One Breath Away
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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 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.

Title:One Breath Away
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Paperback
Number of Pages:379 pages

    One Breath Away Reviews

  • Christa
    Jun 06, 2012

    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 auth...

  • Aoibhnn
    Aug 19, 2012

    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 a...

  • Mandie Kok
    Feb 18, 2013

    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...

  • Lisa B.
    May 13, 2012

    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: Aug...

  • Laura
    Jan 09, 2016

    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 ba...

  • Lauren Hopkins
    Jul 04, 2012

    POSSIBLE'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 investe...

  • Tania
    Dec 12, 2012

    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 e...

  • Christine
    Jul 17, 2014

    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 s...

  • Mark Rubinstein
    Sep 06, 2012

    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. Unfort...

  • Kelly Hager
    May 30, 2012

    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 compellin...