Fabulous Fiction Firsts #283
When the winner of a high-profiled competition to design a memorial for victims of a terrorist attack is revealed to be Mohammad "Mo" Khan, an American born Muslim architect, instantly everyone has an opinion and a need to debate the selection.
Claire Burwell, the self-possessed widow on the jury and Mo's fiercest defender finds herself pressured by outraged family members. Journalist Alyssa is desperate to capitalize on the controversy. Families of the victims struggle with grief and remembrance while weighing the moral quandaries of doing the right thing. No one was prepared that Mo's submission of a garden design meant "to provide a way for the families, the nation to mourn and to remember all that was lost ... and also to heal" would become the catalyst that divides a nation.
While there is no shortage of post 9/11 fiction, " Waldman fluidly blends her reporter's skill at rapid-fire storytelling with a novelist's gift for nuanced characterization. She dares readers to confront their own complicated prejudices steeped in faith, culture, and class. This is an insightful, courageous, heartbreaking work that should be read, discussed, then read again."
* * * = Starred reviews