About the Book
A day that changed the world launches a decade that jeopardized everything an American family holds dear.
The Recorder of Deeds opens with fizzy Fashion Week runway shows. Then, abruptly, it pivots to a minute-by-minute, eye-witness account of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. With archived emails and a journalist’s eye for detail, the memoir unfolds as six flinty brothers and sisters grapple with decisions about their frail parents, their beloved childhood home, and the demands of their own families and careers.
In prose that is alternately personal and anthemic, across chapters lashed with tension and leavened with humor, The Recorder of Deeds is one woman’s remarkable account of terrorism and heroism, hope and despair, shame and redemption, and the tensile bonds of blood.
“What is it like to stand near Ground Zero on 9/11, watching the Twin Towers dissolve into dust and debris even as you and your siblings survive the weight of multiple deaths, mental illness, drug addiction, and more? In The Recorder of Deeds, author and award-winning journalist Catherine Underhill Fitzpatrick answers that question in gut-wrenching—yet ultimately uplifting—detail. At a time when our world has ‘razor-sharp edges,’ Fitzpatrick shows us that ‘the heart is a wondrous thing.’ This is a story about family, fealty, and ‘the importance of hope.’” Karla Linn Merrifield, Poet and Author, Psyche’s Scroll and Athabaskan Fractal: Poems of the Far North
“In The Recorder of Deeds, Catherine Underhill Fitzpatrick takes us along on her ten-year journey, a story that reveals the resilience of the human spirit and the universal truth that family is the tie that binds. With a fine eye for detail and lushly written observations, Fitzpatrick grabs our attention in the opening sentences and leaves us sputtering, ‘Tell me more.’” Carol S. Cole, Former Features Editor, St. Louis Globe Democrat
“Reading The Recorder of Deeds is akin to taking a long walk through the highs and lows, the triumphs and losses that make up a life well lived. Here is a woman who faces a mirror of memories without a blink. To open her life to others, many of whom she will never meet, is an act of courage. Any and all who join her story will see reflections of their own lives. It is a comfort to know that none of us is alone during the struggles and joys of living.” Miles Goodwin, Contributing essayist, This I Believe: The Personal Philosophies of Remarkable Men and Women