One Breath Away

One Breath Away 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

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 schoolIn 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.

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One Breath Away

  1. Heather is the NYT and USA Today Bestselling author of THE WEIGHT OF SILENCE and MISSING PIECES.

533 Reply to “One Breath Away”

  1. When a lone gunman walks into a local school in Broken Branch, Iowa it sends the whole school and the community into total chaos The gunman takes a whole classroom, including the teacher hostage, but no one knows precisely why or what he really wants or who he is Outside the school is a gathering of worried and frantic parents and family who just want answers, but unfortunately no one holds any answers Will the police be able to get all the hostages out safely and back to their loved ones An int [...]

  2. One Breath Away is a great example of why Heather Gudenkauf has quickly become a must read author for me She is a master storyteller, and I loved every second that I spent reading this book The author was able to rachet the tension so high that I felt like I was on pins and needles, breathless, throughout the entire story Gudenkauf created characters that I quickly cared about, and I sympathized with them and hoped for a positive outcome to their situation Telling the story from different viewpo [...]

  3. I wasn t sure what to expect from this book I knew it was about a school shooting, or at least a gunman inside a school, so I thought it would either be a tear jerk drama, or a psychological thriller I was hoping for the latter.My heart was definitely pounding harder while reading this book, but not from the thrill I experienced rage at how unbelievably stupid the characters were Rarely do I want to harm a book, but I wanted to smack this one against the floor, tear out pages with my teeth, chew [...]

  4. This is the second book I ve read by Heather Gudenkauf and it is absolutely outstanding This is an extremely well written, fast paced novel with well drawn out characters, each one had their issues and their flaws, yet all of them were likeable The plot is gripping and full of action and suspense The story is told from the perspective of five characters involved in the school hostage situation Augie a student in the school , Mrs Oliver a teacher , Holly the mother of Augie who is in hospital rec [...]

  5. This is my first Heather Gudenkauf book and oooooh what a dandy The story is fast paced and hooked me from the very first page I like the way the story unfolded from five different viewpoints Augie, Will, Mrs Oliver, Meg and Holly Not only did we move forward with each charcter, but also backwards to get an understanding of each individual and what lead them to this fateful day.Ms Gundenkauf writes a well organized, fast paced story I always like that I have to get to the very end before finding [...]

  6. One Breath Away is an intriguing story about what happens in a small midwestern town when a lone gunman enters a school with one thing on his mind revenge I was on the edge of my seat and tearing up, very good

  7. I am a big Heather Gudenkauf fan, so I had high expectations going into this novel Unfortunately, I didn t love it as much as I had hoped.This book was told in alternating perspectives by Holly, Augie, Meg, Mrs Oliver, and Will We meet Holly in the first chapter She has been badly burned in a house fire and is miles away from her children in a hospital located in Revelation, Arizona Her children, Augie and P.J are staying in Broken branch, with their grandparents Holly cannot believe her childre [...]

  8. When you have recently read an excellent book and have somewhat of a book hangover the only problem is the next book has to also be pretty special to keep the momentum going I chose this novel based on its favourable reviews, it sounded just my cup of tea Unfortunately, I was disappointed in its execution.Written in the style of Jodi Picoult I am a fan of hers told from the perspectives of several characters, we are introduced to the townspeople involved in a hostage situation taking place at th [...]

  9. POSSIBLE SPOILERS s a pretty good book and the author, Heather Gudenkauf, is such an interesting storyteller, unfolding the events of only a few hours in such a way that keeps you heavily invested However, she throws so many red herrings your way that it makes it so easy to guess who s responsible A man with a gun has entered a school in a small town in Iowa and the town races to find out who he is to stop him from killing a potentially great deal of people There are many characters brought in, [...]

  10. One Breath Away is extremely slow, nothing happens Each chapter brings stories of the characters that are totally unrelated to the main plot Many useless details are there as page fillers, but the story never fully develops The main characters are not believable, nothing is clear and the end is just disappointing and unreal.

