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Paper Airplanes

A novel by

It’s the end of summer, 2001. Erin O’Connor has everything she’s ever dreamed of: good friends, a high-powered career at a boutique Manhattan firm, and a husband she adores. They have plans for their life together: careers, children, and maybe even a house in the country. But life has other plans. Daniel works on the 101st floor of the World Trade Center.

Erin is drinking margaritas on a beach in Mallorca, helping her best friend get over a breakup, when she hears a plane has crashed into Daniel’s building. On a television at the smoky hotel bar, she watches his building collapse. She makes her way home with the help of a stranger named Alec, and once there, she haunts Ground Zero, nearby hospitals, and trauma centers, plastering walls and fences with missing-person flyers. But there’s no trace of Daniel.

After accepting Daniel’s death, Erin struggles to get her life back on track but makes a series of bad decisions and begins to live her life in a self-destructive fog of booze and pills. It’s not until she hits rock bottom that she realizes it’s up to her to decide: Was her destiny sealed with Daniel’s? Or is there life after happily ever after?

Genre: Literary Fiction

Praise for this book

"On the twentieth anniversary of the World Trade towers attack comes an unflinching novel that explores the aftermath of the tragedy. Forney, whose own husband survived 9/11, takes us into the heart and mind of a widow whose husband jumped from a tower to escape the terrifying fires. Her life abruptly broken, Erin journeys through hell and back in this fictional account of a loved one left behind. An elegantly written tale that engages a gamut of emotions, this is a powerful debut by a gifted writer." - Chris Cander

"The world changed irreparably in 2001, but most of us only knew the events from a distance. Forney takes us into the searing rupture of that day—and the unstable life that followed—with fortitude and insight, grace and eloquence, reckoning and ultimately peace. A tour de force." - David Eagleman

"With depth and empathy, Tabitha Forney navigates the emotional wreckage left by tragedy, exploring questions of fate, self-destruction and ultimately hope. Paper Airplanes is a lovely and moving novel." - Mark Haber

"This haunting novel captivated me from the beginning. Forney pulled me in with her gorgeous prose and a heroine who made my heart ache. I rarely cry when I read, but Paper Airplanes had me sobbing. This is the kind of book that only comes around once in a lifetime." - Laura Heffernan

"Surprising, poignant, hopeful and heartbreakingly honest in the best ways, Paper Airplanes is achingly hard to put down. Tabitha Forney is a literary force." - Carrie Jones

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