Tuesday, July 23, 2013

A Novel That Deserves an Audience: Room Of Tears

The tragedy of 9/11 has spawned countless books, but author Linda Merlino tackled the difficult task of telling a remarkable story that occurred in the aftermath of that horrible day. Merlino's new novel, Room Of Tears, is the gripping tale of a firefighter's widow and her astounding life after the attack, told from a unique vantage point.

The protagonist, Diane O'Connor, was widowed when the South Tower of the World Trade Center collapsed at 9:59 that morning. The event destroyed the life she had planned and shattered her faith, but it didn't crush her willingness to face her fate. She kept a note hanging on her kitchen cabinet as a poignant reminder of the words she left for her husband that terrible morning.  She also kept a journal of the year that followed 9/11, revealing it only because she knew her son, born nine months after that fateful day, needed to know what was in it.

Merlino says she was moved to write Room Of Tears by a chance encounter she had in 2008 in the Raleigh Durham Airport while on a book-signing tour for her first novel, Catalina Hudson (originally published as Belly of the Whale). In the airport, Merlino met a woman whose husband had been a New York City firefighter that day. He survived by chance; he had switched shifts to accommodate a doctor's appointment. "We moved down here to get away from the memories," the woman said. She went on to tell Merlino about the funerals, the widows, the waiting, and the grief. "Write your story," she said. "I may not be able to read it, but it needs to be written."

Room Of Tears needs to be read. It's a tribute to one woman's strength and a testament that miracles can really happen.

Available in eBook and trade paperback. ISBN: 978-1-927792-10-0

Dave Donelson, author of Heart of Diamonds a about in the

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