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The Things That Keep Us Here: A Novelby Carla Buckley
Synopses & Reviews
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.
Trapped inside her home when a devastating pandemic enters America, Ann Brooks is forced to make life-or-death decisions involving once-everyday choices in order to protect her family. A first novel.
BONUS: This edition contains a The Things That Keep Us Here discussion guide.
Everything seems quiet on Ann Brooks's suburban cul-de-sac. Despite her impendingdivorce, she's created a happy home and her daughters are adjusting to the change. She feels lucky to be in a supportive community and confident that she can handle any other hardship that life may throw her way.But then, right before Thanksgiving, a crisis strikes that turns everybody's world upside down. Suddenly her estranged husband is forced back onto her doorstep, bringing with him his beautiful graduate assistant.Trapped inside the house she once called home, confronted by challenges she never could have imagined, Ann must make life-or-death decisions in an environment where the simple act of opening a door to a neighbor couldjeopardize all she holds dear.
The choices she makes will impact the lives of those around her irrevocably and linger in the reader's memory in this marvelous first novel, written withauthority, grace, and wisdom.
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About the Author
\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.
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