Monday, October 15, 2012

One Breath Away by Heather Gudenkauf [Review]

One Breath Away4 out of 5 Robots!

One Breath Away by Heather Gudenkauf
Genre: Contemporary Adult
Release: June 26, 2012
Hardcover: 370 Pages
Publisher: Harlequin MIRA
My Copy: Purchased
Reviewer: Shannon
Buy the Book: Amazon

Book Summary:
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.
(Courtesy of the Publisher)
Shannon's Thoughts:
Intense.  That basically sums it up!  One Breath Away is told from 5 different perspectives during a hostage situation at a small town school.  The identity of the intruder is unknown until the very end as everyone scrambles to understand what is happening.  I love that the author tells the story through several perspectives: a teacher trapped in the classroom with the gunman, a teenager trying to make take care of her younger brother, a grandfather trying to make sure his grandchildren are all right, a cop who may have a connection to the gunman, and a mother who is recovering from a horrible accident hundreds of miles away.  But this book doesn’t just deal with a gunman in a school.  It also reflects upon small town life and the relationships we make and what connects us together.  One Breath Away feels eerily familiar and, at times, almost TOO realistic, especially after the events of Columbine,Virginia Tech and too many other similar situations.  I was nervous and anxious to make sure everyone was ok as the events unfolded.  This book will keep you up at night and stay with you for awhile.


  1. I absolutely adore intense books, the thought that this book is told from different perspectives scares me off a little, but I love reading a book that is about a small town where everyone knows everyone else. This sounds like something I would probably really enjoy :)

    1. Hi Andrea! I thought the different perspectives actually helped the story in this case. It allowed the reader to "be" in multiple places at once. So, hopefully it won't scare you too much. :)



Related Posts Plugin