Between Heaven and Ground Zero: One Woman’s Struggle for Survival and Faith in the Ashes of 9/11

ISBN: 0764202863
ISBN 13: 9780764202865
By: Leslie Haskin

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About this book

A Second Chance at Life On the sunny morning of Tuesday, September 11, 2001, terrorists murdered more than twenty-seven hundred people in an attack on New York City. Thousands died when a hijacked Boeing 767 slammed into Tower One of the World Trade Center. It was first blood. For Leslie Haskin, it was a second chance at life. This is the riveting account of Leslie's harrowing escape--down 36 floors in a doomed and dying building and away from a life focused on perks, prestige, and power. The intervening months brought crippling mental and emotional distress, but from the rubble and ashes, the corporate climber rediscovered the faith of her childhood and now embraces a new life of serving others.

Reader's Thoughts


I really liked the way this was written, it really descriebed a terrible day in a way that was not gross or scary.


What a difference between the Leslie's first hand account from inside the towers versus what the rest of us saw on TV. How beautiful that out of her trauma and recovery from that day, that she has fully turned to God and renewed her faith and spends her time helping others.

Tyler Martensen

This audio book describes what the author smelt, heard, and felt during 9-11. This is read by the author her self.


Expected more eyewitness reportage. Reads like a sermon. Most of the emphasis is on Christ the Redeemer. Would recommend for very Christian purposes. Preaching and Biblical quote selections are above average. A few points for short and sweet.


Leslie Haskin discusses her experience as she made her way out of the World Trade Center on Sept. 11th. Although it wasn't one of the better books I've read on this topic, I felt there were certain passages that were interesting and enabled the reader to understand what the survivors were going through. (Lots of religious content in this book.)


This woman's account of the events of 9/11 were just heart wrenching, I couldn't put the book down. Have a box of tissues ready. I would read this again.


My son first read this book, then he loaned his copy to me and recommended that I read it. I'm glad I did. This is the first hand account of the the attack on the World Trade Center in New York City, by Leslie Haskin, a business woman who was at work on the 36th floor of Tower One when the first plane hit. She writes about the unimaginable horrors she encountered as she, and thousands or her fellow office workers, made their way down the stairs and out of this office building turned giant torch. Haskin doesn't hold back or sugar coat the death, dismemberment, blood and carnage she witnessed. Her description of her own experience in exiting the building and then making her out of the city and finally home makes the readers feel as though he or she is right there along side Haskin, experiencing and feeling the same things. The author writes about the horrors she faced not only on 9/11 but afterward as she suffered for years from PTSD associated with her experiences in the World Trade Center. It was finally her return to the Christian faith she was raised in and a strong and personal relationship with Jesus Christ that healed Haskin and allowed her to go forward and rebuild her life. The book is less than 200 pages so it is a quick and easy read. Highly recommended for those who clearly remember 9/11 and those, like my son, who were very young and have only vague personal memories. This is an unforgettable book that will stir your soul and build your faith. As Haskin eloquently writes, "Never forget that September 11, 2001, was a day that we put compassion over power. We saw heroes up close and they touched us. We saw love transform pain into healing, hate into tolerance, anger into compassion, and fear into peace."

Janet McMillan

Good readFirst half was excellent on 9/11. The second half religious but somewhat preachy in places. but I do like knowing the author is ok because of her faith.


I picked up this book in our church library today and read it in a single afternoon. Leslie Haskin has a wonderfully personal and poetic style of writing ... I was profoundly MOVED by her story. She tells better than anyone I've read, about the details of what happened on 9/11 (specifically as they happened to her). This is not an autobiography or a detailed account of her life story ... it is a collection of reflections on the events of that day the world changed forever and how they IMPACTED her life and brought her to realize what REALLY MATTERS in life. She was in an executive position in one of the biggest insurance companies in the U.S. ... whose office was in Tower One of the WTC. She writes with honesty and humility. I wish I could give this book 10 stars ! ...


A look at a survivor and the struggles she experienced with her continued recovery. An experience that causes the author to reevaluate her Christian faith. Some vivid description of the suffering and misery of the 9/11 attack. The writer is sincere and is brave in her telling of her story of healing.

Kelly Walker

I chose to read this book to commemorate September 11th this year, but found an extraordinary treasure. The author brilliantly uses words to describe the indescribable secrets of the spiritual realms. Ponderings I have felt in my soul but have been unable to articulate, she has given voice to and has done so beautifully. Her writings masterfully pen things so deep that I'm sure certain phrases of hers will be quoted for years to come. My favorite section is the ending, or endings, for this book doesn't just have one impactful ending that doesn't disappoint, but several throughout Part III, in chapters 13-20. As you near the end of the book, the current chapter skillfully weaves into an all-encompassing conclusion. You don't want it to end, but you are glad for the way it is ending. When you turn the page, expecting to see "The End," there is another chapter.


