I just finished reading The Things That Keep Us Here by Carla Buckley for a Pump Up Your Book Promotion Virtual Book Tour.
How far would you go to protect your family?
Ann Brooks never thought she’d have to answer that question. Then she found her limits tested by a crisis no one could prevent. Now, as her neighborhood descends into panic, she must make tough choices to protect everyone she loves from a threat she cannot even see. In this chillingly urgent novel, Carla Buckley confronts us with the terrifying decisions we are forced to make when ordinary life changes overnight.
A year ago, Ann and Peter Brooks were just another unhappily married couple trying–and failing–to keep their relationship together while they raised two young daughters. Now the world around them is about to be shaken as Peter, a university researcher, comes to a startling realization: A virulent pandemic has made the terrible leap across the ocean to America’s heartland.
And it is killing fifty out of every hundred people it touches.
As their town goes into lockdown, Peter is forced to return home–with his beautiful graduate assistant. But the Brookses’ safe suburban world is no longer the refuge it once was. Food grows scarce, and neighbor turns against neighbor in grocery stores and at gas pumps. And then a winter storm strikes, and the community is left huddling in the dark.
Trapped inside the house she once called home, Ann Brooks must make life-or-death decisions in an environment where opening a door to a neighbor could threaten all the things she holds dear.
Carla Buckley’s poignant debut raises important questions to which there are no easy answers, in an emotionally riveting tale of one family facing unimaginable stress.
Wow. This book really makes you think. And it can definitely make you paranoid. Working in a school, we had several kids (including one of my own students) that got the H1N1 virus and I know the slight panic that came with it.
Carla Buckley wrote this story so efficiently that I was totally engrossed in the story. I am one of those readers that when I'm reading, I am so involved in the story, that if I am interrupted, it takes me a couple of seconds to realize where I am. And with this story, it took me a couple of seconds to remember that the pandemic was only in the story, not in our real life. But the horror---and the possibility of it happening! It easily read like a thriller movie. I didn't want to put the book down and was hooked right until the end--and there is a shocking confession in the epilogue that I definitely didn't see coming. This was a suspenseful read and will have you wondering if you would have what it takes to survive a pandemic.
I gave this book a rating of 4/5.
This book fulfills items in the following challenges:
2010 100+ Reading Challenge: 23
ARC Reading Challenge 2010: 17
About Carla Buckley
Carla Buckley was born in Washington, D.C. She has worked in a variety of jobs, including a stint as an assistant press secretary for a U.S. senator, an analyst with the Smithsonian Institution, and a technical writer for a defense contractor. She currently lives in Ohio with her husband and children. The Things That Keep Us Here is her first novel. Bantam Dell will publish Buckley’s next novel in 2011. You can visit Carla Buckley’s website at http://www.carlabuckley.com/.
FTC Disclosure: I was sent this book a part of Pump Up Your Book Promotions for a honest review.