Most helpful positive review
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
A highly-charged emotional read which I could not put down!
on July 22, 2012
I received this book for review from the publicist as part of the book tour. I did not receive any compensation for my review, and the views expressed herein are my own.
One Breath Away is a highly-charged emotional read which I could not put down! It is about redemption, love, and forgiveness.
An armed man walks into a school in a small town and holds a classroom of Grade 3 students hostage, along with their teacher. The rest of the school is on lockdown, and the police are waiting the man out to determine his demands.
When I read the Press Release for this book and learned that it was told from five alternating viewpoints, I was a little hesitant. I love books told from two alternating points of view. When well done, I believe it greatly enhances the story. Unfortunately, I have read a couple of books where I found the storyline confusing because of the way it jumped back and forth between characters and timelines. This was not one of those cases! Gudenkauf masterfully handled the story not from two or three but FIVE points of view. Wow! She pulled it off! I was never confused about who was speaking. Each chapter was told from a different person's perspective and the person whose point of view was expressed was the name of the chapter. It took a bit for me to get into the heads of each of the characters, but I soon found my groove and I loved how the multiple points of view brought more dimension to each of the characters. Told in this manner, I really felt as though I knew the characters and had no trouble at all connecting with them.
The five points of view are told from:
- Meg Barrett: A police officer who is called to the scene.
- Mrs. Evelyn Oliver: The teacher in the Grade 3 classroom whose students are being held hostage by the madman.
- Holly Baker: The daughter of Will and Marlys Thwaite, she left the small town of Broken Branch at the age of 17 years and never looked back. A horrible accident leaves her hospitalized, and there is no one to care for her two children, Augie and P.J., except her parents.
- Augie Baker: The 13 year-old daughter of Holly Baker, whose brother is in Mrs. Oliver's third grade classroom.
- Will Thwaite: The father of Holly Baker, and the grandfather of Augie and P.J.
As the points of view changed from person to person, these characters became more and more complex. My heart broke for each of them, as the unresolved pain of past mistakes weighed on each of them. Gudenkauf tied all the storylines together into a satisfying conclusion.
Each character has a plausible explanation for who the gunman is. I did accurately predict the identity of the gunman, who wasn't revealed until nearly the end of the book.
My favourite quote:
"We're always one breath away from something, living or dying, sometimes it just can't be helped."
This is my first book by Gudenkauf, but it won't be my last! I am definitely looking into her backlist.
MY RATING: 5 stars!! It was superb! I loved it, and I will likely re-read it again in the future! You should definitely read it! Thanks to Media Muscle for the review copy!