Book Review: One Breath Away by: Heather Gudenkauf


Mira Books

Publish Date:
June 26, 2012 

From Publisher for Review 


Order From: 
Amazon / Barnes & Noble

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.  

Review: In a small town, there are many more secrets than you think possible with everyone knowing everyone else’s business. These secrets bring the town to a halt as a masked gunman holds a school hostage. Could the gunman be one of the children's father...or someone much more dangerous? Ms. Gudenkauf has written a poignant novel told in multiple perspectives about the secrets we each hold and how we do not know our neighbors and significant others as well as we thought. One Breath Away will make you think and see people in a new light. I loved the characters as they were flawed, yet strong both because of and despite their flaws. Ms. Gudenkauf also brought home the point that seeds of goodness can be found even in the worst circumstances.

Excerpt: Sent away to the place where I grew up, the town I swore I would never return to, the house I swore I would never again step into, to the man I never wanted them to meet.

The tinny melody of the ringtone that Augie, my thirteen-year-old daughter, programmed into my cell phone is pulling me from my sleep.

1 comment:

  1. I enjoyed this one as well, particularly the different stories that were slowly unravelled, and the way that the identity of the gunman was so ambiguous. Thanks for the review!


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