I started listening to “Unmeasured Strength,” by Laura Manning on the 10th anniversary of the 9-11 tragedy. To say the day was emotional one is an understatement and it just felt right hearing Laura’s story on this momentous day. I wanted to love Laura because she’d been through so much and had done it so publicly, but I found it hard to connect with her.
First, let me tell you a bit about her. Laura Manning worked at the World Trade Center and she was injured in the first crash. As she stood at the elevator bank waiting to start her day, the first plane crashed and a fireball traveled down the elevator shaft and blasted out into the lobby. Laura and several others were engulfed in flames. She made her way outside and finally found a grassy spot where she could drop and with the help of others, put the flames that covered her out.
She was burned over more than 80% of her body and she endured incredible pain and anguish in the years that followed. I applaud her resilience and her strength and I do hope for her the very best, but I couldn’t connect with her. First while I generally prefer the author to read the audiobook, in this case it actually detracts from the story. Laura’s voice comes across as elitist and not very warm and friendly and sadly a bit monotone. She also tosses out designer names instead of generic clothing pieces, it just feels like labels and status were and are her life. And that’s so opposite of me.
What the story does show is that tragedy can happen to anyone. No one is immune because of status or money. And the pain and suffering is felt as greatly by all. For that reason I suggest reading the book, but I’d skip the audio. Stick to the digital version or standard paperback. In this instance the audio doesn’t add to the story and for me actually took away from my desire to complete the book.
Lauren Manning is a former managing director and partner at Cantor Fitzgerald. Her story of surviving the 9/11 attacks has been featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show, NBC’s Today Show, and many other media outlets around the world; CNN recently chose her as one of the most intriguing newsmakers of the past twenty-five years. The recipient of many honors and awards, she lives in New York City with her husband, Greg, and their two sons, Tyler and Jagger.
A mom and wife, Connie blogs about entertainment, going green, products, technology, DIY home remodeling and decor, and more. She's an animal lover and lives in the Pacific Northwest near Seattle, WA.
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