Reader Reviews
From and

This is a Five Star Book

S. E. Rowland (Arizona)   

This book is a must read. The photography is beautiful and the interviews profound. The authors deliver an immediate, intimate view of the many women who responded to 9/11. All I can say is this book is one you will not be able to put aside. I have been buying copies to give to friends and I read it aloud to my husband.

Unique and Insightful

Pat Rozee (Long Beach, CA)

This is a wonderful pictorial narrative of the lives of a few of the many courageous women who were rescuers at ground zero. The book is unique in that it is the only comprehensive coverage of the heroic acts of women rescue workers. It is insightful in that it presents the reader with the thoughts and behaviors, the doubts and the regrets as well as the triumphs of that day in the women's own words. A must read for anyone interested in women's issues, women's studies or just in hearing the complete story of 9/11. Thank you to the authors for giving us this wonderful piece of a potentially missing herstory.

Compassion in action

Judy Heikel (USA)

I am deeply moved by the ability of these stories to bring such an incomprehensible act of 911 into verbal pictures in my mind of the courage and action of these women answering a call to duty. What decisions followed once upon the scene were summoned from deep within the core of compassion. Despite overwhelming odds of futility, action followed need.  I find myself reviewing each story slowly, a little at a time. The horror repelling, the heroism compelling. I recommend this book wholeheartedly, and commend the authors for bringing these stories to us.  I give this book the highest points possible. It will move you deeply.

An Inspiring Read

Regina Stoops (Pleasanton, CA)

Once I started this book, I couldn't put it down...I just had to read one more story, then another and another. The book offers an amazing look at what September 11th felt like in sometimes disturbing detail. It was difficult to read at times but ultimately inspiring. These women really open up with candor and matter of fact details about their experience. I was so pleased to find these stories about the women of Ground Zero after the lack of media coverage on female rescuers. Its publication has made my Christmas shopping easy.

Coming to the Light and Strength

Linda Christopher ""

A. Kelty: "Watch your way then, as a cautious traveler; and don't be gazing at that mountain or river in the distance, and saying, "How shall I ever get over them?" but keep to the present little inch that is before you, and accomplish that in the little moment that belongs to it. The mountain and the river can only be passed in the same way; and when you come to them, you will come to the light and strength that belong to them."

The quote above appropriately describes the courage of both the women profiled in this extraordinary book and the two women who compiled the interviews and authored the book. Keeping to the task at hand the women at ground zero showed heroism and made sacrifices that no human should be asked to make and they did so with the light and strength given them in that moment. The authors, seeing that these heroes were unrecognized and under represented, made personal sacrifices and with grace, compassion, and commitment made sure that these stories would not be lost. The stories in this book are now recorded not only for us, but for future generations. Thanks to all of the extraordinary women who were there on 9/11 and to the two women who, after 9/11, gave a voice to the events of that tragic day and helped us understand better the effect of those tragic events on us all. Bravo! Well done.

Women at Ground Zero

A reader

Very good book! Amazing stories from very brave and courageous women! You Go Girls!

Heroines and role models abound!

Noonie Fortin (Albany, NY)

Susan Hagen and Mary Carouba did an excellent job of bringing to the readers of "Women at Ground Zero" the fact that women also served, were injured, or killed at the World Trade Center complex in New York City. They knew women had to be there but yet the media didn't cover them. So they went in search of them. People forget that women are also members of the fire, police and medical departments around the country. They didn't "want the fade into the background of American History" nor "future generations of children...believing that only men are strong, brave and heroic.

"They interviewed women from the NYPD, FDNY, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Police Department (PAPD), and other women who were there that fateful day and many days thereafter. Each chapter tells another woman's story so be prepared to read 30 gut-wrenching stories. They also interviewed women who were at the scene in other capacities. AND something very few people know about-three women died that day while in the service of saving others: Captain Kathy Mazza (PAPD), Moira Smith (NYPD), and Yamel Merino (EMT). There are chapters about those women as well.

These women and so many others saw crushed vehicles, dead bodies and body parts, along with airplane parts. They witnessed more in a short period of time then most people do in a lifetime. Some of their stories are very graphic while others brushed over that part. They talked about what they experienced and saw, their injuries, feelings and more. Its no wonder they continue to have problems BUT more importantly-most of them have all returned to the jobs they held on 11 September 2001. They continue to serve their community. They are all heroines and definitely role models for young girls to follow in years to come.

