Three Hours by Rosamund Lupton

The extraordinary new novel everyone is talking about from the Sunday Times best-selling author of Sister

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

Published January 9th 2020 by Viking Books

I read Three Hours back at the end of summer last year and so the fact it remains so vivid in my mind is a true indication of just how powerful this book is. Powerful, shocking and relevant – it isn’t always comfortable reading but it is essential reading

Telling the story of every parents worst nightmare, this book made my blood run cold at the sheer realness of it. The writing is brutally honest and stark – as a reader most naturally drawn to emotive prose I wasn’t sure at first and it took me a while to get used to. On reflection though this style made the book all the more chilling and poignant

Three Hours is an unforgettable book tackling important and current issues – prejudice, radicalisation, ignorance, isolation and mental health. It explores the weaknesses and frailties of human nature along with strength, bravery and endurance. It made me think, even now months later, from a multitude of angles. Not an easy read by any means, but one I’d recommend

Thank you to Viking Books and Netgalley for my advance copy.

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