Thursday, March 28, 2013
One Breath Away; Heather Gudenkauf
Title: One Breath Away
Author: Heath Gudenkauf
Publication Year: 2012
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Date Completed: March - 2013
Recommend: yes novel (not audio)
A gunman in a school, every parents worst nightmare is the basis for One Breath Away.
From the very beginning, readers will be reeled into the story knowing that something very wrong is happening at a school in Broken Branch, Iowa. There is an unknown gunman in the school, but who he is or what are his motives are unknown.
The story is told in short chapters by several different characters: Holly, the mother of (2) of the children: Augie and her younger brother P.J. ( Holly is recovering from serious burn injuries miles and miles away and the children have been staying with their grandfather). The other characters are Mrs. Oliver the teacher, a female police officer and the children's grandfather, Will. Through the changing narratives the reader learns more and more about the background of the individuals and insight into who the gunman may be as well as what his issues are.
The author uses a technique similar to Jodi Picoult's style - short chapters and different perspectives. Some readers mentioned that there were lots of twists and turns along the way, and that they had no idea who the gunman was, while I had the gunman pegged pretty early on. I didn't enjoy this one as much as other readers, and I think I may have felt differently if I read the book instead of listened to it. There were (4) different narrators for this book: Joyce Bean, Susan Erickson, Kate Rudd and Buck Schirner, and honestly for a variety of reasons they attributed to my lack of enjoyment after a while.
I would recommend this novel but not the audio version. I would still be willing to try other books by this author, just not audiobooks.