  11. As I was reading this book I kept thinking This would make an awesome movie , not because of the way it was written but because the suspense makes one want to keep turning the pages There is a gunman in the school a school in a rural area that holds grades K 12, and the school goes on lock down This is not another Columbine though, the shooter is there for a specific purpose and for a specific person The who and the why are the big questions and the story is related by four different narrators I [...]

  12. Heather Gudenkauf is one of my favorite authors This is an extremely well written novel It is fast paced yet easy to follow and held my interest throughout I was on edge often throughout the novel The story is told from five different perspectives and I found the multiple narratives interesting and easy enough to follow An ordinary school day a the local school in Broken Branch, Iowa A lone gunman has entered the school and taken a classroom of children along with their teacher hostage Nobody kn [...]

  13. I read this 400 page book in one day, I just could not put it down The main story is about a gunman holding kids hostage in a small town school, as told by four characters One breath had me on the edge of my seat and guessing until the last chapters The characters was also very well rounded with enough flaws to make them seem real This is my second book by Heather Gundenkauf, and I will be reading everything she publishes

  14. Given the spate of school shootings over the past few years, you would assume a novel about a gunman taking children hostage at a school in a small town would be as suspenseful as it is timely Unfortunately, I found the suspense lacking and the tension watered down by the novel s construction which was skillfully done, but slowed the novel s narrative drive The story is told through the eyes of five narrators, all experiencing the horror and processing it in different ways They are a mother of t [...]

  15. This is my second book by Heather Gudenkauf I still need to read her first novel and this one is just phenomenal I think it s hard to balance multiple narratives and make each one equally compelling and a unique voice and she manages to pull off five narrators in this book Holly, her father and her daughter, plus a teacher at the school the gunman is actually in her class and a police officer investigating the case Obviously I cared the most about Augie and Mrs Oliver the ones most immediately a [...]

  16. Heather Gudenkauf s, One Breath Away is a character driven novel full of suspense, but to me there seemed to be something missing The entire time I was reading, I couldn t help thinking, been there, done that like I d read a similar storyline before Also, the short choppy chapters and some of the back story took away from the urgency of what was going on at the school And, when the who and why was all revealed, I just wasn t sold Having said all that, I did enjoy the characters P.J and Augie wer [...]

  17. I can t believe it Heather Gudenkauf has done it again With a story that could be ripped straight from the headlines this book revolves around a gunman and a school.Told in 5 points of view we get to hear straight from a child, a teacher, a grandfather, a mother police officer, and another mother.This story is intense How would you feel if your child was trapped in a school in a hostage situation What about your grandchild What if you were the teacher who was being held hostage What if there was [...]

  18. 4.5 Stars Have you ever read a book that when you were done, you wish that you could erase your memory and read it again In my opinion, One Breath Away is that kind of book I have read all of Heather s books and this one is my favorite, and for me it is tied with Whistling Past the Graveyard for my favorite book of the year.Set in a small town, an unexpected snow storm rolls in creating its own chaos Then an unknown person or perhaps not walks into the local school and holds a classroom of child [...]

  19. Heather Gudenkauf makes you turn the pages just love her writing the story starts when a lone gunman holds a teacher students hostage in a classroom every parents nightmare it s in the middle of a snowstorm outside the residents of Broken Branch wait watches to see what will happen loved the characters plot was strong well written had me guessing right to the end she is fast becoming one of my favourite authors

  20. This was a wonderfully written novel, Heather Gudenkauf s best to date in my opinion Each chapter was written in the voice of the main characters, and I found I clicked with them straight away.Holly, Augie and PJ s mum, is in hospital after a dreadful fire at home, where she was burned pretty badly around her face and one arm Holly s mum, Maryls, has come to be with her in the hospital, and in the meantime, Augie and PJ have been sent to live with their grandfather at the farm Holly grew up on, [...]