This is a book well worth reading though if you are like me it may take you awhile to get through it. I admit I had a hard time reading each chapter. With my background I felt everything these women went through without actually having been there. Be prepared for your own emotions to run the gamut. Be prepared to relive that day and the days that followed over again through these women's eyes. But take the time to read "Women at Ground Zero."

Read This Book

Wendy Furie "derweasel" (Frederick MD (USA)

Harrowing, engrossing, and well-written firsthand accounts put you right beside police officers, firefighters, and paramedics on that terrible day 9/11/01 (and afterward, too). I could not put it down.

Awesome & inspiring!

Anastasia (Petaluma, CA)

I loved this book! It brought out stories that I never heard in all the media blitz after this unforgettable and horrific event. It truly shows another side of the story, and yet they made it very clear that the book was "not to diminish the contributions of the men who lost or put their lives at risk at Ground Zero". I had hesitated and worried that this might be a "feminist - male bashing" viewpoint. Not at all!It rounds out the story. Something that needed to happen. I feel more of a connection with what happened now than ever before.I highly recommend this to all - men and women alike. I hope it becomes a standard for reading about women in history and should be in every home for pre-teens on up to learn more about what happened and to offer inspiration.Buy it! It's a keeper!

An exquisite book

L.W. (Sonoma, CA)

I couldn't put it down, the pages turned themselves. Through the voices given to these women, it was as though I was there with them on that day and the days that followed. I also felt as though I was being told their stories in their own living rooms, and that they were speaking directly to me from their hearts. This book is extremely well crafted and presented. A first class publication.

Incredible stories, powerful women

Maureen M. (New York, NY)

This is a book that needed to be written. For those who did not know that women were an important part of the rescue and recovery efforts at the World Trade Center, this book will be an eye-opener. For those who were all too aware of the contributions of female rescue workers, and who were disturbed by the lack of acknowledgement of these heroes, this book will be a source of comfort and inspiration. This book is truly exceptional, are as the women whose stories are told on its pages.

Women at Ground Zero: Stories of Courage and Compassion

A reader

I LOVED IT. I bought copies for all of my granddaughters. These women are great examples for young girls wanting to be involved in community service jobs. Thanks for writing about these great women.

Women at Ground Zero

Susan Jones (Healdsburg, CA USA)

As a Police Chief I was very impressed with this book. The stories were told by the women who were involved in the 9/11 tragedy. We heard from them, not someone who took literary license to write a "better" story. There were incredible accounts of the activities that took place that day and the woman telling it put the reader "there". The stories were moving, emotional and captivating. Thank you Mary and Susan for recognizing the exclusive language in our society and for bringing the efforts of our "sister" emergency workers to light. You should be commended. This was an excellent book and one that I will treasure always.

Compelling stories and images

"marylmcc" (CA United States)

This well-written book with its accompanying photographs provides an unmistakable reminder that women too were an integral part of the Ground Zero rescue team - Let them not be forgotten. The courage the authors showed to follow their inspiration, to put their lives on hold to travel to NYC to locate these as yet "forgotten" heroes was enough to make me want to see their resulting book. The stories they mined from the remarkable women they found, and the wonderful photographs of these women come together in a book that is next to impossible to put down once it is opened. An extraordinary piece of the whole picture of how our heroes responded on that tragic day.

A Book to Open Minds and Hearts

A reader

This book opened my eyes to the difficult and dangerous world inhabited by women rescue workers. It is an important book because it opens up a huge area of public life which is normally invisible to the general public - and it does it in the context of a critical and very scary time. I think I'm just a normal man when I say that I've given approximately half an hour of thought over the last five years to the problems faced by women in the fire or police department. I will always be grateful to the authors of this book for giving me a glimpse into the lives of these women. I never gave heroism much thought, even in the days and months after 9-11, but for some reason, reading about the heroism demonstrated by these women gave me a visceral experience of what heroism really is. I became acquainted with women who, without a second thought, jumped into situations where death was seemingly inevitable. That doesn't just change my attitudes about women in fire or police departments - it changed the way I understand all people.

About time…

"lois341" (Austin, Texas)

Like the authors of Women at Ground Zero, I, too, was disappointed by the lack of coverage given female rescue workers during the 9/11 crisis. Finally, their voices are heard, and the authors do a great job of staying out of the way and letting the women tell their own stories from their own perspectives. If you enjoy the works of Studs Terkel, you'll enjoy this book. Highly recommended by this Texan journalist.

