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.
Paperback, 379 pages
Published June 26th 2012 by Harlequin MIRA
(first published May 29th 2012)
I randomly chose this book to listen to in audio format based on the fact that I had heard of the author before however I do not believe I had read any of her work.
This story deals with a sensitive topic with a man with a gun holding a third grade classroom hostage. It could have gone so wrong however Gudenkauf stayed on the side of caution so as not to put the readers off. Well done.
I liked the fact that the story was told from four different perspectives and the fact that the chapters were extremely short. Some may ask why chapter length is important to me? When listening to an audio book, it can get tedious as it is a big time commitment as I can read faster than the story is being read to me. With short chapters, you have more options as to when to put it down if need be. I also found I got through it faster as knowing the chapters were short, I kept saying one more chapter before taking a break.
Not a lot happens in this story and I thought that was a good thing. This story was really more about peoples emotional scars then a man terrorizing a school. The man was more a reason for these people to face their issues and come to terms with them.
I loved the character of Evelyn. Although I am not a school teacher, I can only hope I would be as brave and selfless as she was in the situation she faced.
Overall a good read
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