One to watch in 2019. Three Hours by Rosamund Lupton.

In a rural English village in the middle of a snowstorm, the unthinkable happens: the school is under siege.

From the wounded headmaster barricaded in the library, to teenage Hannah in love for the first time, to the police psychologist who must identify the gunmen, to the terrified 8-year-old Syrian refugee, to the kids sheltering in the school theatre still rehearsing Macbeth, all must find the courage to stand up to evil and try to save the people they love . . .

In an intense exploration of fear and violence, courage and redemption, Rosamund Lupton takes us deep into the heart of human experience.

“Love is the most powerful thing there is”.

So says one character in Rosamund Lupton’s Three Hours, an incredibly powerful, heart breaking and undeniably brilliant novel, the thing is you know, I believe that’s true. If you read this you’ll believe it too.

Three Hours. One School. A life threatening and life changing event.

Reading this book was both the best and most difficult three hours (ironically) I’ve spent inside a story for years. Gripping, almost gently breaking down your defences, that thing that separates your fact from your fiction, the characters within this multi arc drama are tangible and real. They could be your family, your friends, this is why your heart will pound out of your chest, you’ll have to step back sometimes but you’ll be drawn back in by the sheer emotion of it all – now I’m out the other side I’m a little in awe of how far I was in it. Actually I think powerful is understating it by quite a margin.

The writing is so beautiful. The inner turmoil, the bravery, the terror and the dawning of understanding, all brought to vivid, shocking life on the page. The author takes on all the nuances, all the emotional levels, every part of human nature both the best and the worst of it and makes you look, really LOOK at it and the world we are living in. There are no punches pulled, no promises made and yet at the centre of it all, through the trauma, there is hope. Hope and love.

Yes the story is ripped straight from a headline you hope never to see again. This has been done before you may say. No. Not like this. Not with this immersive level of quality in the prose, in the characters, in the overall impact of it. I cried for our society when I was done, I also believed in it.

Love is the most powerful thing there is.

Read this book. Live it.

You can purchase Three Hours (Penguin Viking) Here.

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