Last week, I finished These Days Are Ours by Michelle Haimoff. I purchased a used copy on Amazon, and it turns out they sent me an uncorrected pre-publication version. I’m hoping it’s not much different than the actual book. I didn’t know that was what they’d send me.
Anyway, after reading the summary of the book, I knew I wanted to read it. This book takes place about 6 months after the terrorists attack on 9/11/2001. Hailey, our narrator, is a born and raised New Yorker who’s life has been turned upside down following both the events of 9/11 and her post-collegiate life. Since she graduated, she has moved back with her mom and stepfather and is struggling to find a job. All of this is heightened by the recent events that have unfolded, and the constant fear that has been instilled in New Yorkers following the attack.
The beginning of this book turned me off. I wasn’t aware that the main character, Hailey, and all of her friends are from private school, Ivy League, rich family lifestyles. They don’t really need to worry about jobs. Their parents keep them comfortable in penthouse apartments, treat them to new designer shoes, and they can party all night long any night of the week. I can’t relate to that.
But as I got deeper into the story, I really enjoyed it. Despite their privileged lives, there is a lot to relate to. Hailey is completely confused as to what she wants in her life. She can use her name and her parents’ credibility to get a job, but she wants to get a gig on her own.
She wants to make a life of her own. She is envious of people older than her, married with kids and working jobs, because she desperately wants to be on the right path and she feels she’s having a hard time getting there.
The fact that this story is set in post-9/11 NYC adds a certain element to it that I really liked. So soon after the terrible events, New Yorkers tried to carry on with their lives, but there was news on the attacks and the war and Anthrax every single day. People were trying to live normal lives, but they were also deathly afraid that they could be at the next attack zone, if that were to happen. So, while Hailey is having a hard time dealing with life after college (the general idea being that your life is planned until college and the rest is up to you), she’s also facing the truth of mortality. So many people were just going about their business and died without reason.
It makes Hailey and her friends truly question the purpose of doing anything because life can end that fast.
This was a quick read. Humorous and thoughtful. I enjoyed it, even if it did take a little while.