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A powerful true story of loss and hope by one of the biggest names in sports media. On September 11, 2001, Joe Maio went to work in the north tower of the World Trade Center. He never returned, leaving behind a wife, Sharri, and 15-month old son, Devon. Five years later, Sharri remarried, and Devon welcomed a new dad into his life. For thousands, the whole country really, 9/ A powerful true story of loss and hope by one of the biggest names in sports media. On September 11, 2001, Joe Maio went to work in the north tower of the World Trade Center. He never returned, leaving behind a wife, Sharri, and 15-month old son, Devon. Five years later, Sharri remarried, and Devon welcomed a new dad into his life. For thousands, the whole country really, 9/11 is a day of grief. For Adam and Sharri Maio Schefter and their family it’s not just a day of grief, but also hope. This is a story of 9/11, but it’s also the story of 9/12 and all the days after. Life moved on. Pieces were picked up. New dreams were dreamed. The Schefters are the embodiment of that. This book will give voice to all those who have chosen to keep living. It’s gratifying and beautiful. But also messy and hard. Like most families. Except that one day every year history comes roaring back. How do you embrace that? How do you honor that? The Man I Never Met is also a peek at Adam Schefter, the man behind the headlines and injury reports; a real person who has a real family. His book will follow in the path of recent ESPN books by Tom Rinaldi and the late Stuart Scott – books that have transcended sport to examine the raw emotion of life.


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A powerful true story of loss and hope by one of the biggest names in sports media. On September 11, 2001, Joe Maio went to work in the north tower of the World Trade Center. He never returned, leaving behind a wife, Sharri, and 15-month old son, Devon. Five years later, Sharri remarried, and Devon welcomed a new dad into his life. For thousands, the whole country really, 9/ A powerful true story of loss and hope by one of the biggest names in sports media. On September 11, 2001, Joe Maio went to work in the north tower of the World Trade Center. He never returned, leaving behind a wife, Sharri, and 15-month old son, Devon. Five years later, Sharri remarried, and Devon welcomed a new dad into his life. For thousands, the whole country really, 9/11 is a day of grief. For Adam and Sharri Maio Schefter and their family it’s not just a day of grief, but also hope. This is a story of 9/11, but it’s also the story of 9/12 and all the days after. Life moved on. Pieces were picked up. New dreams were dreamed. The Schefters are the embodiment of that. This book will give voice to all those who have chosen to keep living. It’s gratifying and beautiful. But also messy and hard. Like most families. Except that one day every year history comes roaring back. How do you embrace that? How do you honor that? The Man I Never Met is also a peek at Adam Schefter, the man behind the headlines and injury reports; a real person who has a real family. His book will follow in the path of recent ESPN books by Tom Rinaldi and the late Stuart Scott – books that have transcended sport to examine the raw emotion of life.

30 review for The Man I Never Met: A Memoir

  1. 5 out of 5

    Michelle Ule

    With all respect to the family and their profound loss, this was a magazine article stretched as far as possible into a memoir. It's far better suited for a magazine piece than an entire book. With all respect to the family and their profound loss, this was a magazine article stretched as far as possible into a memoir. It's far better suited for a magazine piece than an entire book.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jenny

    September 11, 2001 is a day that I will never forget. It was one of the days for Americans that will live in infamy. We will always remember where we were and what we were doing on that day. We also remember the sadness and utter disbelief and despair of that day along with the days following as we learned of all the lives lost that fateful day. Now imagine driving your husband, the love of your life, and the father of your 15 month old son to the ferry that morning so he could go to his job at T September 11, 2001 is a day that I will never forget. It was one of the days for Americans that will live in infamy. We will always remember where we were and what we were doing on that day. We also remember the sadness and utter disbelief and despair of that day along with the days following as we learned of all the lives lost that fateful day. Now imagine driving your husband, the love of your life, and the father of your 15 month old son to the ferry that morning so he could go to his job at The World Trade Center for Cantor Fitzgerald. It’s unimaginable to us but it is the real life story of Sherri Maio and Devon, the wife and son of Joseph Daniel Maio. Adam Schefter’s memoir, The Man I Never Met, is a tribute to Joe but also the story of the family that is created after Joe’s death. ESPN NFL reporter, Adam Schefter, opens up his personal life to us in this poignant story of finding love with Joe’s widow, Sherri, and his instant role of step dad to Devon, along with the later birth of Adam and Sherri’s daughter, Dylan. What I took away from this story is how surreal their life must be for all of them. If Joe hadn’t died that day, this story never happens. For all of us who remind ourselves on the anniversary of 9/11 to never forget, Adam Schefter and his family don’t have to ever remind themselves because they live it everyday. Schefter writes this story not with doom and gloom but with honesty, love, and in a hopeful yet realistic way of what life is like for all of them including extended family members. You don’t have to be a lover of sports or the on-air Adam Schefter to enjoy this story. I received a copy of this book from Netgalley. This did not effect my review of the book. #Netgalley #TheManINeverMet

