One Breath Away by Heather Gudenkauf – In the midst of a sudden spring snowstorm, an unknown man armed with a gun walks into an elementary school classroom. Outside the school, the town of Broken Branch watches and waits.
Officer Meg Barrett holds the responsibility for the town’s children in her hands. Will Thwaite, reluctantly entrusted with the care of his two grandchildren by the daughter who left home years earlier, stands by helplessly and wonders if he has failed his child again. Trapped in her classroom, Evelyn Oliver watches for an opportunity to rescue the children in her care. And thirteen-year-old Augie, already struggling with the aftermath of a terrible accident that has brought her to Broken Branch, will risk her own safety to protect her little brother.
As tension mounts with passing each minute, the hidden fears and grudges of the small town are revealed as the people of Broken Branch race to uncover the identity of the stranger who holds their children hostage.
This was unlike any other book I have read, not one of my normal choices to read but I decided to take a chance and thank goodness I did. From the get go I was hooked into the story, here we are told the story of a small town school invasion from several points of view- One police officer, one student, one teacher, one mother and one grandfather.
Reading from each of these peoples perspectives really set this book up as a must read. I didn’t really know how this story was going to be told well before reading it but the different perspectives that Heather Gudenkauf told this compelling story through was a brilliant choice. We see first hand how a whole town is effected by this devastating action and are kept unaware of who the shooter is until the very end.
I was on tender hooks the whole time whilst reading this and my emotions were running ragged. I truly enjoyed Heather Gudenkauf’s book as she has brilliantly portrayed raw, realistic reactions from different people during a tragic event. It was one of the best literary interpretations of the human condition that I have ever seen and I will highly recommend it to everyone I meet.
I cannot wait to read more books by this best selling author.