In the morning fog of the North Atlantic, Valerie hears the frenetic ticking of clocks. She’s come from Toronto to hike on the French island of St. Pierre and to ponder her marriage to Gerard Lefèvre, a Montrealer and a broadcast journalist whose passion for justice was ignited in his youth by the death of his lover in an airline bombing. He’s a restless traveller (who she suspects is unfaithful) and she’s the opposite: quiet, with an inner life she nurtures as a horticulturalist. Valerie’s thinking about Gerard on assignment in her native New York City, where their son Andre works. In New York City, an airplane has plunged into a skyscraper, and in the short time before anyone understands the significance of this event, Valerie’s mind begins to spiral in and out of the present moment, circling around her intense memories of her father’s death, her youthful relationship with troubled Matthew, and her pregnancy with his child, the crisis that led to her marriage to Gerard, and her fears for the safety of her son Andre and his partner James. Unable to reach her loved ones, Valerie finds memory intruding on a surreal and dreamlike present until at last she connects with Gerard and the final horror of that day.

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Print and Online Praise for All That Is Solid Melts Into Air

“With shattering grace Giangrande divines catastrophic grief, the redemptive power of ephemeral joys, and the interconnectedness of all things as past and present conflate in terrorism’s chaos. Memory becomes balm as life, all life, is porous. Exquisite, devastating, this book is a bomb.”

—Carol Bruneau, author of These Good Hands

 


 

“A magical work of literature, brimming with wondrous imagery and subtle threads of the future/present/past.”

— Miramichi Reader

 


 

“An elegy for lost innocence, All That Is Solid Melts Into Air is at once extremely sad and exquisitely hopeful. Its hopefulness resides mainly in the stubborn resonance of the quotidian, and in the kind hearts and good wills of those who refuse to accept evil, no matter how often it crashes into their lives. Carole Giangrande has achieved a great deal in this short, beautiful book; confronting the incomprehensible without despair and describing profound grief without sentimentality.”

—Susan Glickman, author of The Tale-Teller and Safe as Houses

 


 

“All That Is Solid Melts Into Air is above all a compassionate book. Carole Giangrande takes that horrifying day—September 11, 2001—and filters it through the consciousness of a woman, Valerie, whose loved ones are in Manhattan as the crisis unfolds. She doesn’t know whether they are dead or alive, and Giangrande is masterful in her expression of Valerie’s surreal state of mind. The book captures with gut-wrenching acuity the anxiety, fear and distress of not only that particular day but of our current social climate as well. No one is safe anymore—was anyone, ever?—and our perceptions rule us: “The truth was that everything you looked at had to pass through the lens of what you imagined you saw. It was up to you to decide what was real.”  Timely words from a timely book.”

—Eva Tihanyi, author of The Largeness of Rescue

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“…prose that absolutely shimmers. What’s more, her recapitulation of what is was like to watch 9/11 unfold on television is engrossing in its verisimilitude. DeLillo, Amis and Foer could learn a thing or two from her.”

Quill and Quire

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“Giangrande has written a thought-provoking story that will have your heart racing, bursting, and breaking. The story is thoughtful, slow-going, and emotional.  The prose is beautiful.  The characters are interesting, flawed, and realistic.  And the ways in which this book explores life and death through the pain of waiting and not knowing is superb.  I just loved this book so hard.  It was terrific!”

A Bookish Way of Life

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“The wording is both elegant and poetic… the author, accomplished painting vivid images within my mind’s eye that will never be forgotten. Overall this book is unique, being unlike anything I have read before. Go get a copy! You will not be disappointed.”

Readaholic Zone

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“This is a beautiful book that I read slowly so that I could savor the fantastic writing. It’s about 9/11, a subject that many people still can’t read about, but it’s about so much more than that. It’s about family and love and memory of earlier life and trying to make sense of the world around us even during a tragedy such as 9/11. It’s about the way that the past and the present are connected and the fact that you often need to look at your past to understand what is presently happening. Most importantly it’s a deep look into someone’s mind as they deal with senseless tragedy on a personal and a worldview perspective. I really cannot recommend this book enough — it’s one that I plan to keep and re-read.”

—Susan Roberts, Girl Who Reads