Three Hours of what, you ask? A school shooting.
I know, I know. It’s 2021. Things are bad enough. Why would you want to read a book about a school shooting?
Because it’s really well done. It’s obviously an incredibly heavy topic that must be approached carefully, but Lupton has done that (and more). The first smart choice she made was to base the siege in the United Kingdom. The second smart choice she made was to do her research. A lot of research… and it shows. And the third smart choice was to make the siege more than just a school shooting – as the time unfurls on the page, it turns out there is a lot more behind the events than one might assume.
The end result is a story that moves along at a good pace while leaving plenty of time for character development. Not the shooters, but the characters who actually matter and the reader wants to know more about – the victims, the targets, and those tasked with helping.
I really came to love the people on the page, particularly the refugee siblings Rafi and Basi. You cannot read this book without opening up a whole new appreciation for the difficulties faced by refugees (particularly important given the evolving crisis in Afghanistan).
I want to say something profound about the ugliness of hate and the power of bravery and love… but it all sounds so trite. Suffice to say, I’m really glad I stepped outside my Stephen King/Apocalypse Fiction comfort zone and read Three Hours. It was a worthwhile investment and tackled a dark issue with hope and care.
5 Macbeth Dress Rehearsal Coping Mechanisms out of 5.