Advance reader reviews of The Things That Keep Us Here

The Things That Keep Us Here

by Carla Buckley

The Things That Keep Us Here by Carla Buckley
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  • Published in USA  Feb 2010
    416 pages
    Genre: Novels

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for The Things That Keep Us Here
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  • Judy B. (Marysville, OH)


    Scary, excellent, compelling
    I could not put this book down. This is a riveting story of how a broken family living in the Columbus, Ohio, area (where I live, too) try to survive an avian flu epidemic that more than decimates the population worldwide. Could this book be more timely with the current threat of H1N1 in all of our minds?

    Ann and Peter and their two daughters are beautifully drawn as earnest but humanly flawed people who are faced with not only the threat of the deadly virus, but also with the failure of the systems that sustain them because of the deaths of so many people--no electricity, no phone, no transportation to get food on market shelves or into homes. And the family must face the breakdown of the community into a dangerous, fragmented, rule-less, everyone-for-him/herself environment. The family's decisions and coping actions are often heartbreaking. There is a thread that is tied up at the end of the book that seemed unnecessary, since the issue did not seem clear in the flow of the story. But that aside, I loved this book and can't wait for more from Carla Buckley.
  • Elizabeth B. (Sunnyvale, CA)


    The Things That Keep Us Here
    I loved this book. I am an avid reader, but have not lately come across a book I did not want to take breaks from. Some books take awhile for me to warm up to the characters, but by the second page, I found myself quite interested in caring for this family. I was impressed with the way the author just plunked us into their lives, and then kept thickening (enriching) their characters chapter after chapter, often in very subtle ways. And while the topic seems particularly pertinent in today's times, the ways in which the author propelled the reader forward with the plot makes me think it could stand alone with or without today's issues at hand. My sense is that this book would appeal to a wide variety of people due to several themes running through the story.
  • Beth T. (Savannah, GA)


    Fascinating and Terrifying
    It has been a long time since I considered calling in late to work so I could finish a book, but that ALMOST happened with this one. What a fantastic read! I was involved with the characters, fascinated and terrified as the events unfolded, and was completely engaged as they dealt with the unthinkable effects of a modern-day pandemic. I highly recommend this title and predict it will be a very popular book club selection. Kudos to Carla Buckley for a riveting debut!
  • Sharon W. (Two Rivers, WI)


    The Things That Keep Us Here
    I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Even though it was a novel it really made you think. It is ironic that this book is coming out now when we have the H1N1 virus and this book had the H5N1 virus. I don't want to give too much away but it was sad what people had to go through and how some people became closer and others fell apart.
  • Theresa R. (Sierra Madre, CA)


    Fast Paced and Very Well Written!
    Oh my goodness......there are not too many books that have you gripping onto the book, feeling anxious and wondering what is going to happen next. The characters were well-developed and real. I loved this book and look forward to future books by this author.
  • Patricia S. (Yankton, SD)


    Riveting and chilling
    The Things That Keep Us Here is a riveting story of a splintered family coping with surviving a pandemic of the avian flu while dealing with memories of the events that split them apart. In Ann, the author has created a sympathetic yet flawed character who we feel for while at times being irritated by her constant fears. I reached the point in this book where I could not put it down, and finished it, exhausted but thoroughly satisfied, at 3:30 in the morning. This is an amazing first novel, and I hope for many more by this author. Five thumbs up for Carla Buckley.
  • Vicky R. (Cumming, GA)


    Engrossing story
    I was pulled into this story from the beginning and the author kept me there until the end. I was able to connect with all of the characters and the chilling circumstances they were facing. Since this particular pandemic wasn't so unbelievable, it was easy to imagine myself in their situation. Many times throughout the book, I would ask myself, "what would I do?". This is an engrossing, easy read but highly entertaining ... and the subject matter is certainly not that far-fetched.

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