I could not be more excited today. This book review means so much to me. Three Hours is, and will remain, one of my favourite books of 2020, and of all times.
HAPPY PUBLICATION DAY, ROSAMUND!!!
Here’s what I have to say about the novel!
Title: Three Hours
Author: Rosamund Lupton
Date of publication: 9 January 2020
Format: advance copy paperback
Number of pages: 320
FAVOURITE ALERT 5 STARS
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.
2020 is a newborn. We have only just greeted January. Yet, I can already talk to you about one of my favourite books of the year. Actually, I have been dying to tell you all about THE book that gave me the most intense thrill in the last couple of months.
If you’re anything like me, it is the time you need for a pampering session in the bathroom, bath included. In three hours, you can also watch a cricket game (yes, they are that long!), binge watch four episodes of Doctor Who, bake for the school sale, lean the British Sign alphabet.
Depending on what you do, three hours can stretch forever of fly by in the blink of an eye.
Three Hours is all it took for me to forget who I was and where I was. Three Hours is exceptional. I don’t often use this word. I keep it for the crème de la crème. You know, the kind of books that changes you. The kind of books which talks to every fibre of your being.
Now that you know Rosamund Lupton’s novel will be at the top of my Top 2020, let me explain why (although frankly, you should just trust me and buy the book)
A non-ordinary school aiming at more inclusion, a better understanding, and a different approach to education.
Dozens of pupils and students ready for a new day.
Adults willing to supervise.
Parents facing another normal day.
Except the author doesn’t narrate a normal day. She turns it into one of those days. The ones who stay in memory as ‘the day of’ `
Rosamund Lupton doesn’t take advantage of hot and topical subjects plaguing our society. She gives the opportunity to experience different point of views during one of the most harrowing and scariest experiences we could be forced to deal with. I have read books and seen movies using shootings, catastrophes, and other terrible events to provoke reactions, to surf on the atmosphere of danger. You won’t find this exploitation here. Only a frightfully realistic take on a school siege.
I am a dog mama, and fear for my babies. People often say I can’t understand what it’s like for parents. I laugh at their face. It doesn’t take the use of your ovaries to care, to love unconditionally, and to respond to tragedy. That’s only my opinion. But with Three Hours, it doesn’t matter if you have kids or not, Rosamund Lupton’s prose feels like needles sharply pricking your skin over and over again. You are in the school. You are part of the book from the moment you begin reading. This is how powerful the author’s writing is.
Several points of view enabled me to wear different skins. I was a student worried sick for others. I was a powerless teacher praying for a good ending. I was a mother wondering where it all went wrong. I was a little kid hoping for the sound of his sibling’s steps. Gosh, even writing this gives me flashbacks from the chapters!!! The fear is palpable, as if the pages were made of lead, creating a heavy addiction. You want to know what happens, you want to understand what drove people to this day, you want to scream at the unfairness of it all. Your hand is turning the pages with severity, and your heart is full of contradictory feelings. I was outraged at the reasons behind this school trap. I was left hopeful and grateful from my encounters with pupils.
Three Hours is an explosive mix of emotions and hard realities. It is a cocktail of what’s pure and beautiful in us versus the worst you can find around. Three hours is complicated, compelling, absolutely impossible to put down. Multiple layers make sure you grasp the shades of grey, black, and white our society is made of.
Thank you, Rosamund Lupton, for making me feel alive. Thank you for writing this deep and fascinating masterpiece. Thank you for putting your heart and soul in a novel that echoes the undercurrents we live with. Thank you for creating such a tense and outstanding book.
Lucky us, THE BOOK IS OUT TODAY! Grab your copy now!
And join Rosamund and Liz Moore for a wonderful evening at Waterstones Piccadilly WEDNESDAY 29 JANUARY!
My biggest thanks to Vicking, and Ellie, for inviting me to read and review this piece of art.
Her debut novel, ‘Sister’ was a BBC Radio 4 Book at Bedtime, a Sunday Times and New York Times best seller and the fastest selling debut in WHSmiths’history. Her next two books ‘Afterwards’ and ‘The Quality of Silence’ were also Sunday Times best sellers. Her novels have been translated into over thirty languages.