The Year That Follows
Knopf, Jun 9 2009, $23.95
Fortyish bond trader Kyle died in one of the Towers of 9/11. Just before he died, Kyle informed his single mom sister Cat that he believed he is the father of an infant and that the mother also worked in the WTC. The siblings planned to meet shortly to honor their late mom; the next day Kyle was dead. Cat searches for her nephew, but makes no progress.
A year later, Cat’s dad Sam, a widower veteran dying from a congestive heart disease, invites her to come to the Big Apple from Detroit to be together while they memorialize Kyle in a Jewish ritual in spite of neither having any faith anymore. She agrees as a chance to reconcile with her dad as both grieved 9/11 differently. She leaves for New York with hopes of finding her nephew and in some ways her dad.
THE YEAR THAT FOLLOWS is an excellent look at how people react after a tragedy occurs to loved ones. Cat and Sam are fully developed protagonists who have found separate ways to cope with what happened to Kyle, who we meet through the memories of his sister and father. Readers who relish a poignant look at survival coping will appreciate Scott Lasser’s terrific tale as religious beliefs collapse when the walls came tumbling down yet religious ritual enables grieving family members to come together at a time when surviving loved ones need each other for emotional support.