Friday, August 3, 2012

Book Club Friday

I had always heard of Heather Gudenkauf, and I knew she was an author from Iowa, but I just could never seem to get around to picking up her books! One day when browsing the books at Costco, I noticed her newest release, One Breath Away. I'm not supposed to be buying books, but my sister convinced me I should buy it, and that I have been working hard so I deserve it (enabler!), so I did.

I am so glad I did! I haven't even finished this book, and it is all I can think about. It is simply captivating!

The book covers one day in a small fictional Iowa town called Broken Branch. There is a shooter in the school and the book is told through the perspective of six different people.

Holly, a mother who is thousands of miles away from her children that are in the school. Augie, Holly's daughter who is actually in the school. Mrs. Oliver, a veteran third grade teacher that holds herself up to incredibly high standards. Meg, a local police officer, who also has a child that attends the school. Then, Will, a local farmer and Holly's father who he has been watching over Holly's two children while their mother is away.

This book is captivating and terrifying all at the same time. What would be going through your mind if someone entered your building with a gun and the intent to shoot? Many have said that this book is too difficult to read right now after what happened in Aurora, Colorado. I agree, but these are situations that we have to think about and be prepared for. These days we're not just doing fire drills and tornado drills. We're doing violence drills, too. This book is about what happens when a community comes together, or what doesn't happen.

On Monday I had the opportunity to hear Heather speak at a local library, and it was so much fun. She is a really interesting person and her story is so inspiring! She is a high school teacher in Mason City, Iowa and she has been writing pretty much her entire life. Her career as a writer and her road to publishing is pretty similar to other authors with lots of "no thanks" at the beginning, but it is inspiring that she kept trying. She talked a lot about what that was like and what it takes to get published. It sounds like she got really lucky, but I hate saying that, because her writing really is good. I love how she is weaving the characters together and telling the story from multiple time periods so seamlessly. At the signing she did talk a lot about what it was like to get so many rejections and she passed around her rejection letters. It was really interesting to see those and imagine what that would be like.

Her first book, The Weight of Silence was a big hit and I know many, many people love that book. It has been on my list as one to read, but I think now, after hearing her speak and loving One Breath Away so far, I will have to get to The Weight of Silence sooner!

Today I am linking up with Heather at Blonde Undercover Blonde for Book Club Friday.


Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

Sounds like a great book. I like how she is forthcoming about the rejection part of the publishing process. I think we tend to assume that people get published rather easily, but it's clearly a bumpy road to being a successful author. I will def check this book out!

Kyetra said...

Another GREAT book by her is These Things Hidden. I could not put it down. I have also read The Weight of Silence and loved it also.
I can't wait to pick this one up!

Victoria said...

i have read her first two novels and devoured them,intense and thrilling! i have this book on my pile and i can't wait to read it :)

happy friday!

Kelly (She Wears a Red Sox Cap) said...

This book sounds really good and i want to read it even though i'm sure it will freak me out. I actually read the Weight of Silence, and when I just looked on goodreads I never rated it- I have no idea why, but it was really good and I remember it pretty well. I also have these things hidden on my to-read list. Sounds like she is a great author and I'm glad she was upfront about getting rejected a few times before achieving her success :)

Ann said...

Im so intrigued. Thanks for sharing!

Shoshanah said...

I've been seeing this cover around, but really had no idea what it was about. Although after reading your post I'm definitely intrigued.

Kristi said...

Thanks for the recommendation, I love to find new authors and I hadn't heard of this one before. Yay!

Becky said...

I'm excited about your review and even more excited to read this since you're leaving it for me! (P.S. I'm not only sitting next to you while commenting, I'm using your computer - what what!!)