  21. I am reading this now and cannot put it down Gudenkauf, has it it out of the ballpark yet again as she did with THESE THINGS HIDDEN and A BREATH OF SILENCE ONE BREATH AWAY is a story ripped from the headlines A gunman is holding children hostage at their school in a small town in Iowa Who is he And what is his motive Through the voices of a female police officer, a third grade teacher just about to retire, the grandfather of two of the students and his daughter lying in a hospital a thousand mil [...]

  22. OMG OMG OMG I just love Heather s books This one pulls you in from the very first page and does not let go Each chapter is told by one person as events unfold around them Augie is the hero of the book in my opinion I had no idea who it was until the end of the book I loved the characters in One Breath Away and got easily wrapped up in their lives Great job Heather Can t wait to read your next one Hahahaha no pressure Note I received this book free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. [...]

  23. In short, I ended up burning my dinner during the last 50 pages of this book because I simply couldn t put it down The character development is wonderful, as I felt very connected to each and every character in the book ONE BREATH AWAY had me on the edge of my seat from the very first page until the last, and I was constantly speculating on the ending of the book which took me by complete surprise Another winner from Heather Gudenkauf

  24. I was catching my breath multiple times as I read this book like a fast moving train headed for a collision I knew I couldn t stop Heather Gudenkauf kept me hooked on an adrenalin rush as I sped through her chapter vignettes of each character s reactions and reactions to a gunman holding elementary school children hostage during an unexpected, debilitating snowstorm in a small town While the book sounds like a clone of Columbine, it s not I m sure there may be similarities in how we might imagin [...]

  25. Keeping the tension high with short chapters, shifts in perspective and a situation that every parent dreads in the wake of Columbine and similar school tragedies, Gudenkauf has written a pacy suspense thriller that kept me turning the pages into the early hours of the morning In small town Iowa, a gunman holds a school hostage Outside a blizzard rages while the police scramble to identify the man and prevent a massacre Thousands of miles away a mother receives a phone call, He has a gun The pre [...]

  26. I have not read anything by the author, but from the blogging world, I know that her books are popular And I consider her as one of the authors that I will always be on the look out for Holly, Augie, Will, Meg, and Mrs.Oliver s lives change drastically when a gunman enters the school, one cold day Mrs Oliver will do anything to keep her little students safe and sound from the gunman Meg will go to extreme measures to do her duty and find out who the gunman in the local school is Will will do any [...]

  27. I bordered on giving this one a 4, but it was really of a 4.5 stars for me so I rounded up What would you do if you found out your children were stuck in their school with a gunman In the middle of a snowstorm parents surround the school praying that their children are going to walk out unscathed An emotional roller coaster from start to finish I couldn t put this one down Halfway through the book it made my heart pound wondering waiting on the who is it why is this madman inside a small town s [...]

  28. A well done thriller with some pacing issues Would have been five stars if it hadn t flipped back to the least interesting character in the book multiple times DURING THE CLIMAX Also, I would have liked to hear a little about who the perpetrator was and had that information revealed in a interesting way For the last quarter of the book, I kinda felt like the author was playing with me the way I play with my cat, dangling what I wanted and constantly snatching it away But she couldn t have done [...]

  29. What could be terrifying than a gunman in a school Told from the viewpoints of the children, their families, teachers and the police, this story is a compelling account of the events that unfolded on this horrific day.Heather Gudenkauf had me captivated from the start and it is easy to see why I love her novels.

  30. It s a startlingly, suddenly cold spring day, the last day before Spring Break in Broke Branch, Iowa when the gunman walks into the school The ancient, housing grades K through 12 is where nearly all of the two spent their school years but now it s facing an unknown threat.In all but the one classroom taken hostage, students just know that they re under a lockdown and that it doesn t seem to be a drill, that something actually seems to be happening Outside, the police have received a call from a [...]

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