Where You Left Me

Where You Left Me

An extraordinarily powerful account of hardship and healing by a woman whose husband, a top executive at Cantor Fitzgerald, was killed in the attacks on the World Trade Center, and her unexpected journey to find love again.

Lucky—that’s how Jennifer would describe herself. She had a successful law career, met the love of her life in Doug, married him, had an apartment in New York City, a house in the Hamptons, two beautiful children, and was still madly in love after nearly seven years of marriage. Jennifer was living the kind of idyllic life that clichés are made of.

Until Doug was killed in the attacks on the World Trade Center, and she became a widow at age thirty-five—a “9/11 widow,” no less, a member of a select group bound by sorrow, of which she wanted no part. Though completely devastated, Jennifer still considered herself blessed. Doug had loved her enough to last her a lifetime, and after his sudden death, she was done with the idea of romantic love—fully resigned to being a widowed single mother . . . until a chance encounter with a gregarious stranger changed everything. Without a clue how to handle this unexpected turn of events, Jennifer faced the question asked by anyone who has ever lost a loved one: Is it really possible to feel joy again, let alone love?

With unvarnished emotion and clear-eyed sardonic humor, Jennifer tells an ordinary woman’s extraordinary tale of unimaginable loss, resilience, friendship, love, and healing—which is also New York City’s narrative in the wake of September 11. Where You Left Me is an unlikely love story, a quintessentially New York story—at once Jennifer’s tribute to the city that gave her everything and proof that second chances are possible.
  • Gallery Books | 
  • 256 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781451621426 | 
  • August 2011
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Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for Where You Left Me includes an introduction, discussion questions, and ideas for enhancing your book club. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.


“I feel very lucky,” Jennifer Gardner Trulson told the thousands of mourners at her husband’s funeral. “Most people never get what I had. Doug loved me enough to last a lifetime.” An executive at the international brokerage firm Cantor Fitzgerald, Doug was killed in the attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, leaving behind a grieving wife and two young children. But Jennifer’s story of sudden and devastating loss is also one of hope, healing, and the ability to love again after suffering the unthinkable. Where You Left Me is an intensely personal account of the events and aftermath of that tragic day, as well as a poignant testament to the possibility of second chances and the enduring power of love.


  1. Where You Left Me opens with Jennifer stranded at her midtown Manhattan office late at night during a severe snowstorm and Doug coming to her aid. Why do you think she chose to begin her memoir with this anec
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Articles About This Book

9 11 flowersmemorial 300

Posted on Tips on Life & Love

Posted by Kristy Ojala

By Kristy Ojala To imagine Jennifer Gardner Trulson's profound pain and shock on September 11, 2001 is an impossible act. Her husband Doug, like thousands of others, was working in the World Trade Center when it was hit by a hijacked plane. At the...

About the Author

Jennifer Gardner Trulson
Photograph by Peter Chin

Jennifer Gardner Trulson

Jennifer Gardner Trulson is the founder of the Douglas B. Gardner Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping at-risk children in New York.  She graduated from Tufts University and received a J.D. from Harvard.  She lives with her husband and two children in Manhattan.