  3. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie Borders

    With the exception of Netgalley reviews, I rarely review books on Goodreads (all books I read are, however, reviewed on Litsy.) That said, I found this memoir so powerful and touching that I feel compelled to offer a review. Every year around September 11, I become a bit obsessed with reading news articles and reading books about the tragedy. My husband teases me because for a week or two, I am absolutely immersed in and haunted by and 9/11 information I can get my hands on. It's my way of payin With the exception of Netgalley reviews, I rarely review books on Goodreads (all books I read are, however, reviewed on Litsy.) That said, I found this memoir so powerful and touching that I feel compelled to offer a review. Every year around September 11, I become a bit obsessed with reading news articles and reading books about the tragedy. My husband teases me because for a week or two, I am absolutely immersed in and haunted by and 9/11 information I can get my hands on. It's my way of paying homage to all the people that senselessly lost their lives that day. I had actually moved on from my 9/11 reading frenzy when I got notification from my library that my hold for The Man I Never Met had come in. I went to pick it up a few days later and started reading it that night. By chapter 2, I had tears just running down my face. I cried on and off throughout the entire book, which I stayed up past midnight that night to finish. Adam Schefter met and married Sharri Maio years after the 9/11 attacks. She told him immediately that she was a 9/11 widow, her husband Joe Maio having died after being trapped in the offices of Cantor Fitzgerald, and that she was raising a son who had been only 15 months old at the time of the tragedy. Adam detailed a bit of his background before meeting Sharri, and although his ideal partner was not a widow with a child, he was at that point desperate for a romantic companion to spend his life with and so had no qualms about going on a date with Sharri. Adam and Sharri had a pretty whirlwind courtship. Adam was forthcoming about the struggles he and Sharri have faced over the years, and didn't try and sugarcoat the difficulties of stepping into the parent role when you have no child rearing experience. It was a perspective I could relate to, being a step parent myself, but it wasn't the aspect of this book that I found so powerful. Adam Schefter is one of the most selfless people I have ever come across. The way he paid tribute to Joe Maio was so humbling and inspiring. He'd never met Joe, yet Joe has had one of the biggest impacts on Adam's life, and Adam chooses to honor Joe every day. The last lines of TMINM brought me to tears, once again, and as I told my husband about the book the next morning, I was able to quote them from memory, they had impacted me that much. As I recited them, I started crying again (and I can promise that never has a book made me cry just by discussing it). "I've lived in this house for twelve years now, far longer than Joe did. But every time I come home, I feel like I'm walking into Joe's house. And I am."

  4. 5 out of 5

    Dawn

    September 11, 2001 is a day I will never forget. I cannot begin to imagine how families could go on after losing a loved one from this tragedy. This story was heartbreaking to read at many times, but also touching to see how Sharri Maio built a new life while still honoring her late husband. I think Adam has done an honorable job of making sure that Joe Maio's memory is kept alive for his widow and son. The only issue I had with this book was the parts where Joe was described as Sharri's ex-husb September 11, 2001 is a day I will never forget. I cannot begin to imagine how families could go on after losing a loved one from this tragedy. This story was heartbreaking to read at many times, but also touching to see how Sharri Maio built a new life while still honoring her late husband. I think Adam has done an honorable job of making sure that Joe Maio's memory is kept alive for his widow and son. The only issue I had with this book was the parts where Joe was described as Sharri's ex-husband. I feel that ex-husband is a term for someone who chose to leave and end a marriage. The morning of 9/11, when Joe left for work, he had no plans of leaving his wife for good and ending their marriage. He should have been referred to as her "late husband". As I finished this book the day before the 19th anniversary of 9/11, I will be thinking of Sharri, Devon and the Maio Family and praying for their comfort tomorrow.

