Friday, 5 February 2016

Book Review - Angel in the Rubble by Genelle Guzman-McMillan with William Croyle

Genelle Guzman-McMillan was the last person to be recovered alive from the debris of the World Trade Center's twin towers, after they were destroyed in the terrorist attacks of September 11th 2001. This book is a riveting account of her experiences on that day prior to the attacks and of the twenty-seven hours she spent trapped in the rubble, awaiting rescue.
This book is fast-paced and gets to the scene of the action straight away, with some background information regarding Genelle's life history included as the story progresses. The chapters are kept quite short and the style is fluid and easily readable. I found it hard to put down and read the entire book in two sittings.
Without being preachy, this book examines how one person placed in an extreme situation had the opportunity to reexamine her beliefs and faith. Genelle had some interesting, some would say miraculous, experiences during the hours when she was trapped and these are simply and coherently documented.
Genelle devotes a chapter to the lessons that she has learned from her experience and one is struck by her positive and hopeful attitude. Finding joy and contentment with what you have in the here and now is good advice for anyone and this is just one of the suggestions in this chapter.
Included is a chapter entitled "9/11 Stories", some brief accounts and transcripts of communications on that day,  which demonstrate the courage of many people as they sought to assist others or to do their jobs under extreme duress.
"Angel in the Rubble" is a surprising and inspiring read for anyone and I thoroughly recommend it.

"Angel in the Rubble" Genelle Guzman-McMillan with William Croyle,  Allen and Unwin,  2011

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