I just finished this book (an accomplishment for me, because I have started and not finished a dang lot of books lately), and I was most interested in the author's limited portrayal of what PTSD feels like for her. She was working in the first tower hit on 9/11 and escaped with her life but lost numerous friends and co-workers and saw some very gruesome and terrifying things that day. Pre-9/11 she was more self centered and focused on promotions and material things, post-9/11 she is a much more faith centered and better person. (But not without some challenges; she lost her home and went through financial devastation when she was unable to hold a job due to her severe PTSD.)I like her, and I would be thrilled to meet her someday. Her book was only okay for me, though. She is obviously a poet. I am just not a reader of poetry. I swear I am not dumb, but when people speak poetically it is so hard for me to figure out what they are actually saying. (Like a poem in the middle - I thought it was talking about the last ten seconds before the building collasped, but it occurred to me later on that it was the last ten seconds before a person jumped out of the top of the building to their death.) Sometimes I'd read a sentence and just think, "Huh?" (I just flipped through the pages to find an example. Here you go: "Uncertainty is that seamless monster of polarity that obliterates us all." If you know exactly what she's talking about without reading it nine times, well good for you. You win.)So anyway, instead of saying that "our kingdoms fell", I wish she had just said, "the towers fell". I like writing to be basic and straightforward. So if you love poetry, this is your book. If you need footnotes like me, you can still enjoy the book but you'll have to reread parts.And one more thing - if you love scripture quotes on every other page and a lot lot lot of talk about Jesus and redemption at the end, you'll really like this book. I think it's good this book was written how it was for her posterity, who will have no doubt what she believed in. But for me, if I hadn't been mere pages away from finally finishing a book for the first time in awhile, I probably would have just skipped over the Jesus parts. Sorry, Jesus. I really like you, too.

Suzan Pecyna

This is an amazing book - Leslie Haskin tells the harrowing story of the day she turned up for work and a plane flew into the side of the building. She was one of the lucky ones - escaping the events of the World Trade Center she went on to tell the story of how that day strengthened her faith in God.

Sheryl Rogener

Loving books as I do, I'm always fascinated to read the variations in styles when an author is telling his personal story. Some authors write in a forceful, in-your-face style; other authors write in a way that will cause you to empathize with their plight; and then, there are the authors who write with grace, honesty and beauty. Such is the writing of author Leslie Haskin in her book, Between Heaven and Ground Zero: One Woman's Struggle for Survival and Faith in the Ashes of 9/11. Author Haskin writes with such beauty that at times it's hard to believe the subject that you're reading about is one that is so harsh and painful, yet at the same time, she in no way glosses over the harshness of what happened on 9/11. As the title states, this is her story - before, on, and following the tragic events of 9/11. Ms. Haskin was in Tower One when the plane hit. The plane not only destroyed and left in ashes Tower One, but her carefully built life. As is so often the case with those who put their faith in Christ, beauty comes from the ashes and Ms. Haskin shares that beauty with the reader. Prepare to relive that horrible day and prepare to find the breathtaking hope and beauty that can only be found in Christ. Prepare to be encouraged, reminded, and challenged. This book will not only draw you in but help draw out of you the hope that Christ has put in you. More importantly it will draw you into action that hope compels from us. Here are a couple of excerpts from the book:"Once upon a time in the year 2000, we were kings and queens in two tall graceful towers, kicked back and easy in the beauty of the sky. Prestige and power were plentiful in our kingdom. We were above it all in our land of abundance and pride. But then, as pride comes before a fall, and with force equal in boldness to its beginnings, our kingdom fell." "You see, I didn't expect that one day I would be the one left standing in a crowd of hundreds taking their last breath. I didn't know that my words would be the last words that someone else would ever hear. I never knew life could make such demands...I never understood the accountability that comes with truth...I never accepted the responsibility that comes with real love." "September 11 found many of us in complacency. As Christian believers, we were off the mark and simply existing from day to day. We were lukewarm in our faith, self-centered in our desires, carnal in nature, and caught up in a search for the latest and greatest addictions to make us feel alive. As a church body, we compromised the Word of God for an affinity with the world and holiness for the modern tactics of reaching the unchurched. Our congregations were indistinguishable from those outside the church, and our families were without godly example. The corporate 'we' sacrificed godliness and the anointing, placed our own desires ahead of God's will, and closed our eyes to the certainty of a dying generation. I know I did."I hope Ms. Haskin writes more books. Not only do I enjoy the beauty of her words, but I want to learn the lessons she has to share.


An ok book.... It has a good recollection although not as in depth as I would have liked. It gets a little too religious for me, about her finding God.

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