  5. 5 out of 5

    britt_brooke

    In 2007, well-known sports writer Adam Schefter married Sharri Maio, a 9/11 widow with a 6 year old son. Her husband Joe worked on one of the north tower’s uppermost floors. This is a very honest, incredibly personal account of joining another man’s family, and honoring his memory, while creating their own unique happiness. This story needs to be heard and will stay with me always.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Kayo

    My goodness, this book was uplifting and sad at the same time. Well written, brings back memories for all to read. Thanks to author,publisher and NetGalley for the chance to read this book. While I got the book for free,it had no bearing on the rating i gave it.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Cynthia

    Touching story, ok--read in one day

  8. 5 out of 5

    Grant

    I like the concept and appreciate the (true) story, I just couldn't get into the book and truly invest in it. Seemed to force the narrative more than let it grow and develop through the anecdotes. I like the concept and appreciate the (true) story, I just couldn't get into the book and truly invest in it. Seemed to force the narrative more than let it grow and develop through the anecdotes.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jenny

    September 11, 2001 is a day that I will never forget. It was one of the days for Americans that will live in infamy. We will always remember where we were and what we were doing on that day. We also remember the sadness and utter disbelief and despair of that day along with the days following as we learned of all the lives lost that fateful day. Now imagine driving your husband, the love of your life, and the father of your 15 month old son to the ferry that morning so he could go to his job at T September 11, 2001 is a day that I will never forget. It was one of the days for Americans that will live in infamy. We will always remember where we were and what we were doing on that day. We also remember the sadness and utter disbelief and despair of that day along with the days following as we learned of all the lives lost that fateful day. Now imagine driving your husband, the love of your life, and the father of your 15 month old son to the ferry that morning so he could go to his job at The World Trade Center for Cantor Fitzgerald. It’s unimaginable to us but it is the real life story of Sherri Maio and Devon, the wife and son of Joseph Daniel Maio. Adam Schefter’s memoir, The Man I Never Met, is a tribute to Joe but also the story of the family that is created after Joe’s death. ESPN NFL reporter, Adam Schefter, opens up his personal life to us in this poignant story of finding love with Joe’s widow, Sherri, and his instant role of step dad to Devon, along with the later birth of Adam and Sherri’s daughter, Dylan. What I took away from this story is how surreal their life must be for all of them. If Joe hadn’t died that day, this story never happens. For all of us who remind ourselves on the anniversary of 9/11 to never forget, Adam Schefter and his family don’t have to ever remind themselves because they live it everyday. Schefter writes this story not with doom and gloom but with honesty, love, and in a hopeful yet realistic way of what life is like for all of them including extended family members. You don’t have to be a lover of sports or the on-air Adam Schefter to enjoy this story. I received a copy of this book from Netgalley. This did not effect my review of the book. #Netgalley #TheManINeverMet

  10. 4 out of 5

    Pamela Bruce Bruchwalski

    I read this book in one day, but it will resonate with me for a long time. I’m so glad Adam Schefter and his family shared their story. It’s a necessary reminder of what’s important in life, and what’s not, in a world that will never forget 9/11....and never should.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen

    Thank you for gifting me a copy #netgalley #stmartinspress. SCHEFTER SHARES STORY OF LOSS, HOPE Adam Schefter, NFL analyst and reporter, opens up about his family in his memoir, "The Man I Never Met” out September 4. Schefter says his purpose for this memoir is to show how good can come from the worst kind of evil, how life can continue and even grow from pain. The story starts with Schefter's wife, Sharri. She is a widow and single mother to Devon, who was only 15 months when Joseph Maio, their hu Thank you for gifting me a copy #netgalley #stmartinspress. SCHEFTER SHARES STORY OF LOSS, HOPE Adam Schefter, NFL analyst and reporter, opens up about his family in his memoir, "The Man I Never Met” out September 4. Schefter says his purpose for this memoir is to show how good can come from the worst kind of evil, how life can continue and even grow from pain. The story starts with Schefter's wife, Sharri. She is a widow and single mother to Devon, who was only 15 months when Joseph Maio, their husband and father, died in the 9/11 attacks. Schefter, a New York native, relates his stories and connections to the attacks, the state of his career and personal life, in parallel to the Maios' disaster. These two timelines eventually lead to the story of Schefter and Sharri meeting. At the beginning, Schefter feels like an awkward choice for an author about Joe's life. As the story continues, the reader will start to trust Schefter because he is honest and earnest. He holds nothing back and honors Joe's memory. The writing in the advanced copy has many errors and is a little choppy and repetitive, which takes the reader out of the story a bit. An absolute highlight in this story are the people, specifically Joe's parents. They are incredibly resilient, loving, and selfless. This story feels unique and powerful: how can someone cope with this heartache? But the hopefulness of this story is that this resiliency isn't unique to the Schefters and Maios. This is a story about all of humanity; all who keep going and find good along side the pain.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Rob Stuart

