Three hours. 180 minutes. It doesn’t sound like much does it. That’s just enough time to watch Lord Of The Rings or Titanic. But would that be enough time to find redemption, let go of regrets and fight for the ones you love? If you had three hours left to live, what would you do? Call family and friends, try to do as much as you can before it’s too late or hide away wishing for more time? Something we all take for granted. Time. We never know how much time we have left until it’s too late.
Today I am on the blog for Three Hours (Published 6 Jan. 2020) By Rosamund Lupton. A big thank you to the publishers Penguin/Viking for my copy to review, always appreciated. Also for the invite to take part in the blog tour, wonderful people and always a pleasure to work with. Thank you.
About The Author
Rosamund Lupton’s new novel Three Hours is published in ebook on Monday January 6th, the hardback comes out on Thursday 9th January 2020.
Her debut novel Sister, was a BBC Radio 4 Book at Bedtime, a Sunday Times and New York Times bestseller, winner of the Strand Magazine critics award and the Richard and Judy Bookclub Readers’ Choice Award. Her next two books Afterwards and The Quality of Silence were Sunday Times bestsellers. Her books have been published in over thirty languages.
THREE HOURS TO SAVE THE PEOPLE YOU LOVE
From the Sunday Times bestselling author of Sister comes an electrifying, pulse-racing new novel that takes us deep into the heart of what it means to be human.
Three hours is 180 minutes or 10,800 seconds.
It is a morning’s lessons, a dress rehearsal of Macbeth, a snowy trek through the woods.
It is an eternity waiting for news. Or a countdown to something terrible.
It is 180 minutes to discover who you will die for and what men will kill for.
In rural Somerset in the middle of a blizzard, the unthinkable happens: a school is under siege. Told from the point of view of the people at the heart of it, from the wounded headmaster in the library, unable to help his trapped pupils and staff, to teenage Hannah in love for the first time, to the parents gathering, desperate for news, to the 16 year old Syrian refugee trying to rescue his little brother, to the police psychologist who must identify the gunmen, to the students taking refuge in the school theatre, all experience the most intense hours of their lives, where evil and terror are met by courage, love and redemption.
Set in rural Somerset a school is under attack. The headmaster has been shot, pupils are scattered all over and anxious parents can do nothing but wait. Wait for demands, for a purpose as to why this has happened.
The reader follows a mixture of characters. Teenage Hannah is in love for the first time with Rafi. Drama teacher Daphne insists on continuing to rehearse the performance of Macbeth in the locked down theatre. The worried mother Beth Alton is desperate to know the whereabouts of her son. Detective inspector Rose Polstein has the pressure of trying to predict the shooters’ next move. These are to name just a few as the reader flits between one petrified mind to the next, adult or child the fear is always the same. That natural survival instinct kicks in, to live.
The time stamps add a strong sense of time ticking away. It’s intense. You can feel the blood pounding in your ears, hanging on to every word, hoping that love, courage and good will take down the vile evil that has assaulted the peace of day-to-day school life.
Lupton wastes no time in setting the scene and throwing the reader into a hostile situation. Hannah acts instantly, putting the headmaster, Mr. Matthew Marr into the recovery position. He notices this and feels guilty as he should be the one protecting them. It is interesting to read as the adults portrayed in the story appear to be more of a nervous wreck than the children. They stress, overthink and put themselves down for not doing more to keep everyone safe.
As the narrative progresses, the pupils fight back and refuse to let the crazed gunmen take control over them. These kids are smart and resourceful. It’s their quick thinking and inner strength that drives them to survive. Such bravery made me a blubbering mess as I cheered them on for standing up for what they believe in.
The school is proud of their policy, they are open to religion, gay teachers, anyone which is extremely refreshing to read. It is debated whether it is this which makes them a target for terrorism. Even in this day and age, people are still fighting for the freedom to simply live. Live their lives how they want, with who they love, what they believe in and who they are. It boggles the mind and it was inspiring to see that the pupils were shocked at how close-minded and ignorant the whole attack was. It is this fight for freedom that turns their fears into strength. It has restored my hope in humanity.
Lupton creates a suffocating atmosphere that adds to the claustrophobia of being trapped inside a room. The harsh sound of the gunman’s boots as he walks the corridors disturbs you as you can’t begin to imagine what that sort of situation feels like. The fear of a safe place such as a school being invaded by guns and death, it’s horrific to witness. Children’s coats hanging on their pegs, hand-made crafts displayed in the window and the innocence of youth playing happily without a care in the world. It’s a distressing sight that Lupton captures honestly as we all know this is a scene that can and has happened in our everyday lives. In contrast the woods is a big open space with little cover and no sense of direction with the snow covering your tracks. Even out in the open the reader feels trapped and isolated. You don’t only fear for their lives but your own, your sanity as you are gripped tightly and need to see how this will all play out.
Two big themes that are entwined throughout are love and courage. They play important roles, restoring hope in human kind. Phone calls made to parents and friends are all filled with ‘I love yous’ and unspoken goodbyes. As the Headmaster said to Hannah before he was violently shot “Love is the most powerful thing there is.” And it’s true. The love the pupils have for each other, the teachers, and parents binds them, making them indestructible. It keeps them going, to know that they all stand together as one, united and unbreakable.
I give Three Hours By Rosamund Lupton a Five out of Five paw rating.
Just WOW. This book broke me, tore me in half and then broke me again. Never before has a book given me tons of grey hairs (thank god for hair dye!) and worry lines than this heart-stopping read. I was holding my breath the entire time. Not only will this book shock you with its sensitive topic matter but there is also a maze of twists, turns and dead ends that keep you on the edge of your seat, fighting that urge to skip ahead as you want to digest every little detail. Lupton beautifully reminds us that friendships can’t be measured in minutes or hours but in moments. She is definitely an author to watch, I intend to read her other books and any others in the future.
You have GOT to experience this dear reader. I put it up there as one of the top reads for 2020. Griping and heartbreaking. You won’t want to put it down until you know what happens after three hours.
Don’t forget to follow the rest of the blog tour, dates below, enjoy!
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