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The Things That Keep Us Here    by Carla Buckley order for
Things That Keep Us Here
by Carla Buckley
Order:  USA  Can
Delacorte, 2010 (2010)
Hardcover, e-Book

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* *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

Carla Buckley's first novel pacts an emotional wallop. The Ohio writer poses the unsettling question: How far would you go to protect your family?

Ann Brooks is trying to cope with a marriage that is falling apart, but at the same time she wants to protect her two daughters from the unpleasantness of a divorce.

The woman's life becomes even more chaotic when Ann's husband, a university researcher, realizes that the avian flu has reached the U.S.. With one out of four people dying, the situation is totally out of control.

With their town in lockdown, the couple, their daughters and Peter's beautiful graduate assistant find themselves all sharing the Brooks' home. As food grows scarce and the community members begin battling one another for essential supplies, the household is gripped in a siege mentality. Then a winter storm hits and the area is plunged into darkness.

Ann will be forced to make some life-or-death decisions no wife or mother should ever be forced to decide, but she has no choice in this new reality forged by the virulent pandemic.

This agonizing story of a family pushed to the limit by outside forces they have no control over is one you won't soon forget. Carla Buckley's own husband is an environmental scientist and she relied heavily on his expertise in explaining how a pandemic spreads.

From start to finish you'll be both captivated and possibly also disturbed by this provocative, thought provoking novel.

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