Today’s featured book is one I’ll be reading soon. My first foray into this author’s work, Carla Buckley’s The Things That Keep Us Here grabbed my interest.
It was quiet coming home from the funeral. Too quiet. Ann wished Peter would say something, but there was just the soft patter of rain and the wipers squeaking back and forth across the windshield. Even the radio was mute, reception having sizzled into static miles before.
As they crossed into Ohio, Ann turned around to see why Maddie hadn’t called it, and saw her seven-year-old had fallen asleep, her head tipped back and her lips parted, her book slipped halfway from her grasp. The first hour of their trip had been punctuated by Maddie asking every five minutes, “Mom, what does this spell?” Ann leaned back and teased the opened book from her daughter’s fingers, closed it, and put it on the sea beside Maddie. Kate hunched in the opposite corner, a tangle of brown hair falling over her face and obscuring her features, the twin wires of her iPod coiling past her shoulders and into her lap.
Teaser: Maddie, her sweet, uncomplicated child, painting rainbows. Maddie, whom Ann had thought was safe, whom Ann had wanted so much to believe was untouched by all the sadness around her that she’d refused to see the truth for what it was. (p. 61).
Blurb: 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.
What do you think? Would you keep reading? I know that I can’t wait….