and made me understand that my feelings after these losses have been experienced and felt deeply by others.

If you have ever had someone, so special in your life, taken from you, read this book.. If you want to be better prepared on how to deal with the loss of life and all the intrinsic feelings that are a result, it is a must read. LUMI is a guidebook detailing the accounts of four women who have cried, coped with internal and external forces, questioned their own existances and somehow, found the strength to forge ahead and continue on.. the reader will understand through the written words of this book, that you can too.

To quote from the last 2 sentences in the book.. "Make the decision to live. It would be wrong not to."

Thanks Patty, Julia, Ann and Claudia for sharing these very special stories.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 25, 2007
Format: Hardcover
So much has been written, documented, televised, sung about, and dramatized about 9/11. It is the event that shapes so much of our politics and influences our identity as a nation. For those Americans who didn't know someone who was murdered on 9/11 it is easy to group them all as the victims of 9/11. We forget that September 11, 2001 is not a date that shaped our history but that it is an on going history that continues to be defined. Love You, Mean It is a tribute to four men who were killed at the World Trade Center and is written by their widows.

Brought together by the shocking loss of their husbands Julia Collins, Pattie Carrington, Ann Haynes, and Claudia Gerbasi form a Widow's Club in July of 2002 and soon find their group to be an essential source of resilience, strength, and friendship. It is a book about how women bond and how different people grieve and grow. It is a book about love, "and the best part of love is that it can grow and you can love more than one person.

Love You, Mean It chronicles the relationships of Claudia and Bart, Julia and Tommy, Ann and Ward, and Pattie and Caz. It highlights their romances, ambitions, bereavement, memories, and their on going lives. Their stories are at the same time very sad and extremely up lifting. It is a book about gathering courage and moving forward. It is about friendship and empathy and about being a widow. It is about being in love and meaning it.

Aside from the resounding message of empathy and hope, Love You, Mean It is really well written. It has a lot of names and people to keep straight and does a remarkable job of not losing the reader with these complexities.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Sherri Caldwell - The Rebel Housewife(tm) on September 12, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Love You, Mean It is a remarkable book; a loving tribute to four men who died on September 11, 2001 in the World Trade Center, written by their widows in alternating first person and group narrative. More than that, relevant beyond the annual commemoration of 9/11 events, and not limited to those directly affected in that tragedy, Love You, Mean It is four separate, very personal experiences of grief in one amazing story of friendship, strength and survival in the aftermath of unimaginable loss.

I cried from the very first pages, and all the way through -- and I couldn't put the book down. I think most of us can, and always will, remember our personal 9/11 experience. September 11, 2001, when those towers fell and we began to realize what had happened, what was happening, it was a national experience of tragedy: shock, loss, fear, grief, anger. In Love You, Mean It, we experience four even more vivid personal recollections of those moments, when these women lost their husbands, and the aftermath -- days, weeks, months, years now -- on a very personal level.

Jeremy "Caz" Carrington, Tom Collins, Bart Ruggiere, and Ward Haynes, by all accounts, lived live to the fullest. Their widows met almost a year after the tragedy, and discovered friendship, support and consolation they had not been able to find from well-meaning friends and family who suffered with them, but could not truly understand their grief, the way the other widows could. The WC (Widow's Club) began meeting regularly, traveling together each year to recover from the difficult anniversaries and commemoration events.

These are amazing women, heartbreaking stories, yet truly inspiring. This is a book worth reading, celebrating, and sharing, in honor of the 5th anniversary of 9/11, and well beyond.

-- Sherri Caldwell, Humor Columnist & Reviewer at

Co-Author, The Rebel Housewife Rules: To Heck With Domestic Bliss!
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