One of the themes in the novel is mortality. The thousands of victims of the terrorist attacks obviously affect the entire city of New York. Their pictures are everywhere, memorials are being held and you can feel the tragedy in the air:
The dead were everywhere, in the air, in the rubble, on rooftops nearby, in the breezes that carried from the river. They were settled in ash and drizzled on windows all along the streets, in his hair and on his clothes. (p. 25, ll.6-9, ch. 3)
The dead people are not only psychically everywhere because of the ashes that cover the city, but also present in the consciousness of every citizen of New York.
Losing loved ones
The suicide of Lianne’s father and the death of her mother affect her greatly and make her aware of her own mortality. Lianne thinks about the way her father chose to end his life and tries to find some kind of dignity in his choice by saying to herself that he “[d]i...