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The Things That Keep Us Here: A Novel | [Carla Buckley]

The Things That Keep Us Here: A Novel

Ann Brooks never thought shed 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.
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Publisher's Summary

How far would you go to protect your family?

Ann Brooks never thought shed 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 Americas heartland.

And it is killing 50 out of every 100 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.

©2010 Carla Buckley (P)2010 Random House

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  •  
    Michael Walnut Creek, CA, United States 02-19-10
    Michael Walnut Creek, CA, United States 02-19-10 Member Since 2015

    I focus on fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, science, history, politics and read a lot. I try to review everything I read.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I don't believe it!"

    It seems unlikely that a book about an apocalyptic catastrophe could be boring, but this book pulls it off. These characters are stilted and are just too dumb to live. Scene after scene does not make sense. The family is starving and they know a neighbor with lots of food is dead yet it takes forever before it occurs to them they should go get the food. The actions of the characters just don't seem real. It was like Ozzie and Harriet meets H1N1. I can see that there were plot reasons for all the stupidity, but the author has put setting up minor plot elements above believable characters.

    16 of 19 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tanya Philadelphia, PA, USA 06-27-10
    Tanya Philadelphia, PA, USA 06-27-10 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great book!"

    I truly enjoyed this book and completely disagree that it was boring. This book made me question what I found wrong and right and why. What are my moral limits. What will I do and NOT do. This book really made me think about my life and love. I found myself questioning everything and finally had a conversation with my best friend as to why we do what we do and when it is acceptable and unacceptable. I love forward to her next book. However, I do have to say that I did not think that 'love story' was robust enough. I didn't understand why she felt this love for him nor him for her. I would truly recommend this book to all.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Leslie West Roxbury, MA, United States 06-24-14
    Leslie West Roxbury, MA, United States 06-24-14 Member Since 2004

    Like mainly mystery and suspense with a bit of chick lit and non-fiction thrown in. Severe addiction going on 10 years to Audiobooks.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not my typical kind of book, but enjoyed it."
    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    I wouldn't.


    Any additional comments?

    It was a little too long. The mother bear instinct was so strong in the main character that I found it annoying at times. I felt like shaking her like "enough already!". It does make you question how far would you go for your friends and neighbors and to protect your family.

    I said it wasn't a typical book for me because it seemed "out there" as far as what was happening to the country...At least I hope it is "out there" and we never see the likes of it.

    Definitely worth a listen. It was a good car ride book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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