    This was neither entertaining nor enlightening. it is neither a good memoir nor a good 9/11 story. It reads like an attempt by Schefter to ingratiate himself to the Maio family and it comes off pathetic. Schefter spends so much time trying to convince us that the deceased wasn't a typical, agro jock, that I have to wonder if he wasn't.... probably not, but Schefter does not do this poor man's legacy any favors. The rest of the book is Schefter trying to convince us that he is not a self-absorbed This was neither entertaining nor enlightening. it is neither a good memoir nor a good 9/11 story. It reads like an attempt by Schefter to ingratiate himself to the Maio family and it comes off pathetic. Schefter spends so much time trying to convince us that the deceased wasn't a typical, agro jock, that I have to wonder if he wasn't.... probably not, but Schefter does not do this poor man's legacy any favors. The rest of the book is Schefter trying to convince us that he is not a self-absorbed jock sniffer, which I now know for a fact to be true. It got a bonus star for being short.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jeff Kurth

    Was just ok for me---I was excited to listen to this story, but it left a little to be desired

  14. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen

    Thank you for gifting me a copy #netgalley #stmartinspress. SCHEFTER SHARES STORY OF LOSS, HOPE Adam Schefter, NFL analyst and reporter, opens up about his family in his memoir, "The Man I Never Met” out September 4. Schefter says his purpose for this memoir is to show how good can come from the worst kind of evil, how life can continue and even grow from pain. The story starts with Schefter's wife, Sharri. She is a widow and single mother to Devon, who was only 15 months when Joseph Maio, their hu Thank you for gifting me a copy #netgalley #stmartinspress. SCHEFTER SHARES STORY OF LOSS, HOPE Adam Schefter, NFL analyst and reporter, opens up about his family in his memoir, "The Man I Never Met” out September 4. Schefter says his purpose for this memoir is to show how good can come from the worst kind of evil, how life can continue and even grow from pain. The story starts with Schefter's wife, Sharri. She is a widow and single mother to Devon, who was only 15 months when Joseph Maio, their husband and father, died in the 9/11 attacks. Schefter, a New York native, relates his stories and connections to the attacks, the state of his career and personal life, in parallel to the Maios' disaster. These two timelines eventually lead to the story of Schefter and Sharri meeting. At the beginning, Schefter feels like an awkward choice for an author about Joe's life. As the story continues, the reader will start to trust Schefter because he is honest and earnest. He holds nothing back and honors Joe's memory. The writing in the advanced copy has many errors and is a little choppy and repetitive, which takes the reader out of the story a bit. An absolute highlight in this story are the people, specifically Joe's parents. They are incredibly resilient, loving, and selfless. This story feels unique and powerful: how can someone cope with this heartache? But the hopefulness of this story is that this resiliency isn't unique to the Schefters and Maios. This is a story about all of humanity; all who keep going and find good along side the pain. (I have posted this to Goodreads and will post it to my Instagram @book_beat.)

  15. 4 out of 5

    Lissa00

    Adam Schefter, a current reporter for ESPN, found himself approaching forty as a somewhat depressed, single, childless man. His luck changed when he met his future wife Shari and the story of their unusual family is hopeful and heartrending. Shari lost her first husband, Joe, in the 9/11 terrorist attacks. She was left bereft with a young son who would grow up to not know the larger than life man that was his father. When Adam met Shari, he had to cope with not only the start of a new relationsh Adam Schefter, a current reporter for ESPN, found himself approaching forty as a somewhat depressed, single, childless man. His luck changed when he met his future wife Shari and the story of their unusual family is hopeful and heartrending. Shari lost her first husband, Joe, in the 9/11 terrorist attacks. She was left bereft with a young son who would grow up to not know the larger than life man that was his father. When Adam met Shari, he had to cope with not only the start of a new relationship but with the looming shadow of her former husband. This book is simply written but is a heartwarming story of starting over, making peace with the past and accepting a family life that doesn’t fit the normal pattern. I received a digital ARC of this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    The book jacket says it all - "The story you are reading is not just about 9/11. We all know what happened that day. This story is about 9/12 and every day after." A bold and brave writing of the lives that were lived, lost and continue to live after a horrific, senseless act of terrorism. Uplifting and heartbreaking all at the same time. The book jacket says it all - "The story you are reading is not just about 9/11. We all know what happened that day. This story is about 9/12 and every day after." A bold and brave writing of the lives that were lived, lost and continue to live after a horrific, senseless act of terrorism. Uplifting and heartbreaking all at the same time.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jodi

    The book comes in at under 200 pages and a super fast read. Other reviewers felt this could have been a magazine piece. I remember seeing the story of Adam Schefter’s family on ESPN. It was an interesting read. It’s a weird hybrid of memoir and tribute to his wife’s first husband who died in 9/11.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Deacon Tom F

