"Outside now, the morning was startling in its clarity and temperament . . . Every perfect fall day always forced you to think of that other perfect day when the city had been struck. But today Amy also thought about how this was a time in life when she was meant to be content. Her body remained slender, and her day was not yet spoken for. She had a close little family and a best friend whom she loved. The war in Iraq kept on going while really going nowhere, infusing everyone with helplessness, and there was still the real possibility of an act of terrorism, but people always said you couldn't stay cowering inside your apartment. Instead, they insisted, you had to 'live your life,' because it was all that any of us could do.
"The other women streamed through the revolving door. In various parts of the city and in surrounding towns off the highways came the rest of them. Soon they would be depositing their children at the mouths of schools and kissing their heads and watching them disappear inside, and then the women would be free. They could have all the covered malls and plazas and fields of the suburbs, and all the buildings and shops and museums of the city if they wanted, and all the open air as well. The day waited for them with its bounty and its freedom, which their husbands almost never had anymore and swore they didn't even want. How it had ended up like this, no one really knew. This wasn't supposed to have happened.
"But on a day as beautiful as this one, the sensations of despair and regret were mostly obscured by pleasure. All around the country, the women opened their front doors and stepped outside to take what was theirs"
(39 - 40).
mentioned briefly on my book blog