TMW Book Reviews

The Great American


Michele Wallace Campanelli

On September 11, 2001, the United States of America changed forever. After a series of airline hijackings and suicide attacks committed by nineteen militants associated with the extremist Al-Qaeda group, the event is considered one of the most destructive terrorist attacks on American soil. The attacks against New York and Washington, D.C., caused massive death and destruction, including the New York police and fire departments, where many had died when they rushed to answer the call of duty.

Best-selling author Michele Wallace Campanelli writes a loving dedication to the people who have suffered during this tragic event. In her book, “The Great American,” she explores the other side of these everyday heroes and how they were just ordinary neighbors living their lives before the attacks.

The main character, Jennifer, is married to Frank, a diligent lawyer hoping to become a partner in his firm. After receiving word from a friend that a career opportunity for Frank awaits at one of the twin towers, he couldn’t wait until tragedy struck. As the great tower disintegrates and the city becomes blanketed in white dust, Jennifer hopes and prays that her husband is alright.

The story explores the couple’s social circle and how tragedy brings them together. While it’s easy for traumatic events to cause relationships and friendships to fall apart, the author does the complete opposite and writes about the ties between solid relationships and the overall resiliency of the American spirit.

“The Great American” is a loving dedication to every witness, victim, and hero who was present during the 9/11 attacks. While the years have gone by and the country has showcased its strength in getting back up on its feet, there is no doubt that the events have changed the lives of many.

As we welcome a new generation who have not been around during the event, this book reminds all generations that what makes America great isn’t its military and economic power but the hearts of the people.

Indeed, “The Great American” isn’t about the strongest and most proficient soldier but the people whose resolve never wavered, even in the face of adversity. This book is a definite read for any American who needs a reminder of their country’s strength, regardless of age, gender, race, religion, and political affiliation.

– The Moving Words Review

Official Entry: The Most Moving Book Award, Jan. 3, 2024