    A Highly Personal Story The author crafted a wonderful, deeply personal account of life after 9-11. It shows that after tragedy, there is light, hope, and love. A very good book!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Katy Sturdivant

    Finished in 2 hours with lots of tears. Beautifully written.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    I enjoyed this book though at times it read more like a love letter (and I mean that in the kindest way) to a man the author never met. Humans aren’t perfect and the picture painted by Schefter was that the man he never met was essentially the perfect guy- perfect son, brother, friend, husband, father (though regardless he seemed like one hell of a guy!). I can look past the over-glorification though and just appreciate the story for what it is. A book for fans of Schefter and anyone who wants m I enjoyed this book though at times it read more like a love letter (and I mean that in the kindest way) to a man the author never met. Humans aren’t perfect and the picture painted by Schefter was that the man he never met was essentially the perfect guy- perfect son, brother, friend, husband, father (though regardless he seemed like one hell of a guy!). I can look past the over-glorification though and just appreciate the story for what it is. A book for fans of Schefter and anyone who wants more insight into post-9/11 lives.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Debbie Marinelli

    This story touched my heart. It told a different view of 9/11. A very personal inside story of how a family adjusted their lives after this awful, dreadful tragedy. The author did a great job and I am so happy I heard about this book.(from Goodreads) It is only 196 pages and a very quick read. I highly recommend this book.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Boz

    I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a review. Prior to this book, my introduction to Adam Schefter was through his reporting on ESPN, often breaking the news of the biggest basketball and football stories. Just glancing at the title of this book, I concocted the idea that this story was about Schefter and his possibly estranged father. Within the first few chapters, I learned that definitely was not the case: Adam's father was very present in his life. The man Scheft I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a review. Prior to this book, my introduction to Adam Schefter was through his reporting on ESPN, often breaking the news of the biggest basketball and football stories. Just glancing at the title of this book, I concocted the idea that this story was about Schefter and his possibly estranged father. Within the first few chapters, I learned that definitely was not the case: Adam's father was very present in his life. The man Schefter never met was Joe Maio, who had died in the terrorist attack on the Twin Towers on September 11, 2001 leaving behind his wife, Sharri and a 27 month year old. This seems like it would depressing material, but this was an uplifting, inspiring read. The writing is definitely that of a seasoned journalist - Schefter writes an emotional, detailed, but concise narrative that was extremely well documented (thanks to his daily journaling habits). The book is not truly a memoir in the sense that Schefter doesn't dive into his life history or a story about 9/11, but it is more of a tribute to Joe, who was loved by many, including Sharri, Schefter's future wife, and about moving forward with life after tragedy.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Kyle Robertson

    For many years, Adam Schefter was a beat reporter covering the Denver Broncos. His career then took him to the newly launched NFL Network, and ultimately to ESPN. If you follow sports then you likely know him as "Schefty". He is known as an insider in many areas of the business, most notably as often being the first to report breaking news in the sports world. As a single guy in Denver with no family in the area, Adam engrossed himself in his work and went wherever it took him. But something was For many years, Adam Schefter was a beat reporter covering the Denver Broncos. His career then took him to the newly launched NFL Network, and ultimately to ESPN. If you follow sports then you likely know him as "Schefty". He is known as an insider in many areas of the business, most notably as often being the first to report breaking news in the sports world. As a single guy in Denver with no family in the area, Adam engrossed himself in his work and went wherever it took him. But something was always missing. Adam loved his job, but ultimately he hated his life. A new job brought Adam home to New York, closer to friends and family. All things considered, Adam was living a great life. But on the inside he was spiralling out of control. Adam was more alone than ever. After a series of failed relationships (and one failed marriage), Adam was desperate to get married and settle down. His life forever changed when he met Sharri Maio. Sharri was broken, lost, and alone in the aftermath of 9/11. She had lost her husband, Joe, and and was now responsible for raising their son in a home that she and Joe had just recently moved into. Adam's new wife was a 9/11 widow with a six year old son and three dogs. This book chronicles the difficulty Adam had adjusting to married life since he had been a bachelor for so long. He delves into the relationship with his new wife and son, the arrival of their daughter, and the everlasting memory of a man he never met. But this book is not really about Adam Schefter. This book is written to honor the memory of Joe Maio and preserve his legacy. Joe's spirit is always present in their lives. Adam talks candidly about their relationship and evedyday lives. He is transparent and honest about this heartbreaking story. Eerie similarities between Adam and Joe, and other people that he mentions in the book, will give you chills. It serves as a reminder that this is a small world, and everyone has a story. This is the story of Joe Maio, and Adam, Sharri, Devon, Dylan, and everyone they have shared their lives with, and everyone that has been an influence in shaping their lives. You will laugh and you will cry. You will feel the genuine emotions that Adam Schefter has poured into these pages. I highly recommend this book. I received this as a free ARC from St. Martin's Press on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth7781

