About the book:
After losing her son in an elementary school shooting that devastates the tight-knit community of Stillwater Bay, Jennifer Crowne finds herself unable to settle back into her role of perfect stay-at-home mom and committee organizer. Meanwhile, her best friend, Mayor Charlotte Stone, struggles to keep the town together, and Charlotte’s husband, the school principal, may not be the hero everyone thinks him to be.
As they try to heal from this irrevocable trauma, Jenn and Charlotte find themselves at a crossroads—within the town and within their friendship. For Jenn, broken and grieving, there is no going back, and she demands that the school be closed so that she can bury the past. Yet Charlotte is equally desperate to hold the town together, fighting the school closure and helping the shooter’s mother regain her place in the community. Jenn and Charlotte’s relationship is put to the ultimate test as each weighs her own interests against the bonds of their friendship.
School shootings are terrifying. Even more so because I'm a teacher. So this one struck me deeply. But it's not just a story about loss. It's also about grieving, hope and friendship.
I can't even begin to image when Jenn had gone through. And honestly, I'm surprised that more of the parents of the kids who were killed didn't feel the same way. I certainly didn't blame her or fault her for her feelings. And I found myself disliking her husband Robert because I didn't feel like he did care about what happened.
I also felt so bad for Julia, the mother of the teenage who murdered the kids. I could feel her pain. And I can't even begin to imagine what SHE felt knowing that her own son had done the unthinkable.
As for the other characters, they were hit or miss for me. We know Jordan, the school principal had a secret. I thought I knew what it was but I was wrong (and I should have seen it!) The mayor of the town and the reporter were okay but I felt like some of their actions and thoughts were misplaced.
This definitely wasn't an easy book to read but it does show how a community can band together in a time of tragedy to survive.
I gave this book a rating of 3.5/5.
*FTC Disclosure: I was given this book for free for an honest review as part of the BookSparks University Fall Reading Challenge
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About the author:
With a passion for storytelling, Steena Holmes took her dream of being a full-time writer and made it a reality, writing her first novel while working as a receptionist. She won the National Indie Excellence Book Award in 2012 for her bestselling novel Finding Emma. Steena currently lives in Calgary, Alberta, with her husband, three daughters, and two dogs. She likes to celebrate completing each new novel with chocolate.
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