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Where You Left Me Hardcover – August 30, 2011


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Where You Left Me + Reluctant Hero: A 9/11 Survivor Speaks Out About That Unthinkable Day, What He's Learned, How He's Struggled, and What No One Should Ever Forget
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Gallery Books; First Edition edition (August 30, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1451621426
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451621426
  • Product Dimensions: 1.1 x 6.5 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #845,806 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“With grim humor and sharp observations, Where You Left Me provides trenchant insights into one woman’s resilience.” Kirkus Reviews

"In this hard-hitting memoir, a wife and mother stricken by tragedy after losing her husband at the World Trade Center gradually regains her ability to love. A former lawyer married to Douglas Gardner, a financial broker, and living with their two small children on Central Park West in Manhattan, Trulson was shuttling her five-year-old son to his first day of school on the morning of September 11. Her husband was already in his office at Cantor Fitzgerald on the 105th floor of the North Tower, where he died in the attacks. (His voice was identified on a 911 tape later sent to Trulson by the mayor’s office, but she never listened to it.) The brokerage firm lost 658 employees that day, the hardest hit of any single company. The closest friends who supported Trulson in her grief were her husband’s professional colleagues, who dedicated a sports center at Douglas’s alma mater, Haverford College. Trulson’s period of “bottomless fury and despair” was exacerbated by the ensuing media circus as she made the rounds of memorial speeches. Ten months later, Trulson became involved with another man, which jars the reader, but, in the end, her narrative achieves a balance between grief and life-affirming determination." Publishers Weekly

"Decades from now, when people want to know how life went on after the September 11th attacks, I hope they'll turn to this deeply moving, bluntly honest, elegantly written memoir. In Jennifer Gardner Trulson's grief, and in her account of the love that followed, all of us can see the possibilities in our own lives." —Jeffrey Zaslow, coauthor, The Last Lecture

About the Author

Jennifer Gardner Trulson is the founder of the Douglas B. Gardner Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping at-risk children in New York.  She graduated from Tufts University and received a J.D. from Harvard.  She lives with her husband and two children in Manhattan.

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Customer Reviews

And I don't like snobs.
Amazon Customer
Jennifer Gardner Trulson is a beautiful writer and I felt all of the emotions of her loss.
jill
I adored the book and once I started reading it, I couldn't put it down.
P. Little

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Mogul on August 24, 2011
Format: Hardcover
"Where you left me" is a moving memoir of Trulson's life after her life changed forever. Her husband was killed in the World Trade Center on 9/11, leaving her a young widow with two little children. How she copes is the gist of this remarkable story. She's able to make us understand her immobility at times, her highs and lows and how she reacts to others' well-meaning gestures. It's a great love story and a primer on how to behave in the face of others' tragedies...and how not to behave. Trulson had a great support system and family, but that doesn't make it any easier. Tragedy is the great equalizer.
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37 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Ficwriter1966 on September 26, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm obviously in the minority - but I didn't care for this book at all. I purchased it for my Kindle because of all the 5-star reviews, and because I was curious about the POV of someone who'd lost a loved one on 9/11. I ended up having to force myself to read "Where You Left Me" all the way through.

Contrary to the reviewers who talk about the deep, honest emotion present in Ms. Trulson's story, she came across to me as being very shallow, and far more concerned with her status amongst her group of high-society friends than someone whose world had been truly rocked by the loss of her husband. There are constant reminders of how well-off her family was (and is), as well as repeated references to her husband's stunning good looks. I can't say I'm very much impressed with him, either - someone who constantly says to his wife, "I'm the best thing that ever happened to you," comes across to me as being an arrogant jerk.

This man was the love of her life? Her soulmate? Someone whose death changed her life forever? That's lovely, considering that she felt compelled to resume dating a mere 9 months after his death. She makes a variety of excuses for that, but none of them ring true. Seems to me that she could no longer stand not being someone's arm candy.

If you're looking for a glimpse into the lives of the rich and privileged, then this is the book for you. But if you're looking for a real window into what happened on 9/11, something that will tug at your heartstrings (although really, there's a lot that seems voyeuristic about that), this isn't it. I came away from the book feeling that if I were to encounter Ms. Trulson anywhere in real life, she wouldn't be someone I'd want to get to know.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Cheryl Koch VINE VOICE on August 30, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I knew going into this book, it would be an interesting one. I mean this in a good way. I was not wrong. In fact, I liked this more than I could predict. Mrs. Gardner Trulson did a great job of showing who Doug; her husband was, in the brief moments that he was in the book. Sadly, Doug lost his life in the September 11th attack on the twin towers. I can remember this day and what I was doing. I will remember this one moment that just really made it all real for me. I was driving home from school and I spotted an American flag flying half mast and all of a sudden Lee Greenwood's "God Bless the U.S.A" started playing on the radio. It was at that moment that I broke down and cried and really prayed for all the lost souls and everyone in the world. So I could not imagine nor would I want to be in Jennifer's shoes when she learned about her Doug's death. Luckily for Jennifer, she had a good support system. Jennifer is a strong woman. She was left to raise two young children, which it sounds like they turned out just fine. Where You Left Me is not a book about revenge or regrets. It is a book about love, loss, sorrow, second chances, and happy endings. I dare you to not fall in love with Jennifer.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Steenamarie on October 13, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book was diappointing for 3 reasons which needs no further explanation, just take my word for it. Or not, that's fine too.

1. It was shallow and much of the book epicentered around materialistic motives.

2. The quality of writing could have been more poetic, more mindfully relfective, more heartfelt, less Vera Wang, more SOMETHING other than the ramble-ish, purposeless nature of the choices of what she wrote about and the diologue!

3. It left me feeling like this was the type of book you read if you are into less than intellectual conversations and are the type of person who's into gourmet cheeses cubes and celebrity gossip.

Sorry, just being honest. Forgive me all who disagree, I'm glad you enjoyed the book :)
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Therese on August 25, 2011
Format: Hardcover
a touching tribute to her late first husband, Jennifer Gardner Trulson's account of loss and new love is touching, poignant, and relatable. i recommend it for anyone who likes a phoenix-from-the-ashes story.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Dana in NC on September 1, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
What an amazing way to pay tribute to all the loves in your life. Jennifer Gardner Trulson manages to take one of the worst days of her life and allow the rest of us to experience it as more than sadness. September 11th signified a way to preserve her memories of her first love and her children's father, and the years after, a way to create new memories with her second love, Derek. He entered Jennifer's world with such grace and respect, who could not love him. After reading the book, you will truly feel like you know Jennifer, her family and how she goes through life with integrity, humor and the ability to address anything that she faces.
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