    This was quite a tribute to the man Adam Schefter never met but who influences him almost daily. It gave me insight into the pain of living the anniversary of your loved one’s death in a most public manner. While the author posits that you cannot ‘move on’ after the unforgettable events of 9/11, still the family has moved forward. Life only goes in one direction. While it was a difficult story to absorb due to grief alone, it is also compelling in the courage and candor, compassion and hope expr This was quite a tribute to the man Adam Schefter never met but who influences him almost daily. It gave me insight into the pain of living the anniversary of your loved one’s death in a most public manner. While the author posits that you cannot ‘move on’ after the unforgettable events of 9/11, still the family has moved forward. Life only goes in one direction. While it was a difficult story to absorb due to grief alone, it is also compelling in the courage and candor, compassion and hope expressed. Well worth reading.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Bookreporter.com Biography & Memoir

    In 2001, Adam Schefter and Sharri Maio had never met. In fact, neither of them knew the other existed. Adam, originally from New York, lived in Colorado’s capital city, where he covered the Denver Broncos for The Denver Post and local television station KUSA. Sharri was married to Joe Maio, and they had just purchased a house on Long Island. Their firstborn son, Devon, was 15 months old. Joe commuted during the week to his office in Manhattan at the World Trade Center, where he worked at Cantor In 2001, Adam Schefter and Sharri Maio had never met. In fact, neither of them knew the other existed. Adam, originally from New York, lived in Colorado’s capital city, where he covered the Denver Broncos for The Denver Post and local television station KUSA. Sharri was married to Joe Maio, and they had just purchased a house on Long Island. Their firstborn son, Devon, was 15 months old. Joe commuted during the week to his office in Manhattan at the World Trade Center, where he worked at Cantor Fitzgerald. And then, the beautiful autumn day of perfect, sunny weather in New York City dawned. It was September 11th. Each of us can remember what we were doing when we saw the video of the planes hitting the towers of the World Trade Center --- seeing what we, in our national consciousness and innocence, had never imagined could happen in our own country, on American soil. But for thousands of families, 9/11 is not only a moment of national grief. It is a yearly reminder of losses felt daily --- the personal absence of dearly loved husbands, wives, sons, daughters, friends and acquaintances. Sharri lost her husband that day, and baby Devon lost his father. In THE MAN I NEVER MET, Schefter helps us get to know a most unusual man. Joe Maio was a fantastic friend, a skilled competitor and a hard worker. Enjoyed by both men and women, he made everyone around him, whether friend or family, actually be better. Comfortable in his own skin, he stood up for and befriended the bullied and belittled. When the attack on the World Trade Center occurred, everyone who knew Joe simply assumed he would make it out. He was just that kind of guy --- the one who was always a success, the one everybody expected the best of and for. Tragically, Joe didn’t make it out. And the hole his absence created in the lives of those who loved him is still felt daily and on a yearly basis, when the annual remembrance of 9/11 and those lost in the terror attacks occurs. After 9/11, Schefter felt a tug to return to the place of his roots, New York, where his family and many friends still resided. He was noticing more and more his desire to combine marriage to the right woman with his very successful career. Yet, as he continued to succeed professionally, his dating relationships didn't seem to progress. He relocated to Manhattan but experienced a physical and personal crisis. This influenced his expectations of meeting, and marrying, his ideal “perfect” woman --- with all the checked-off boxes --- and brought clarity and change. Then he was introduced to Sharri. And he fell in love --- not only with her, but with Devon. Before they ever even went out on a date, Sharri communicated to Schefter the facts: she was a 9/11 widow of a man she had deeply loved and still loved, and had a son who was her top priority. Odd yet meaningful connections or seeming coincidences underlined again and again that Schefter was the right man for both Sharri and Devon. And so he stepped into the role of husband, father and son-in-law of a man who was still dearly missed. Over time, Schefter got to know the man he never met: the additional family member in his house, who made his new relationships possible. Adam Schefter is a sportswriter and broadcaster by trade; he has had a pretty amazing professional life built on hard work, good relationships, a faithful work ethic, and years of excellent writing honed by the daily journaling he began as a student. Yet, in THE MAN I NEVER MET, he explores more personal matters rather than sports-related ones --- the absence of a life and the profound effect it had not only on Joe’s family, but on himself as well. Written to honor his wife, stepson and the Maios, Schefter’s warm, personable book introduces us to Joe and his impact on so many. It is a fascinating work, well worth reading, even as you grieve over the loss experienced by the Maios. Interestingly enough, it will encourage and inspire you at the same time. Don’t miss this wonderful memoir. Reviewed by Melanie Reynolds