Gratitude for this book

Carol Lynn "shasta_linn" (Ca. USA)

I found this book to be a window into the hell that went on on Sept. 11, 2001. I was extremely moved by the women’s own stories of what went they went through. I was emotionally involved as I read each story, and would have to put the book down simply to catch my breath. I am grateful to the authoresses for writing this, it can't have been easy. I had begun to think there were no women cops, or rescue workers. I am buying this book for all of my grandchildren male and female; I think it's important that they see there were women heroes, women who felt fear and pain, women who were willing to give their lives. This takes nothing from the many good men who were there, it just includes our women. Thank you.

Amazing! A Must Read

A reader

I just received my copy of the book and couldn't put it down. I had no idea there were so many women heroes on that day, and these women are truly heroes. Their stories are at the same time gut-wrenching and awe-inspiring. If you read one book on the September 11 tragedy this should be the one. The authors have done a terrific job.

It might make you cry

A reader

Especially if you are a woman -- and even if you're not -- this is the 9/11 book you need to read cover to cover. The interviews and the photographs are real, true life. I'd like to throw my arms around these women. Thank you, Susan and Mary, for making this book happen, for letting the women speak.

High drama in a down-to-earth style

A reader

The authors have done an excellent job of interviewing women firefighters, police officers, EMT's, and others who responded to the World Trade Center. These rescuers have looked into hell -- and have surely gone through emotional hells of their own -- and yet were still able to talk frankly about their experiences. Their presentation is low-key, almost matter-of-fact, which serves as a dramatic counterpoint to the intensity of the subject. The result is a very moving and highly readable collection of profiles that forms an important piece of the historical record.

Couldn't put it down!

A reader

I started reading this book on a Saturday morning and finished it before the weekend was over because each fascinating portrait compelled me to read the next. The unique perspective of the women heroes gives an emotional snapshot of what it must have been like for everyone in Manhattan that unimaginable day, and how it continues to haunt them. But their tales are also a patchwork from which the reader can extract common themes that define the horrific events of the day, and the days and weeks following, that changed our lives forever. Words cannot express my gratitude to these women for their selfless efforts

A civilian

The writing of this book is not in any way detracting from the heroism exhibited by those who did not sign on for this. It is just to acknowledge that women were there as well.

Nisha D., Daughter of Lt. Ella McNairNisha Douglas

A reviewer

It's about time someone gave thought to the women who gave enormous amounts of their strength and time during this horrific event. Unfortunately only the men were recognized as the heroes in all of this. I commend all of the women who contributed to the rescue efforts.

Important and painful stories

Kathleen M., A friend of a 9/11 hero

I read this book because a friend of mine is in it. I was only going to read her story, but I ended up staying awake all night reading all of the stories. The women were so honest and personal in the way they described their experiences. The strength and humility and courage of these women stunned me. My friend told her story because she wanted people to know what the rescue workers went through, and she especially wanted people to know about the women rescue workers who were killed on 9/11. This book tells it all in a way nothing else can. These women showed so much courage, not just in what they did on September 11, but in telling their stories in such an honest way. These women are walking examples of heroism and fortitude.

Outstanding Book!!!

Susan, A reviewer

As a Police Chief I was very impressed with this book. The stories were told by the women who were involved in the 9/11 tragedy. We heard from them, not someone who took literary license to write a "better" story. There were incredible accounts of the activities that took place that day and the woman telling it put the reader "there". The stories were moving, emotional and captivating. Thank you Mary and Susan for recognizing the exclusive language in our society and for bringing the efforts of our "sister" emergency workers to light. You should be commended. This was an excellent book and one that I will treasure always.

Incredible stories, powerful women

Maureen M. (

This is a book that needed to be written. For those who did not know that many women rescue workers saved lives at the World Trade Center, this book will be an eye-opener. For those who didn't know that several women rescue workers died saving others on 9/11, this book may be a shock. For those who knew women were there, and who were disturbed about the lack of acknowledgment of their efforts, this book will a comfort and an inspiration. The women are extraordinary and the stories are riveting. One of the few must-reads among the crop of 9/11 books.

Riveting and Powerful. A Must Read.

Former New Yorker

From the moment I picked this book up I couldn't put it down. I had no idea there were so many female rescue workers at ground zero and their stories were harrowing, inspiring, heartbreaking and just plain amazing. Of all the books written on the subject I think this is clearly one of the best.