Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Review: One Breath Away by Heather Gudenkauf

Book Title: One Breath Away
Author: Heather Gudenkauf
Publisher: Harlequin
Publication Date: June 19 2012
Page Count: 370
Buy The Book: Amazon


In her most emotionally charged novel to date, New York Times bestselling author Heather Gudenkauf explores the unspoken events that shape a community, the ties between parents and their children and how the fragile normalcy of our everyday life is so easily shattered.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 Baker, 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 each passing 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. (Goodreads)

Favourite Quote

“We're always one breath away from something, living or dying, sometimes it just can't be helped.” 

Words To Describe The Book

Fast paced.

My Thoughts

ONE BREATH AWAY is one of those books that grips you from start till finish, it doesn't give you time to stop and think, it throws the reader straight into the deep end right from the start.

Will this book bore you? Not a chance! ONE BREATH AWAY jumps into the action and does not hold back, the book focusses on about an 8 hour span period on one specific day, there is fear, anxiety, terror, unease, worry, doubt, so many emotions conflicting within that time. The book revolves around a single event, the day a gunman walks into a school in Iowa holding children and a teacher hostage.

The wonderful thing the author does is how she tells the story through 5 different perspective, each one helps unravel the mystery of the day, each one weaved into the other, each one coming together to tell the same story and helping the reader unravel the mystery and indentity of the gunman. The mix of point of views which switch back and forth could have been confusing but the author gives each one of the characters a voice which is different and unique, they all tell a different story, the author manages to shed light in the characters pasts and events which lead up to that single day. All the past events which are narrated are meaningful, it contributes to the story and links back to everything the characters were feeling.

At the start I was a little bit thrown by the way it puts you into the middle of everything without giving you an explanation but that is quickly resolved as you continue to read and everything becomes clear so there isn't anything to worry about.

ONE BREATH AWAY is set in a small town where everyone knows everyone. You realise how nearly everyone was affected by that single man walking into the school. Everyone in the town has a story to tell, some which could be linked back to resolving who the gunman is. There is also many relationships displayed throughout the book, you explore how people in the town value different figures in their life and the strain between loved ones. By the end of the book I could see breakthroughs between characters and how this single event may lead to bonds becoming stronger.

Overall, this book is most definitely worth picking up and reading, ONE BREATH AWAY is a rollercoaster ride you don't want to miss out on.