  26. 5 out of 5

    The Nutbarn

    9/11. Say those words and everyone has a memory attached. A rushed conversation to find out where a family member was. A shocked gasp while making breakfast. Being glued to the TV for more news, or the sky if you were in a flight path. TV anchors never stopped talking about it because our need to find out more was insatiable. Now imagine being the wife or husband of one the people in the towers, planes or Pentagon. Sharri Maio doesn't have to. She lived it. This is a nonfictional story about that 9/11. Say those words and everyone has a memory attached. A rushed conversation to find out where a family member was. A shocked gasp while making breakfast. Being glued to the TV for more news, or the sky if you were in a flight path. TV anchors never stopped talking about it because our need to find out more was insatiable. Now imagine being the wife or husband of one the people in the towers, planes or Pentagon. Sharri Maio doesn't have to. She lived it. This is a nonfictional story about that day, but twisted slightly. It deviates from the norm, but maybe the story isn't so unusual. It's not the story of loss that we've all come to expect. It's also not the story of recovery that we could expect. It's loss, recovery, self discovery, tragedy, triumph, and above all else, family. This isn't just Sharri's story though. It's really the story of three people. Sharri, her husband, Joe, and her other husband, Adam. Twisted. I told you. Adam is the writer of the book (with Michael Rosenberg). He grew up in New York but life had other plans for him. On 9/11 he was working in Denver. His life was there and he never thought to leave. He was professionally happy and stable but his dating life was the pits. Sharri and Joe had moved into a new house and were busy trying to parent Devon, while decorating their new home. He worked for Cantor Fitzgerald in the North Tower of the World Trade Center, in one of the higher floors. We know now that no one from those floors made it. Sharri became a 9/11 widow and learned how to survive without him. She learned how to parent Devon alone and they had a happy life. Eventually she wanted more than that and began to date, mostly unsuccessfully. Adam was essentially a serial dater. He was looking for external perfection. Instant bonds. THE ONE. He never found her. Life is funny that way. Change is always just a blink away. He moves home to New York and they meet through a mutual friend but things aren't easy. Eventually they find their way but lingering always, like a specter, is Joe. His house, his wife, his son, his life. The more stories that are related about Joe, the less likeable he becomes. I don't know if this is the intent of the author. It seems unlikely, but it doesn't wash away the impression. He doesn't tell us much about himself, at all. Don't get me wrong. He talks about himself, but in small, insignificant ways like an interview he did or what he wrote in his journal. He doesn't give us that emotional connection, that depth, that warmth. He gives us plenty about Joe, however. His childhood antics and fears, quirks and easy confidence. That makes Joe more tangible. There is simply none of himself on the page. How ironic. A writer that leaves himself out of the story. He could have talked about his fears of becoming a father. He did it twice with Sharri. It has to be a huge part of their life together. He could have talked about how he bonded with Devon, but only ever mentions temporary tattoos. It's simply not enough. In the end, there is no meat on the bone. It's a handshake, and only barely that. We never meet the author or his family. We never see beyond the superficial. We learn more about his dating life before he married Sharri than we do after. There is no flavor, color or texture to this story. It's unfortunate. The premise of the book was the hook. Unfortunately, I wiggled off and jumped back into the water.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jeff

    Two confessions from the start: When I started this book, I only knew the author was from the sports world and the book was about Joe Maio who lost his life on 9/11/01. Second, the tragedy of the events of 9/11 affected me profoundly and I consider it the most devastating national event in my lifetime. So, I was rather unprepared for the story that unfolded as I devoured page after page of The Man I Never Met. As author Adam Schefter (with Michael Rosenberg) states early on-- this isn't a book ab Two confessions from the start: When I started this book, I only knew the author was from the sports world and the book was about Joe Maio who lost his life on 9/11/01. Second, the tragedy of the events of 9/11 affected me profoundly and I consider it the most devastating national event in my lifetime. So, I was rather unprepared for the story that unfolded as I devoured page after page of The Man I Never Met. As author Adam Schefter (with Michael Rosenberg) states early on-- this isn't a book about September 11th, it is the story of September 12th and beyond. It is the story of living. There are so many wonderful things in the book about strength, hope and survival that were unleashed as a result of those unimaginable tragic events. What moved me was the unconditional power of love and remembrance. Even more so-- author Adam Schefter's humility and honesty as he bears his soul in this touching memoir of the legacy of Joe Maio, the lives of his friends and family; and the powerful, yet difficult journey he (Schefter) and Sharri experienced and continue to experience as they build their lives 'after' is awe-inspiring. While Schefter paints a wonderful tribute to Joe Maio, it is very much his own story as well. By the end, you've gotten to know two strong men-- though they never met-- that will forever be bound to one another, closer than brothers. This is just one story of thousands-- families whose lives were forever changed. In reality, it is a story of us all. For anyone that has experienced great loss and struggled but found the courage and strength to move forward-- this is your tribute. We are all united, in grief and in the celebration of remembrance on this uncertain journey called life. I gratefully received an ARC from St. Martin's Press through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Geeta Ramani

