Set mainly in the Bronx in 1974, Colum McCann’s novel explores the lives of a diverse group of New Yorkers whose stories converge on the day Philippe Petit takes his historic walk between the twin towers of the World Trade Center. A man comes to the Bronx to find his brother, an Irish monk working with prostitutes under a freeway off-ramp. A wealthy woman hosts a group of other mothers who have lost sons in the Vietnam War. Two artists attempt to live off the grid in a wooded cabin but return to the city to sell their paintings. These seemingly unrelated occurrences unfold over a summer when apartment buildings burn, the Watergate hearings drone on, and the war in Southeast Asia continues its violent denouement. McCann weaves these stories into a riveting drama, showing how lives touch other lives in tragic and miraculous ways.
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