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.
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 www.CarlaBuckley.com.
This was the first time I have heard of Carla Buckley and after reading The Things That Keep Us Here, I was so impressed!
The book follows a family during a flu pandemic (H5N1 - avian flu) and throughout the book we see exactly what a parent will do to protect their child. The book was very well written, and the characters very well developed. The book was suspenseful, and keep me from putting it down as I wanted to see how the book come to a close!
The one thing that kept going through my head is how eerily similar some of the events in the book are to the recent H1N1 outbreak that has occured throughout the world. This book was very thought-provoking and made me realize that my family is so not ready for something like this, should it ever happen in my area. I love the themes of family devotion, and the strength of the human spirit!
I highly recommend this book, and I cannot wait to see what Buckley's next works will be like!
You can read an excerpt from the author's website, here.
BUY IT: You can purchase The Things That Keep Us Here from your local bookseller, as well as on Amazon.com and Amazon.ca
****Thank you to the author, Carla Buckley, and Pump Up Your Book Promotions for providing me with a complimentary copy of this book for the purpose of review on this blog****