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.