    "The Man I Never Met.” By Adam ( Prompt: An alternate history..??) I have no doubt, Reading makes us better human beings, provided we read books like 'The Man I Never Met' by Adam Schefter. I would recommend this book to every young man. Adam Schefter begins the book by eulogising Joe, a gentleman he has never met. Probably he wished to always keep him on a pedestal for he is always around Adam. Joe died in the tragedy of 9/11 and five years later, Adam married his widow and become a father to hi "The Man I Never Met.” By Adam ( Prompt: An alternate history..??) I have no doubt, Reading makes us better human beings, provided we read books like 'The Man I Never Met' by Adam Schefter. I would recommend this book to every young man. Adam Schefter begins the book by eulogising Joe, a gentleman he has never met. Probably he wished to always keep him on a pedestal for he is always around Adam. Joe died in the tragedy of 9/11 and five years later, Adam married his widow and become a father to his young son. He knows they can never forget him and he doesn't want them to either. He is generous and magnanimous to a fault. He accepts the present as an extension of the past. He respects Joe's parents as his in-laws and now his children are the fortunate recipients of the love of three sets of grandparents. By writing about the man he has never met, he lets us know about the kind of man he is. He is remarkable and exemplary. In the changing world where family structures are realigning, families have come to include members who are not related by blood. In such circumstances it becomes imperative to accept and respect one another. You can bank on Adam Schefter to show you the way.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Roger Smitter

    The story is about 9/11 and everything that happens after the attack. Author Schefter is a sports reporter—for ESPN. He loves sports. A friend arranges a blind date for a widow of the 9/11 attack. Sherri and Adams meet at a restaurant. Freinds have prepared the duo for the date, including Sharri’s beginning to move on after her loss in the World Trade attack. Schefter uses his journalistic skills to provides a funny and yet romantic encounter, including the invocation of the “dessert” test to ma The story is about 9/11 and everything that happens after the attack. Author Schefter is a sports reporter—for ESPN. He loves sports. A friend arranges a blind date for a widow of the 9/11 attack. Sherri and Adams meet at a restaurant. Freinds have prepared the duo for the date, including Sharri’s beginning to move on after her loss in the World Trade attack. Schefter uses his journalistic skills to provides a funny and yet romantic encounter, including the invocation of the “dessert” test to mark that data as a good one. More importantly, Schefter always describes the process of recovery for Shari and her son. Even this reader found himself smiling a couple of times when reading about the wedding. It’s a book that could be read in total on a Sunday afternoon—but it would be a good read. In the last third of the story, Schefter describes the problems of the newly weds who work to make a new family. Schefter does his best in those pages. In some ways, the book is material for a Life-Time movie—but it would be a movie I would watch.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Rashmi

    I think this is a beautiful story and should be read by everyone. I cried several times through the book so you will need tissues. Reading anything about 9/11 can do that but as Adam Schefter says this isn’t about what happened on 9/11, everyone knows that but what happened on 9/12 and every day since then. Tragedies take place, we feel sad and angry, depressed and low. We lose all sense of time - we remember these tragedies and then we move on until the anniversary of the tragedy or another tra I think this is a beautiful story and should be read by everyone. I cried several times through the book so you will need tissues. Reading anything about 9/11 can do that but as Adam Schefter says this isn’t about what happened on 9/11, everyone knows that but what happened on 9/12 and every day since then. Tragedies take place, we feel sad and angry, depressed and low. We lose all sense of time - we remember these tragedies and then we move on until the anniversary of the tragedy or another tragedy happens. Tragedies come in forms of school shootings, mass shootings, hurricanes, floods, forest fires, war and a host of other ways. The people who have suffered because of these tragedies and whose life changed overnight need to pick up the pieces and move on and it can be a very, very hard thing to do and it could be a very slow process. They live that tragedy in some way, every single day and we should be cognizant of that.

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